The SEC has made a major statement regarding its future with the EA Sports NCAA football video game: There is no future.
According to a report from ESPN's Kristi Dosh, the SEC has joined the NCAA in no longer licensing its trademarks to the video game. The NCAA made its decision a month ago, but each conference and each school still had the opportunity to license their own trademarks with EA Sports. Well, the SEC wants no part of that:
"Each school makes its own individual decision regarding whether or not to license their trademarks for use in the EA Sports game(s)," the SEC said in a statement. "The Southeastern Conference has chosen not to do so moving forward.
"Neither the SEC, its member universities, nor the NCAA have ever licensed the right to use the name or likeness of any student to EA Sports."
So college football's most prized conference won't be involved with really the only remaining college football video game out there. That's a big blow to EA Sports and you have to wonder what the rest of the major conferences will do going forward. Is it a chance to extend their brands more while the SEC sits and watches? Or will other conferences follow suit and join the SEC -- and NCAA -- in keeping its trademarks away from the gaming world?
If the SEC isn't siding with EA Sports, it's hard to believe that it would work with another video game maker. If there are video game players that look like real players in EA Sports games, there's going to be the same thing in other games as well. I'm not really sure how you can escape it unless you completely change the players and numbers on the uniforms. But what's stopping users from downloading correct rosters anyway?
Only time will tell what happens with the other conferences, but this certainly is a game-changer.