EA College Football 25 Offering Players $600 For Their Likeness


Starting today, over 10,000 college football players will be able to decide if they want to get paid to appear in EA SportsCollege Football 25. In exchange for their image, likeness, and name, EA is offering players $600 and a free copy of the game.

In 2013, amid multiple legal issues facing the NCAA and EA over the use of players’ likenesses, the NCAA Football franchise ended. A few years later, after the dust had settled and court cases had been figured out, the NCAA changed its rules in 2021 to allow players to sign deals to make money off their stardom and name. Not long after that, EA announced its plan to make new college football games. However, the franchise would no longer use the NCAA name, but would still feature numerous schools and divisions—that negotiate deals with companies like EA independently of the NCAA. It’s a whole mess, but the short story is after all that college athletes can now, for the the first time ever, get paid to appear in EA’s next football game. But they won’t be making much for signing away their image and name.

As reported by ESPN on February 22, EA Sports has finalized its name, image, and likeness plan (NIL plan) and has started up the opt-in process allowing players across the country to get paid to appear in EA Sports College Football 25, which is set to launch later this year. In exchange for handing over their name and image, they’ll receive $600 and a free copy of the game on the platform of their choice. Players who agree to the deal will remain in the game for their entire careers but can opt out of later editions. EA will also pay each athlete annually for appearing in future games.

College Football 25 | Official Teaser Trailer

“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.”

EA says players will get paid regardless of how well the game does and players won’t be asked to do any extra work to promote the game. However, some higher-profile college athletes will be able to make more via sponsorship and social media promotion deals with EA.

That ain’t much, is it?

If $600 seems low, that’s because it is. In July 2023, the College Football Players Association recommended players boycott EA and its game when it was reported that players would only receive $500. While some are happy to see players being paid at all, others don’t think the deal is good enough. Sam Schwartzstein, a former player at Stanford, called it a “huge rush job.

“This $600 number is so weird,” tweeted Schwartzstein. “It’s way less than what we got AFTER class action lawyers got their cut. It’s negotiated not on behalf of the players but with a company that doesn’t actually represent the players. This is a huge rush job to get the game out make the players the bad guys for not wanting to be in the game.”

“EA is taking advantage of these star athletes at that price,” Tim Derdenger, associate professor of marketing and strategy at Carnegie Mellon, told Market Watch.

ESPN was also told that EA won’t allow users to create players who opt out of the NIL deal, though the company didn’t share how they would stop people from creating their own version of a popular player who might not be in the game.

EA Sports College Football 25 is set to launch later this summer.



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