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Report: EA Sports to give up exclusive rights to NCAA football games

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

The tradition of picking up your copy of EA Sports NCAA Football every summer could be changing in the future.

According to a report from Gamespot.com, EA Sports has agreed to give up its exclusive rights to college football video games for five years.

According to attorneys representing consumers in a class-action antitrust lawsuit over EA's exclusive hold of multiple football league licenses, the publisher has agreed to a proposed settlement that would commit it to going at least five years without NCAA Football exclusivity, as well as paying out a potential $27 million to wronged customers.

Under the terms of the settlement, EA will let its current agreement with the NCAA lapse in 2014, and will not renew it for at least five years.

As far as paying out money to "wronged customers," if you bought a copy of NCAA Football to play on your Gamecube, Playstation 2 or XBox, you may be entitled to $6.79 per game you purchased. For current generation platforms like the Playstation 3, consumers could be entitled to $1.95 per game.

So if you've kept your old copies of the games just lying around the house collecting dust, they might have more value than just being used as coasters.

As for what this news means for the future of college football video games, it may make the experience better. Competition between companies will lead to a better product overall as each company will be competing for their stake in the same market share.

So some of those glitches that have long plagued the NCAA Football franchise might actually be addressed.

This change could also lessen the impact buying these games has on your wallet. A copy of NCAA Football 13 on Playstation 3 or XBox currently costs $60. If another company starts manufacturing a college football game it may do so at a reduced price as a method to increase sales. Which is a move EA Sports might have to respond to with its own price decrease.

In other words, whether or not you ever decide to play a college football franchise other than EA Sports', this decision will likely only mean good things for you.

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