I sat down recently to play NCAA Football, picking Michigan State as I always do.
The game started out pretty evenly. I was able to run the ball and run over the linebackers and secondary, but when I needed to convert on third down and long, I constantly threw incomplete passes.
After losing a frustrating matchup, I cursed Andrew Maxwell for his lack of ability to throw a football.
Right there is where I paused. Maxwell’s likeness is used in the game, though his name does not show up in the glowing ring beneath him.
Does Maxwell see a penny of the profit EA Sports makes off of the game?
Then why is it that Maxwell is required to surrender his likeness to EA Sports?
The NCAA has a deal with EA Sports that allows the makers of the NCAA Sports games to make avatars including player tendencies, abilities, height, weight, number, year, position and facial features.
In essence, the NCAA allows the likeness of every player to be remade into the NCAA Sports games except for their names. Thus the players are essentially being extorted for money.
Lawsuits have resulted from the lack of pay to these NCAA athletes to the point that the NCAA has decided to discontinue their deal with EA Sports. This would kill the NCAA Sports game franchise.
I’m not much of a gamer. I play video games sparingly, and I don’t personally believe that those games are incredibly important. This consumer product, though, is one that many people love and thus the product should not die.
It is time to pay college athletes what they are due.
The cost of their education alone, excluding walk-ons, is paid for by the schools, but these players are being used for profit. Pay them commission for the profit of the games. Pay each athlete equally despite their skill and contribution to each team.
If not paid equally, you will see players negotiating and holding out for more money based on their skill, which will eventually compromise the integrity of the games. Only the lowliest of players will register for the games eventually, causing consumers to lose interest.
The game of college football itself is at stake if one player is allowed to jockey for more money than another.
Keep the games alive and give these players commission for what they have rightfully earned. Don’t dump the project because you’re worried about your bottom line. We as consumers understand this is business, but it is bad business to not pay those who make the games what they are.