Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

I've written a fair amount about the development process of the highly anticipated EA Sports College Football, slated to be released next summer. When I talk to students, do podcasts or YouTube interviews, or discuss the project online, perhaps the single most common question I get is something similar to "will this game actually be good?"

I understand the skepticism. Many fans have heavily criticized the Madden series over the last few years for gameplay issues, bugs, and a lack of single-player features. EA may have been the company that developed and published the beloved games in the series before, it's a different company and a different industry now.

Look, I pre-ordered Mass Effect: Andromeda. I get it. I would not say this is a company that automatically deserves the benefit of the doubt from every consumer.

A cynic might think that the upcoming College Football release will be a craven money-grab, one built to look as much as Madden as possible. only with more microtransactions.

I have not played EA Sports College Football yet, so I can't promise it will be an exceptional video game. I can't guarantee specific features, I don't know exactly how the AI will work, if the servers can handle online play without lags, or that recruiting will work exactly like you want it to. I want it to be good, but I can't promise that.

But after talking to people directly familiar with the game's development, as well as professionals in the licensing and tech world, I do feel comfortable saying this.

I really don't believe this is going to be a cynical Madden reskin.

Here's why, along with a few other tidbits I've picked up recently: