College football will return to consoles with the launch of the first version of EA Sports College Football in the summer of 2024.
When it comes out, it will be more than a decade since NCAA Football ’14, which came out before the 2013 season. There are still unknowns, but there is more clarity about what will be in the first edition of the game.
EA Vice President and General Manager Daryl Holt spoke exclusively to Sportzshala about how things are going with the game. Here’s what we know and what we don’t know:
So summer 2024 is a bit vague. Any details?
Not really. EA Sports is probably looking to give a break to their other games as well. Madden usually comes out in August. FIFA, which will be renamed EA Sports FC from next year, at the end of September, and the NHL in mid-October.
Back when it was called “NCAA Football” (it’s not a name anymore), the game usually came out in mid-July.
Holt said they still have options and are not tied to an exact date right now.
What will be in the game?
It’s still work, although it’s starting to crystallize. The game will feature Dynasty and Road to Glory modes, multi-season team and single-player modes familiar to players from previous editions of the game.
There will be over 120 schools in the game, but not all FBS schools have registered yet. Holt declined to say which schools did and did not participate in the game, although Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said shortly after the title’s return was announced that his school would not participate unless its athletes benefited from it. Holt, when asked directly about Notre Dame, refused to answer. He also declined to explain what the process for including those not already in the game would be.
EA Sports’ goal, according to Holt, is to have real college football players in the game too, although the exact shenanigans are still being figured out.
An EA source told Sportzshala that if the player is included in the game, they will be compensated.
“Things are still evolving, and they are evolving at a rapid pace in different ways,” Holt said. “So there are different elements that we have, you know, in schools or in college athletics that are very, very clear. And there are other things that have a little more question marks around them.
“So it’s probably one of the most, I think, vague in terms of what exactly is the clearest and best path.”
Holt did not rule out the return of FCS and HBCU, although he did not comment on this. FCS and HBCU were in the game until the mid-2000s when they were Division IA and I-AA.
From schools that have committed, EA collects information about their sounds, experiences, traditions, stadiums, and uniforms for inclusion. Holt said they’ve been to three college football games this season to hear the real noise of the crowd and some of what makes different schools and stadiums unique, as there are many more games on the schedule and at least a full football game must be played before launch. college season.
“This is an exciting college experience that will live on, so we hope we continue to represent the authenticity of this sport,” Holt said. “Think about how people can bring their passion for our game, their game, and their sports team to our game and play it. So I think it’s going to be an ever-evolving experience.
“Some things are already in development and we’re thinking about some things that I think will continue to come up.”
EA hopes every team in the game will have everything they need – they’ve written new tech to try and match their ambition with reality – but until they really dive in and start fully developing the game, they won’t know problems can come.
What’s with the cover? Announcers?
Again, not much here. However, it is still too early to select athletes for coverage. EA said it started recording with “recognizable commentators” but would not release names.
Holt didn’t say if they’ll go down the path of the NBA2K series, which has different announce teams, or Madden, which has one announce team throughout the game. In previous versions of the game, Sportzshala’s Kirk Herbstrait and Lee Corso acted as announcers.
Where are they in development?
Holt said they went through the creative design and pre-production phases and started production, completing a few prototypes and things they can look at. But it’s still very early.
Think of it like they would go to the grocery store, grab most of what they wanted, and start preheating the oven for cooking.
The game is being created in Maitland, Florida and will use the Frostbite engine, the same engine used for Madden.
Does this mean it will be a clone of “Madden”?
No. The two games are being developed by different development teams. The teams shared some ideas and concepts and made suggestions to each other, but in reality there is competition between them.
They are very focused on making it a specific college football game and not Madden – College Edition.
“We want to make sure it’s definitely unique college football,” Holt said. “If anyone is worried that this is a Madden clone or whatever, that’s not our intention and we’re not approaching it.
“I think people will be excited when the game comes out.”
Holt addressed the question of whether there has been pressure from criticism of how Madden has handled his franchise regime for at least the past five years.
“When we sat down and started, you know, on a blank sheet of paper or board to talk about what we are going to focus on? What will be in the game? . “We know that we have to satisfy the essence, and we know that we want to make meaningful decisions about that for replayability and participation, and that almost sandbox aspect of things that they potentially want to do in order to create a program, run it and manage it. . team.
“And then lay the groundwork for the future of many of the things that we’re going to do. So it comes down to a very important part of the game, a very important focus of the game. I would say probably number two. immediately after the actual gameplay.”
What will happen in dynasty mode? College players? Coaches?
Much remains to be determined. Holt emphasized that the plan and intent is to bring real college football players to the game.
He didn’t rule out anything else, including coaches, which wasn’t in older versions of NCAA Football.
“I wish I could talk a little more about this, but we will have more to talk about in the future,” Holt said. “This is just one aspect as we talk about features and more details that we will reveal in the future.”
As for integration with “Madden” – like importing draft classes, a popular feature from older iterations of the game – Holt again shied away from what they will or won’t do, but acknowledged that there is a history of connection between the two products.
Any idea what Road to Glory will look like?
Like Dynasty, Holt has been tight-lipped about details, although he has repeatedly said they are aware of all the stops along the path of a college athlete from being hired to becoming a “campus legend” and theoretically turning pro. Holt said they are focused on making it “an immersive experience”.
Could there be more Madden integration with this and Face of the Franchise – again, it’s probably too early to tell.
When asked if part of the experience would force gamers to take classes like much older versions of the game, Holt laughed – and didn’t comment.
“I won’t comment or deny that it could have been on the board somewhere and could have been in the game,” Holt said. “But that’s not all”.
More than expected, more than likely. Since the release is over a year away, this may be a slow flow of information, at least for a while.
There are a lot of cases as they try to have a vast scope and scale in the game.
“You want team differentiation. You want wide open college gameplay, Sabbath storytelling,” Holt said. “And that’s the kind of thing that I think becomes interesting when you realize that we’re making a game, but it’s an interactive experience, and it’s a reflection of someone’s passion and belonging.
“Every team is someone’s favorite team, as we like to say. And so we have to make sure it happens.”