Users Online Now: 2968  |  January 27, 2020
thescoop's Blog
How to Bring Back the NCAA Football Series Part 1: No Official Licenses 
Posted on December 4, 2016 at 06:21 PM.
A fiction cover for a fictional NCAA 17

We all miss the NCAA Football series. The the summer wait until Madden's release became much longer after we had our college football series stolen from us. No longer did we have the endless "are the rosters ready yet" posts on the forum. (Not that those are truly missed.) No matter how you feel about the lawsuits that led to the end of the series, we gamers were and still are the biggest losers.

Does it have to be this way? Some would say yes. Others would point out that with a little imagination, we could see a return of not just college football but a return of college video games as a whole.

In my new four part series, we will discuss the different option that one could use to bring back the NCAA or College football series. Those options include: No official licenses, limited licensing, deals with only the major conferences, and new agreement with NCAA and players.

PART ONE: No Official Licenses

This is the option that most won't like. But the good news is it gets you a game. This option takes you back to the days of Bill Walsh College Football. Instead of playing as Notre Dame, you are South Bend. You want to run with Texas A&M? Well you are welcomed with College Station instead. You now get the idea.

In this work around, you still get teams, just not their official names. Sure, Alabama might still get to be Alabama but it isn't the Alabama Crimson Tide. You would either just be Alabama generic mascot or Tuscaloosa. Also a result, everything is unique but familiar at the same time.

They would also have to create fake conferences. Instead of the SEC you'd get the East South Conference, or the Big Ten becomes the Big MidWest, etc. The names aren't as important as long as you can tell who is who when you fire up the game.

In this set up, you could bring back many of the other elements from the game, like Dynasty mode, recruiting and so on. This would bring back the series by taking it back to its original roots.

You also get the familiar plays and settings that you usually only see in the college game. This game has the feel of college, minus the official licenses. Bowl games are there, just using generic names in the familiar cities you expect to see the games.

Also, having no licenses means you could mean the long awaited return of seeing the goal posts come down following upsets or big wins. The NCAA made this disappear from the old series early in the series existence. Other features, such as penalties and sanctions can be put into Dynasty mode as well.

Adding penalties and sanctions into Dynasty mode could change the game completely too. With no NCAA license you could expand and allow you to chose to run a dirty program. You could agree to allow boosters to buy you players, ignore grades and other issues. But if you do and get caught, you could be placed on probation and/or fired. This would add something new to the way you play. Sure cheating would get you to the championship faster, but could prevent you from playing for a title soon or make you end up at a smaller school with far less title chances.

Also, we could create our own playoff systems however we liked it. Were you more a fan of the old Bowl system, bring it back. You are more of a fan of the current four team playoff system, keep it going. You want a huge 32 team playoff? You get to create it. Without the NCAA to dictate how to make the game, they could really open up the possibilities.

Some of you reading are already rejecting this option as if you can't be your school, then you're not playing college football. This is why using this option should also come with a pretty healthy customization options.

So imagine this option with a Teambuilder type option that allowed you to customize everything about your team down to logo, uniforms, mascot and fight song? The manufacturer allows the gaming community to create the content they don't have the license to create themselves.

Roster editing could be tied to this as well. To be safe, the game designer's rosters won't be as easy to edit as adding names. My suggestion would be for true fake rosters, mean fake names that would have to be changed instead of simple numbers. Also, don't keep the names the same as the real life players either. Allow all of this to be edited and those that want realism can still achieve this.

This allows the gamers to have the familiar schools and conferences. And with customization tools we see in video games now a days, this wouldn't be too hard. It would be best if there is some way to share these custom made schools but of course some fear my prevent that. If they don't, it could be a difference in a successful game or a failure.

The biggest con in this option is the lack of real teams. We live in an era of gaming where we're spoiled by realism. The question is if we could accept a game missing so much we take for granted. In 1993, when Bill Walsh College Football came out, sports gaming was new. A lot of games didn't have official licenses. It was much easier to accept that South Bend was a stand in for Norte Dame. Could we do again, even with the promise of customization? That's a huge question mark here.

I do feel that the desire for a College football game would outweigh the need for the actual license and if done right, this option could work. Well, I've laid out the pros and cons of this option. The question is, would you buy a game using the option one model?
# 1 jjohns79 @ Dec 5
Great Idea!
# 2 Bradysenior @ Dec 5
yes I would
# 3 gtrat35 @ Dec 5
Yes, I would buy it and play it. This is the quickest fix; start here and work on licensing for future iterations. I enjoy the NCAA series because of the variety of offenses and recruiting. I try to play Madden every year, and I just keep coming back to NCAA '14. I would play as just mascots if that is what it took.
# 4 scagwi @ Dec 5
I think this is precisely what they need to do..

That and add in major customizability and you'll have entire internet communities coming up with mods, tweaks, files, etc to effectively "build" what EA can't really do for legal reasons.
# 5 thescoop @ Dec 5
Thank you guys for the feedback. I look forward to seeing your thoughts on the other 3 parts of this series. I just enjoy sharing ideas. I doubt anyone is reading but the more of us that are focal that we'd play this type of verision, the more likely we could actually see something like this be a reality.
# 6 poulka @ Dec 5
This is good reminds me of my first college football games I had on SNES. Duke was named Fluke, Holy Cross was Moldy Moss. This game also had school football as well and those teams you could customize.
# 7 thescoop @ Dec 6
I don't remember that one. But having recently found an old copy of Bill Walsh got me thinking that getting around the license wasn't much of a problem back then. I think we'd accept teams being called by the city or something else if it brought back the game. Also, if we are allowed to edit everything, it would be a simple fix.
# 8 poulka @ Dec 6
I came across the name a few months back will look it up again. But something like Bill Walsh or that will be better than nothing at all. Will look up that title for you.
# 9 poulka @ Dec 6
It is called Super Play action football google it and you will see some vids.
# 10 thescoop @ Dec 7
I think I remember that game. Sound familiar at least.

For others, I am going to try and post part two of this series this weekend. Not sure if I will have time but that's my goal.
# 11 AuditMonkey @ Dec 7
I would definitely be ok with a non-licensed game to start with, especially if it allowed PES style editing, it would take about a week to get roster and team packs. NCAA 14 such a great game, I can still play it but hope for a new game in the next few years.
# 12 GamerDad48 @ Dec 8
This would be definitely the way to start. I would buy and play it. I remember Bill Walsh College Football, it's the game that started this whole dynasty of college football games. If the game could be made so users could edit it how they want would be great! Especially with all the great roster gurus here on OS, the editing of rosters, stadium names, conferences, bowls games, school names, and such could be done in no time like it is now for NCAA 14. TheSccop keep the ideas coming. I like what ya have so far.
# 13 thescoop @ Dec 8
Thanks, guys. I look forward to seeing thoughts on the next three parts. Seeing the feedback makes writing these all worth it.
# 14 mcdowell31 @ Dec 10
Of course I'd buy... but I'm old enough to remember Bill Walsh Football.

"I must have logos and real player names" caused Pro Football 2K8 to go in a direction different from NFL 2K5. Most of the early conversations on Operation Sports about 2K8 concerned player and team creation. Guessing, I'd say 2K Marketing said a game will not sell without real player faces, and retired players were brought in to play single season football. That didn't go well and we never saw 2K9.

Customizing or "modding" is old and popular in the RPG community. I just repurchased the reissued Skyrim for console because of the PC mods that are now available. The mods reinterpret game and make it a brand new experience.

The key of course is selling gamers on game experience over... looks. That is a tough sell because an overwhelming number of gamers want a "cool" looking experience rather than immersive gameplay that makes you think.

Making cool looking games is easier for developers and has bigger payoffs. Who could blame them for that line of reason?
# 15 thescoop @ Dec 11
Fair points, mcdowell, but the difference here from Pro Football is there isn't another option that features the real teams. With no other option, it might sell better. Also, Pro Football killed itself by leaving out a dynasty mode. I still believe that game would have sold well if they'd let us play out new fantasy type seasons with those legends. The lack of a true franchise mode is exactly why I didn't pick it up, the lack of real players.

« Previous12Next »
thescoop's Blog Categories
thescoop's Screenshots (0)

thescoop does not have any albums to display.
More thescoop's Friends
Recent Visitors
The last 10 visitor(s) to this Arena were:

thescoop's Arena has had 134,246 visits