By Malathi Nayak
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 26 Electronic Arts
said on Thursday that it will not offer gamers the next
iteration from its college football video game series "NCAA
Football" in 2014 and is evaluating the fate of the game
franchise, which is mired in legal disputes with former college
Electronic Arts made the decision because of on-going
lawsuits and the withdrawal of support from organizations like
the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Cam Weber, the
general manager of American football for EA SPORTS, wrote in a
"For our part, we are working to settle the lawsuits with
the student-athletes," Weber said, without providing details.
Weber said on the blog post that the company is "stuck in
the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes
who seek compensation for playing college football."
On July 31, a divided federal appeals court rejected EA's
effort to throw out a lawsuit by former student-athletes, like
the former Arizona State University quarterback Samuel Keller,
who accused the company of using their images in its popular
video game without permission. EA has filed an appeal to
challenge the ruling.
EA also tackled separate lawsuits from other star players,
like a former Rutgers University football quarterback who
alleged that EA misappropriated his likeness for its top-selling
NCAA Football game.
The NCAA said in mid-July that it would not renew a contract
that expires in June next year to license its name and logo for
EA's college football game.
In July, EA launched "NCAA Football 14," which was one of
its major sports games releases this year alongside "Madden"
football and "FIFA" soccer video games.
Shares in EA were little changed in after-hours trading
after closing at $26.15 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.