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SBD/July 9, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
MLS Fans Have Chance To Select All-Star Player Through "FIFA 13" Game Action
Published July 9, 2013
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MISSING IN ACTION: An EA spokesperson yesterday said that former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez “has been removed” from both “NCAA Football 14” and “Madden NFL 25.” Hernandez' image briefly appeared online yesterday prior to today's release of "NCAA Football," but he “only showed up temporarily because of the timing involved” in publishing the game. The spokesperson said, "We made a decision to remove Aaron Hernandez from ‘Madden NFL 25’ and ‘NCAA Football 14.’ Because ‘NCAA Football 14’ was finalized prior to our decision, Hernandez' image still appears in the Nike Skills Trainer. ... The image of Hernandez will be removed via a Title Update in the near future." CBSSPORTS.com’s Will Brinson noted EA execs are “going to have Hernandez out of the NFL version of the game by the time it's released.” He “wouldn't be on a roster anyway,” but the “smart move for EA is to simply remove him completely” (CBSSPORTS.com, 7/8). EA Sports Communications Specialist Brad Hilderbrand said, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time we’ve ever had to remove a player from the game. When the news came out, he was removed.” Hilderbrand added that the title update “including the removal of Hernandez’ image requires the approval of gaming console makers Microsoft and Sony, because the game’s artwork was finalized before his arrest last month” (BOSTON HERALD, 7/9). CBS Sports Network’s Doug Gottlieb said, “I don’t think EA Sports was left with a choice. I do think it shows they're ability to react on the fly and pivot right before this game is set to be released” (“Lead Off,” CBS Sports Network, 7/8).
IT'S REALLY IN THE GAME: In N.Y., Chris Suellentrop in an Arts section cover story discusses the ongoing Ed O'Bannon lawsuit and notes it began as a dispute among former college athletes, the NCAA and EA "over whether players deserve to be paid for the use of their likenesses in games like NCAA Football 14 from EA Sports." Suellentrop: "Sports games will always be with us, no matter what happens with the lawsuit against the NCAA. Next month, the 25th anniversary edition of Madden NFL will be released, and no lawsuit is going to force that juggernaut to retire. ... But if the lawsuit succeeds, one day a father in Alabama may want to show his children what the sport looked like before everything changed. In that moment, an Xbox 360, a controller and a copy of NCAA Football 14 -- part historical documentary, part deranged-fan wish fulfillment -- may be the best exhibit in evidence" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/9).