EA Sports NCAA College Football has been released every year since 1993. First under the title of Bill Walsh College Football. The name change came in 1998 with Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffell on the cover. 1998 was also the first year the games favorite feature, Dynasty Mode, was brought to life. In this mode players can take control of any FBS school, play that teams games, and work as a head coach of sorts, recruiting players and building your program into a powerhouse.
Imagine a world where the Toledo Rockets bring in 5 star recruits on the regular, and go to the National Championship game almost every year. That's what Dynasty Mode could do.
In July 2013 the NCAA announced that it would not be renewing its licensing contract with EA Sports because of its ongoing legal dispute regarding the use of player's likeness in the franchise. The ongoing dispute, known as the Ed O'Bannon trial, started over the use of player's likenesses in the EA Sports NCAA video game franchises, and it recently went to court. While we won't know the judge's verdict for some time, it could dynamically shift the landscape of college football.
MAC players are some of the thousands of players that were used in the games, but as college students (and part of the game's target demographic) many of them were also likely fans of the series.
But while millions of college males have spent hundreds of hours apiece building up dynasties in the game, Ball State's Ben Ingle is not one of those guys. "No I'm not a gamer," Ingle told Hustle Belt during MAC Media Day.
Ohio's Lucas Powell, also a non-gamer, felt similar to Ingle. "It doesn't really affect me; I don't have time to play (video games)."
But Greg Mancz of the Toledo Rockets will miss playing the game with friends. "I played the game every year. I will miss playing the game. I don't know I got away from video games, I will miss playing in the locker room with the guys," he said.
Ball State running back Jahwan Edwards enjoyed playing "himself" in the latest game, and will miss that opportunity.
"Me and my guys use to play a lot. We would play with ourselves for a little bit. Just that you could play with your friends from other schools was cool," he told Hustle Belt. "Yeah I'm kind of mad. I am really upset about (the game being cancelled)."
One of the best aspects of the game was the ability to pull off wild upsets with smaller schools. That's something Akron linebacker Justin March will miss.
"I'm sad it got canceled, I played it a lot. I played with Akron a lot vs. bigger schools to see what would happen," he said. "It's not realistic, when you play against Alabama their stats are way higher and Akron is farther down. Seeing yourself (in the game) is really fun, and seeing your stadium in a video game and having it being so realistic.
"I can make the changes I want to make other than doing what the coaches want, like 4th and 20 I'm going for it, no punts," March said.
But with the cancellation of the series, those memories are in the past. Now if March wants to see Akron pull off upsets, he'll have to ensure the Zips do it on the field, in real life. Or he could always just play older versions of it, and continue to use his own likeness as he pleases.