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Whether you agree with my assertion in the previous essay that NCAA 13's recruiting was better than NCAA 14's, I hope I've at least made a compelling case that NCAA 14's recruiting system left a lot of room for Tiburon to improve in its upcoming EA Sports College Football game in 2023. Now I want to provide some constructive feedback and pitch some ideas I have for how Tiburon could improve the recruiting mechanic going forward, by hopefully taking the best of what both NCAA 13 and 14 had to offer.

This essay is also available in video format on YouTube.

Lessons from NCAA 14

The previous essay included a lot of criticism of NCAA 14, so I want to start off this second part by acknowledging a feature in NCAA 14 that I feel is a strict upgrade over 13, and which I would like to see preserved in EA's future college football games.

I think my single favorite upgrade in NCAA 14 is the idea of having "complimentary" and "competitive campus visits". If you schedule players from complimentary positions to visit campus on the same week, you'll get bonus points. For example, bringing in a running back along with the linemen who will be blocking for him will provide bonus points.

But you also have to be wary of scheduling multiple players of the same position. If you schedule 2 or 3 running backs on the same week, they'll see each other as competition, and will lose interest out of fear that your backfield will be crowded, and they'll loose out on playing time to another back in the same class. This is one of the few elements of 14's recruiting design which I feel retains the more humanistic, character-driven ethos from 13, and I like it a lot.

Users should avoid scheduling multiple recruits at the same position to visit in the same week.

14 also makes it much more clear how your performance on the field will impact the interest level of the visiting prospects. In NCAA 13, I was never clear about whether scheduling a visit during a bye week would make a difference, or if it mattered whether or not I won the game (if I played one that week). I always assumed that the prospect was there to watch the football game, so scheduling the visit during a bye week would impose a penalty, and I also always assumed that winning the game improved the prospect's interest, and I assumed that the prospect would also get more interest if the players at his position performed well during the game. But the U.I. for NCAA 13 was never clear about whether any of that was actually the way the game worked, or if the prospect only cared about the 3 recruiting pitches that I try to sell him on during the visit. NCAA 14 makes all this blatantly clear when you schedule the visit by showing exactly how many points the prospect will get if certain criteria are met.

It would be nice if some of this stuff were on a sliding scale. Like, if a running back prospect wants me to rush for 100 total yards, but I end up with 98, I should still get something for having come close to meeting his expectations. But that's a minor nitpick.

Also, something that I forgot to mention in the YouTube version of this essay, but which I'm adding here for my loyal blog readers: NCAA 14 includes pitch "dealbreakers". A particular recruit may have one pitch that is absolutely essential to his desire to sign with a particular school, and if that school's rating in that pitch is not an "A" or better, that school is more likely to get locked out.

Some prospects may have a pitch that is a deal-breaker.

This is the one and only time in which the user (in NCAA 14) actually needs to be aware of the recruit's pitch interest because there isn't much point in dumping a lot of points into a particular recruit if he's just going to eventually reject your school. It's possible that certain pitch ratings can be changed over the course of a season (such as "Playing Style", or "Championship Contender"), but most pitches will remain static for the season.

This is another tiny area in which NCAA 14 injects a little bit of humanity back into the recruiting by giving the recruit something that is important to him. This is something else that I hope returns in EA Sports College Football.

Streamlining the experience (without sacrificing humanity)

EA Sports College Football in 2023 won't necessarily have to commit to either NCAA 13's recruiting paradigm or NCAA 14's paradigm. It could come up with something completely new. Hopefully it's something at least as good. If they do look to replicate what the past games did well, perhaps there is some happy middle ground between the recruiting paradigms of NCAA 13 and NCAA 14? Something that maintains some of the efficiencies of NCAA 14, without having to sacrifice the humanity and depth that I loved from NCAA 13?

I recommend turning OFF the autosave
to cut down on menu latency.

In fact, going back and playing NCAA 13 to do research, I was reminded that my biggest complaint with the in-season recruiting isn't the tediousness of the actual mechanics; it's how slow and sluggish all the menus are. Even for someone enjoying the recruiting process, dealing with several seconds of loading between every menu, frequent lag in input recognition, and the occasional dropped input, is still an extreme test of patience. I'm not so worried about slow menus for the upcoming games because the solid state hard drives included in both consoles should keep loading times to a bare minimum. The fact that NCAA 13 stopped to autosave everytime you exit back out to the main recruiting menu certainly didn't help, and for any player going back to NCAA 13, I recommend turning the autosave OFF when playing Dynasty.

There was also a lot of unnecessary user inputs. For example, why do we need to select a recruiting pitch and go to a separate menu that usually only has 2 or 3 options (make pitch, find pitch, and sway pitch)? Why not just map each of those options to a separate button on the controller? Press X to make the pitch, press Square to find the prospect's pitch interest or to sway the interest level once it's been discovered, or press Triangle to compare the pitch against another competing school.

NCAA 13's phone call interface could have been simplified to reduce the amount of inputs needed.

Finding a happy middle-ground

With streamlined menus being a no-brainer for improving the user experience, let's talk about how to create a hybrid design that hopefully takes the best of both NCAA 13 and 14 to make an experience that's better than either of the older games.

Maybe the first time you call a prospect, you have a "get to know you" conversation through an interface similar to NCAA 13. Then subsequent recruiting efforts for that prospect would be handled by the more abstract point allocations similar to NCAA 14. This way, you at least get a personal introduction with each prospect, so that the user is forced to learn a little about him and see the recruit as a character.

A more complicated approach -- but one that would introduce more strategy -- would be for EA Sports College Football to separate recruiting hour allocations for the head coach (you, the player) versus the coordinators and assistant coaches. Maybe you have 15 recruiting hours total, but the head coach only gets 5, and the remaining 10 are given to the assistant coaches. Or maybe there's 12 hours total, with 3 hours being given to each the head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and special teams coordinator.

Perhaps recruiting hours could be divvied up among each coach?

Calls from the head coach would be personally handled by the user via an interface more similar to NCAA 13. Prospects should be more receptive to calls from the head coach and get more points from successful pitches. This would create some strategy in which you'd want to personally contact your highest-priority prospects (or the ones getting the most competing attention from other schools), but the hours available to the head coach would be much more limited. You'd have to balance out your available hours against how much you prioritize each prospect.

Calls from the assistant coaches would then be handled automatically via a system more like NCAA 14. The assistant coaches would give you a summary at the start of each new week that outlines the results of last week's automated recruiting efforts. This report would include changes in prospects' interest levels, and discovering any recruits that match up well with your school's traits.

Calls from coaches who aren't the user coach could be automated.

If the Dynasty Mode allows users to play as an offensive, defensive, or special teams coordinator, then the user's manual recruiting hours should come out of that coordinator's recruiting hours, while the head coache's recruiting hours would be automated. And the user would only be able to recruit offensive players if they are the offensive coordinator, defensive players if they are the defensive coordinator, and specialists such as kickers, punters, longsnappers, and generic athletes if they are the special teams coordinator.

In fact, Maximum Football implemented a similar idea by allowing the user to chose to delegate any given call to an assistant coach. This would generally generate less interest from the prospect, but it would save you, the player, time, and could be useful for instances in which your school is the top choice of the prospect, and you're just trying to maintain that status.

Maximum Football allowed the user to delegate calls to assistant coaches.

Either of these ideas would ensure that the user is personally engaging with the recruiting system and the prospects within it, while also reducing some of the tedious interactions and maintaining some of the streamlined efficiency from the NCAA 14 model.

Regardless of which idea is preferred, head coaches should be the only ones who can offer scholarships, make promises, or schedule on-campus visits. That way, these key steps of the recruiting process must be done personally by the user. When you think your assistant coaches have learned all there is to know about a prospect, it's time to move him into your head coach's call queue so that you can personally interview him and make those promises and scholarship offers.

Only the head coach should be allowed to make scholarship offers, promises, and schedule campus visits.

Broken promises?

If recruiting promises do come back, then I hope they are a bit better explained than they were in NCAA Football 13. Just like how NCAA 14 better explained where the points come from for on-campus visits, I would like to see more explanations of how much breaking a promise affect's your coach's reputation and more detailed explanations of how specific promises can be met or broken.

For example, there's all the promises that refer to a prospect's "first year on campus". If they redshirt their freshman year, does that count as the "first year on campus"? Or is it their first non-redshirt year? If I promise that I won't recruit another prospect of the same position in the player's first year, and I redshirt the player during his freshman year, am I allowed to recruit another player at that position?

Does a redshirt freshman year count as "first year on campus"?

What about position groups that are separate on the depth chart, like offensive linemen or linebackers? If I promise a left outside linebacker not to recruit another player at the same position, can I still recruit a right outside linebacker? It sure looks like all outside linebackers are the same position in the prospect list, but the promises list splits them up by left and right outside linebackers. So are those both considered to be the same outside linebacker position or not?

If I promise not to recruit a player at that position before his first year, then does that apply to the same recruiting class in which I recruited the prospect to whom I made the promise? Or does it also apply if they redshirt their freshman year? And does it apply retroactively to prospects in the same position who already committed before I made the promise?

And if I promise solid playing time first year on campus, and then redshirt the player his freshman year, do I auto-fail that promise? Or will it apply to his second year, in which he would be a redshirted-freshman? And so on...

How does this true sophomore still have a pending
"won't recruit another player at same position first year on campus" promise?

And how does this true sophomore still have a pending "won't recruit another player at same position first year on campus" promise? How is that even possible?

Speaking of the "solid playing time first year on campus" promise, how much playing time does a prospect actually need in order to satisfy the "solid playing time"? Is there a specific number of snaps that he needs to play over the course of the season? Does he need to have a certain number of snaps in every game? If he misses most of the season with an injury, does that count as breaking the promise?

The "game in home state" promise requires that the game be in the player's first year,
and that the player actually plays during that game.

Then there's the "play a game in the prospect's home state" promise, which doesn't bother to tell the user that the game in the prospect's home state must be played during the prospect's first year on the team nor does it mention that the prospect actually has to play at least one down in that game, so he can't be a redshirt. That would have been really nice to know. In my UNLV Dynasty, wheneverI would recruit prospects from California, Utah, Colorado, Hawai'i, or Idaho, I would always make this promise, because I knew that I would be playing a game at San Diego State, at Utah State, at Colorado State, at Hawai'i, and at Boise at least once every other season. During a prospect's 4 or 5-year career with the team, he'd be guaranteed to play at least 2 games in all those states. But after failing that promise, I learned from trial-and-error that this promise apparently only applies to the prospect's first year.

Are there any other promises that don't specify "first year on campus", but which actually only apply to that first year? Does this apply to promising good national exposure? Or to winning a conference championship? Or a national championship?

Even though it doesn't specify "first year", promised championships must be won in the prospect's first year.

Also, what happens if the player gets cut? Are the promises just voided out as if they'd never been made? Or does cutting the player count as having failed all the promises?

It would be really nice to know these things before making these promises, especially considering that testing them through trial-and-error requires playing through multiple recruiting seasons. So yeah, if this feature comes back, please provide better explanations of how all these promises actually work. I wonder if the reason that EA decided to cut promises from NCAA 14 is because players didn't understand how promises worked, and instead of providing better explanations, they just cut it.

Staying In Character

Another problem that exists in both NCAA Football 13 and 14 is that a prospect's character and humanity does not persist through their time as actual players. When recruits sign with a school, most of that character is stripped away, and they are reduced to just a name and an age attached to a collection of attribute ratings. Aside from any promises that you made to the prospects, all those wants and goals and dreams that you talked with them about in your virtual phone calls kind of drop away and disappear. Failing to fulfill your promises to them might cause them to seek a transfer to another school, but that's about the only aspect of their character that is retained once they join your roster. And even then, the promises don't even take into account how valuable the associated recruiting pitch was to them. I don't even think the game remembers what the players' original recruiting priorities were.

Once they join your roster, recruits lose all their individuality and character.

The result is that you spend all this time (especially in NCAA 13) talking to these prospects during the recruiting process, and filling-in personalities for them in your mind, only for them to turn into mindless automatons when they actually join your team. It's certainly not a deal-breaker for the game. NCAA Football never pitched itself as an RPG or a social simulation; it's supposed to be a simulation of the sport of college football. Social simulation between the coaches and players is, admittedly, a bit outside of the scope of the game. But it still put all this effort into humanizing these characters when they are prospects, so it's a shame that humanization doesn't carry over to their time as actual players.

They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and NCAA Football 13 has definitely been imitated. The indie football game Maximum Football 2020, developed by Canuck Play, included a college Dynasty mode that is largely inspired by NCAA Football 13. It lacks the polish and production value of EA's product, being that it was developed by one guy on a shoe-string budget. It also lacks a lot of the humanity that made NCAA Football 13's in-season recruiting work so well. Maximum Football's recruiting process feels so robotic that there's never any illusion of the prospects being people. But Maximum Football did add one subtle little thing that I really like, which injects a little bit of humanity back into it.

In Maximum Football, each prospect has a little biographical factoid. As far as I can tell, it's entirely superficial fluff text, but it does mean that the prospects are more than just a name along with a 40-yard dash time and bench press reps. A prospect might be more than just the 200th-ranked RB propsect who has a 4.4 40-yard dash time. He might also be really into science fiction or comic books. This single biographical tidbit might not seem like much, but if combined with a procedurally-generated thumbnail to give us a face to go along with the name, it actually goes a long way towards personalizing and humanizing these virtual athletes.

Prospects in Maximum Football have fluff text and random events to provide extra characterization.

This is a brilliant seed of an idea from David Winter (the owner and lead designer at Canuck Play, the company that developed Maximum Football). Sadly, the Maximum Football series was canceled and the IP was sold to Modus Games. Modus Games will be retaining a college dynasty mode, but it is unclear if it will work similar to the Canuck's versions, and if it will retain this biographical fluff text.

Stuff like this is the reason why I recommended that people play and support indie games like Maximum Football and Axis Football. Even though the gameplay and graphics of those games is rough around the edges, there's little ideas like this that have the potential to inspire true innovation in the genre. But if these games get no exposure, and nobody plays them, then nobody is going to notice stuff like this, let alone suggest that other developers look at these games for inspiration.

I can only hope that EA noticed this neat addition and that it serves as inspiration for its upcoming college football game. Hey, they basically copied Axis Football's homework for Madden 22's Franchise mode, and they're copying the QB charge meter from Legend Bowl, so it's well within the realm of possibility that EA will copy Maximum Football's homework for their college game!

I recommend people try these lower-budget indie football games.

This sort of biographical fluff text could be expanded to have actual gameplay relevance. For one thing, the game could keep a database of secret personality traits for each prospect, and use those traits to customize the flavor text dialogue that comes from the prospect. This way, the prospects' responses to the user's pitches will feel more personal and less arbitrary and random.

Better yet, certain biographical information could possibly be used to provide the recruiting school with information about "intangibles". Even a line or two of biographical text could give the recruiter clues as to how smart the player is, how he performs under pressure, whether he can improvise if a play breaks down, how high his ceiling is for skill progression, and other gauges of talent that aren't necessarily captured by 40-yard dash times, shuttle times, and bench press reps.

For example, Minkah Capers here wants to major in Chemistry. That's a tough subject, so he's probably a smart kid who will work hard to keep his grades up and maintain academic eligibility. Marquiss Roenigk, on the other hand, is a flat-earther, so I'm not so sure he'll be taking academics as seriously...

Minkah Capers looks like a smart kid who will keep his grades up. Marquiss Roenigk ... not so much...

It could also provide clues about the player's personal priorities. Is he likely to stick with the school for 4 or 5 years to graduate? Or will he enter the pro draft early if he has an opportunity? Will he be content to redshirt? Will he be willing to play a different position if the school's depth chart at his position is already loaded? Will he be a locker room leader or a distraction? How strongly will his morale be affected by limited playtime, poor performance, or losing games? Will he keep his grades up and maintain academic eligibility? And so forth.

Jim McMahon at BYU
Photo by Mark Philbrick, © Brigham Young/Collegiate Images/Getty Images.
Maybe there's a potential personality conflict between the player and the school?

By making a few changes to the way that recruiting works, and injecting a little bit more personality into the individual prospects, and by making those personality attributes persist beyond the end of recruiting, perhaps EA Sports College Football can be less about brute-forcing prospects to commit in order to fill roster spots, and a little bit more about finding players who fit the culture of the school and team?

This sort of thing could help maintain the illusion that the players on your roster are actual characters.

Let The Ladies Play

While we're talking about suggestions for future college football games, let me hop on my SJW bandwagon and say that I'd really like to see EA Sports College Football include women as players and coaches. Maybe also a female referee model? I've pitched this idea for Madden and Axis as well, especially for the new the Yard gameplay mode, which is supposed to be backyard football with a user-created avatar, in which there is no excuse not to have playable female avatars.

Sarah Fuller
© Vanderbilt Football.
Women playing college football isn't a hypothetical; it's reality!

Unlike the idea of a woman playing in the NFL, the idea of women playing in division I college football isn't even a hypothetical. It's a reality. It has been for a while. Even back before its cancelation in 2014, there were women playing in division I college football.

In 2020, Vanderbilt's kicking squad, depleted by COVID protocols, recruited Sarah Fuller from Vandy's soccer pitch to the gridiron in order to act as an interim kicker. She kicked 2 successful extra points, making her the first woman to play and score for a power 5 team.

But she wasn't the first woman to suit up for a division I school -- or even the first to score points. Katie Hnida kicked for the New Mexico Lobos in the early 2000's, and converted 2 extra points in a 2003 game, making her the first woman to score points in a division I FBS college football game. A few weeks later, Tonya Butler became the first woman to score a field goal in the NCAA, with the division II West Alabama Tigers.

Katie Hnida
Photo by Greg Sorber, © Albuquerque Journal.
Tonya Butler
© UWA Athletics.
Katie Hnida and Tonya Butler scored points back in the early 2000's.

But women's on-field contributions go back still further. Ashley Martin converted 3 extra points for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in 2001, making her the first woman to score points in a division I FCS football game. She was further preceded by Liz Heaston, who scored 2 extra points for the Willamette Bearcats in NAIA football in 1997, making her the first woman to ever play and score in any college football game. Her #39 jersey is currently on display in the college football hall of fame in Atlanta. Hey, placekickers are football players, too! And women playing in college football is almost as old as EA's college football video game series itself (back when it was still called Bill Walsh College Football).

Liz Heaston hall of fame jersey
© AP News.
Liz Heaston is the first woman to play college football, and her jersey is in the college football hall of fame.

Women are also playing other positions too. Toni Harris made news a couple years ago when Seahawks coach Pete Carroll congratulated her for signing with Central Methodist University to play safety, making her the first woman to receive a full scholarship to play college football in a skill position. More will surely follow in her lead.

Women are also coaching in division I college football. Heather Marini was promoted to quarterbacks coach for Brown University in 2020, breaking the glass ceiling for position coaches in division I football. There's also several high profile examples of women coaching in the NFL. Katie Sowers was an assistant coach for the 49ers before moving to the Chiefs, and she has now coached in 2 SuperBowls. She also happens to be the first out lesbian coach in the NFL. She isn't the only woman coaching in the NFL either. There's also Lori Locust, an active assistant defensive line coach for the Super Bowl champion Buccanneers. And then there's Jennifer King, the first black woman to be hired as an NFL coach, who is currently the assistant running backs coach for the Washington Commanders. And this list is growing every year.

While representation and inclusivity is enough of a reason, by itself, to include women as playable characters in these escapist fantasy sports games, there is another reason why I think EA should include women in its football games: and that is to normalize the idea of women being in these positions. We celebrate Katie Hnida now as a pioneer of the sport, but her story isn't all happy. She transferred to New Mexico from the University of Colorado Boulder after being sexually harassed and raped by other players on the team. No one should have to go through that. I'm not going to pretend that putting women in football video games will eliminate this sort of harassment and assault. But young boys who play these video games will hopefully become acclimated to seeing these women as teammates and coaches, and they will hopefully grow up to become high school, college, or professional players and coaches who treat women on the team as equals, with the respect and dignity that all people deserve. And hopefully, they won't treat their female teammates and colleagues the way the Katie was treated. And hopefully, they'll speak up or intervene if they do see this sort of abuse happening in their locker rooms or on their practice fields.

If I'm going to be able to put a virtual version of pudgy, un-athletic self in my favorite team's uniform or coach's polo in EA Sports College Football, then I see no reason why my daughter shouldn't be able to do the same if she wishes. She's way more athletic than I am anyway. I also see no reason why women shouldn't show up here and there as possible prospects in EA Sports College Football's recruiting feature. Heck, by the time the game actually comes out, there might already be a woman on a team's active roster.

Women are in the game, EA. So put them in the game!

The right game for the wrong reasons?

Before I go, I want to re-iterate my hope that EA's upcoming EA Sports College Football game will successfully tap into the humanity and character of NCAA Football 13, and avoid the more clerical and de-humanizing approach that NCAA Football 14 took. And also that it's, you know, a bit more gender inclusive. I also want to share my own personal fears for how EA might very well go wrong with its upcoming college football game.

EA has been licensing colleges for Madden since 2017.

I feel like the overall quality of EA Sports College Football will basically come down to what EA's own true motivations are for creating the game. EA could have continued to make college football video games after NCAA Football 14. I could be wrong, but as far as I know, nothing in the lawsuits actually prevented EA from making more college football games, as long as they avoided the use of any collegiate athlete's likeness or name.

EA also started licensing the rights to use college football teams for Madden 18's "Longshot" story mode. In 2017, Madden showed that EA was perfectly capable and willing to individually license colleges for use in a sports game. So why didn't they make a stand-alone college football game then? Even if it only would have included a couple dozen teams from the Power 5 Conferences?

Why did EA sit on its college football franchise for almost 10 years, and then finally now decide it's time to start making the game again? Consumer demand was always there. They always had the legal ability to license schools without an NCAA license or player likenesses, and they sure as heck always had the money for it. So what changed recently? Why is this game coming out now instead of back in 2015 or 2017?

Why is EA just now releasing a college football video game?

Well, I think the reason is that the courts have recently decided that the NCAA and colleges cannot deny athletes the right to profit from their name and likenesses. These college athletes now have the legal right to sign endorsement and merchandise deals. It wasn't long after this news that EA finally announced a new college football game.

This brings me to the big, fat, ugly, elephant in the room: the micro-transaction-fueled, pay-to-win, competitive Ultimate Team game mode.

What EA has now, that they didn't have in 2015 or 2017, is the legal clearance to get the name and likeness of college athletes for use in Ultimate Team. The game apparently wasn't worth developing without rights to college player likenesses, and now that EA has those rights, the game is suddenly worth making. I firmly believe that EA is making this game because they want to sell virtual trading cards with pictures of college football stars on them. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And if you don't think they'll do it, I would like to remind you that NCAA Football 14 did have an Ultimate Team mode. I never played it, and the servers have been offline for a while now, so I can't play it now to tell you how it is or how it was. I believe that since EA didn't have the rights to contemporary player likenesses, they had to populate the Ultimate Team card packs with historic, graduated college players -- most of which were already in Madden, and so EA had the rights to their likenesses.

NCAA 14 had an Ultimate Team mode that used graduated players.

I believe that EA is not bringing back college football video games because of consumer demand, or because of the popularity of college football, or because of a desire to make a better football game than Madden. I firmly believe that the only reason that EA Sports College Football exists is to serve as a vehicle for some version of Ultimate Team. And that has me very worried that the pay-to-win online game mode will get the brunt of the resources while the sim-style Dynasty Mode will feel like little more than an afterthought -- the same way that Madden's Franchise Mode has felt for years.

If we're lucky, EA will also want a strong single-player Dynasty experience to garner favorable reviews and to attract fans of the old games long enough to maybe get some of them addicted to Ultimate Team. So I suspect that they will put effort into Dynasty Mode -- at least for the first year or two, anyway. After that, they will probably be able (and perfectly willing) to coast on the bare minimum effort for Dynasty. We just have to hope that the Dynasty Mode is already really good before EA loses interest in continuing to support and expand it.

Cautious optimism

I don't want to leave on a total downer. Despite my cynical certainty that Ultimate Team is the motivation for making the game in the first place, I am still confident that there will be enough pressure on EA to make a decently-compelling Dynasty Mode in order to get good reviews, positive customer reception, and as little controversy as possible. They don't want a repeat of the Star Wars Battlefront II fiasco. Releasing a college football game that is seen by the public as a shameless cash grab, or worse yet, seen as trying to sell unregulated gambling to children, would bring the Ultimate Teams of FIFA and Madden into the critical spotlight as well -- even moreso than with the loot boxes of Battlefront II because there will be a much more direct connection between each game's Ultimate Team modes. Even though selling unregulated gambling to children is exactly what EA is doing, and these games should have an Adults Only rating for that reason alone, the general public doesn't seem to see Ultimate Team as anything more nefarious than buying packs of trading cards, and it is in EA's best interests to make this game look as innocent and wholesome as is possible.

EA Sports titles should have "Adults Only" ESRB ratings
due to Ultimate Team selling unregulated gambling.

EA also will have been developing this game for at least 2 years by the time it releases, and it will have the benefit of being able to be built on the engine or code base of Madden (for better or worse), which means that it likely won't feel like a half-finished rush-job that was slapped together in a few months, the way that some of Madden's Franchise "upgrades" have felt.

So I am cautiously optimistic that EA Sports College Football will be good. If EA and Tiburon were able to identify the same strengths and weaknesses of NCAA 13 and 14, and put in the time and money to make a game that takes the best ideas of both, while minimizing the problems with either, then it's very possible that we could be looking at a sports gaming instant classic., with a Dynasty Mode that is deep, robust, and rewarding, but also one that is full of character and of humanity.

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