Electronic Arts calls time on US college football game

Screenshot from NCAA Football 14 game EA says the decision to stop producing the game was "profoundly disappointing"

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Electronic Arts, the US games maker, says it is cancelling its college football game next year amid legal disputes over players' image rights.

The company said it was "evaluating our plan for the future of the franchise".

Student players have been seeking a share of National Collegiate Athletic Association revenues after their likenesses were used in the game.

In May, a court upheld the right of Ryan Hart, a former college player, to sue.

Mr Hart has sued for damages, saying EA should have sought his permission before using his likeness in three versions of the popular game published between 2004 and 2006.

The appeal court decided EA did not do enough to "sufficiently transform" the virtual version of the player.


Samuel Keller, another former college football player, has also sued EA for using his likeness in the game.

"We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student athletes who seek compensation for playing college football," wrote Cam Weber, general manager of American football at EA Sports, explaining the company's decision.

Mr Weber said the company was "working to settle the lawsuits with the student athletes", and soon after publishing this statement US newspapers reported that EA had settled, but no details were given.

EA launched its most recent version of the game, NCAA Football 14, in July.

"Our decision does not affect our commitment to NCAA Football 14 and the consumers who love playing the game," Mr Weber said.

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