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Players can begin opting in to EA Sports' 'College Football 25'

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Just as EA Sports’ old intro would go, all FBS teams are once again, “in the game.”

Last week, the video game maker revealed that its beloved college football game would be returning this summer with EA Sports’ “College Football 25.”

On Thursday, EA Sports announced that all 134 FBS teams will be featured in the new game, allowing more than 11,000 players to opt in for inclusion. Players on FBS teams can opt in to be a part of the video game as early as Thursday. 

Players who are in the game will be compensated, allowing college athletes to receive money for being a part of a video game for the first time. The student-athletes who approve of their name, image and likeness to appear in the game will receive $600 and a copy of the game, an EA Spokesperson told ESPN

Once players opt in, they won’t have to do so again to be included in future games over their college careers, although they can opt out of lending their name, image and likeness from appearing in future editions of the game. Players who opt not to be included in the game will be replaced by a generic avatar, similar to how Barry Bonds was portrayed in MLB video games. EA Sports will use the strengths and weaknesses of the program over the last decade to determine the overall rating of players who aren’t in the game. 

Players who want to be in the game are being encouraged to opt in through Learfield’s COMPASS NIL app by April 30. OneTeam Partners will handle the players’ licensing for the game. 

“We feel very proud that we’ll be the largest program, likely the highest-spending program,” EA Sports’ vice president of business development Sean O’Brien told ESPN. “And really an inclusive opportunity with an equitable distribution of funds across the board.”

Now, players who are in EA Sports “College Football 25” might not look entirely like themselves. Face scans for individual players won’t be available for this year’s version of the game as it’d be too difficult to implement so many face scans in such a short period, O’Brient told ESPN. EA Sports is looking to work with programs to help accurately represent players in the game, though.

EA Sports confirmed earlier in February that EA Sports College Football 25 would be released as planned over the summer. It shared its first teaser trailer of the game on Feb. 15, which included mock-ups of school traditions, mascots and other things that are set to be in the game. Full details of the game will be released in May.

When EA Sports announced in February 2021 that it would resume production of college football video games for the first time since 2013, there was some skepticism that every team might not be involved. EA Sports formed an immediate partnership with Collegiate Licensing Company, an NCAA licensing group that includes more than 100 programs, but didn’t include several other top programs such as Notre Dame and USC.

Notre Dame appeared to be one of the last holdouts for involvement in the new NCAA Football series. But it was featured in the teaser trailer last week and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick confirmed that the program would be featured in the game on Tuesday. 

Army, Navy and Air Force players are expected to be included in the game even though they aren’t allowed to accept NIL compensation. 

Popular game modes from the previous NCAA football series, such as Dynasty Mode and Road to Glory, are reportedly expected to be included in the game. Some new developments in the college football world since the last time EA Sports released a college football video game, such as the College Football Playoff and the transfer portal, are also reportedly expected to be included in the game.


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