• Extra Points
  • Posts
  • EA Sports College Football 25 MAILBAG: Your questions, answered:

EA Sports College Football 25 MAILBAG: Your questions, answered:

From weather to customization, feature removals and future games and more:

Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.

I’ve spent the last few days deep in the weeds with EA Sports College Football 25 coverage. I dropped two deep-dives on my observations of the game’s presentation, gameplay and key feature sets (Dynasty and Road to Glory). These observations came from me playing the game for a few hours and discussing the project with several developers last week.

But many, many of you had other questions. I can’t possibly answer all of them, but I did want to try and get through a few of the most common questions before this publication shifts to writing other topics that have nothing to do with this particular video game…at least for a little while.

Extra Points reader Eric asks:

Let me try to approach this from a few different levels.

First, the player likeness contract that EA sent to each current college athlete was explicitly just for licensing their likeness for EA Sports College Football 25. If you export a player or draft class to Madden, then that real player’s likeness is being used in two games. Licensing a player for two games will require two payments and two contracts. EA elected not to do that for this year, and to comply with those licensing agreements, that means they needed to restrict some exporting and customization capability.

I haven’t gotten or read an official company line on when online dynasty cross play could potentially be added in the future. The unofficial line I’ve heard is that the technological process to support cross play is complicated and resource intensive, especially to do it correctly at scale. I believe it is possible that this feature could be added later in the game’s lifecycle, but I can’t say for certain.

A lot of reader questions were centered on why certain features were not included, or not implemented a certain way. I can’t speak to the specifics of every situation, of course, but keeping this principle in mind may help.

An expression I’ve heard several times from software developer types (in games and elsewhere) is, no matter how many people are involved, it still takes nine months to make a baby. This means that there are some problems that can’t be solved just with money or manpower…at some point, throwing more employees at a problem just makes things take longer, because then you need more managers, overhead and training. Some technical projects require more time than money.

In sports video game development, publishers often do not have the luxury of time. Even now, before CFB25 is released, staffers are having meetings about next year’s video game. For this title, the EA team did have more time, and have been working on the project for more than three years…time that they’ve largely spent building the infrastructure to help support not just this year’s release, but future releases.

It will be easier to add features to a game that already has a strong digital architecture, than one that rushed or half-assed in an attempt to check certain boxes by the ship date. If there are things not in this game that you might have wanted (mascot mode, classic game mode, a different RTG experience, etc) part of that reason is because the company wanted to focus more energy on building the tools and architecture to support the game in the future.

Was this always the right call? I dunno, I only played the game for like, three hours. But I can at least understand the argument.

This newsletter is brought to you in part by GenTeal Apparel

If you want to look great on the course, the lake or happy hour, check out the new additions at GenTeal Apparel. Save some scratch on your next polo shirt, button-up, quarter zip and more by using promocode EXTRAPOINTS15.

Reader Bryan (and many others) asked

“Is the coin toss in the game?”

Strangely specific question, but you know what? It wasn’t in the build of the game that I played! I didn’t get this from an official comms person, but the EA folks I spoke to in Orlando told me that was simply because the build I was playing was unfinished, (it also didn’t have full rosters, completed ratings, every play or uniform, etc) and that it would be added in the future. So I expect there to be a coin toss, but I didn’t see it with my own two eyes.

Reader Alex, (and many, many others) asked

Is {such and such} stadium in the game? Even if it’s under construction?

So the best of my understanding is that every single FBS stadium is in the game except at Hawaii. Aloha Stadium was condemned back in 2020 and construction of a new stadium hasn’t started yet, so the Rainbow Warriors are playing in a temporary facility at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex. That name is licensed in the game, but the stadium is a generic build, not the 15,000-ish seat facility in real life.

There are a few other wrinkles. Northwestern officials told me they sent in photos/renderings of Ryan Field before it was blown up. Will the Wildcats play at a digital version of their lakefront temporary stadium next year? No idea. I was told that Kansas submitted assets for what their home stadium will look like post-renovations, as did Vandy, but I did not play at their stadiums to confirm that with my own eyes. I think a few of my colleagues did, though. Generally speaking, schools undergoing facility renovations had the option of sharing rendering info for their completed stadiums.

Beyond the FBS stadiums, I’m told both the old and new Cotton Bowl stadiums are in the game, as well as several NFL stadiums that serve as out of conference of bowl sites, such as Camping World Stadium (Pop-Tarts Bowl, NFL Pro Bowl), Allegiant Stadium (Vegas out-of-conference games, Raiders), NRG Stadium, etc. For Dynasty mode games scheduled at venues that EA did not render or own rights for (like say, Wrigley Field or Aviva Stadium), the games will be played at generic stadiums.

Related, but I do not believe users will have the ability to edit any of the specific stadiums. I don’t believe one could, for example, build an upper deck double the capacity at Dix Stadium after you win three championships in a row at Kent State.

Roughly 5000 people asked me some variation of

hey is this specific song or that specific song in the game?

Sadly, my answer to all of these, from Country Roads at WVU, to Grove Street Party at Kentucky, to whatever Notre Dame does at kickoff, to any number of other requests I’ve gotten, is I don’t know. I only played for a few hours, and didn’t even finish all four quarters of any particular game. I know what many schools submitted, thanks to me filing countless open records requests over the last two years, but that doesn’t tell me what EA actually included.

Several of my colleagues have noted that Jump Around and Enter Sandman do not appear in the game. I can’t speak to that specifically, since I did not play as Wisconsin or Virginia Tech.

Reader Nick (and many others) asked,

In recruiting for Dynasty mode, can you recruit multiple classes into the future, or is it one recruiting class per year? I.e, can I start to recruit sophmores and juniors?

Based on the information I was provided, I believe that it’s just one recruiting class per cycle. In real life, your staff would be making contact with some recruits prior to their senior year, but in this year’s game, the process will start their senior year. Between 4,000 recruits per class, and the transfer portal, I imagine most users will have their hands full without having to worry about next year’s recruits.

Reader Jesse, (and others) asked

Can you talk about the scoreboard TV network or scorebugs?

While multiple EA Sports personnel referred to ESPN as a “valued partner” in the development of the game, and while the game heavily uses ESPN broadcast talent for audio, there’s no ESPN iconography in the game itself, nor is there anything from FOX, CBS, etc. The scorebug has no broadcast network graphics. It’s kind of hard to describe it without being allowed to share a picture…its at the bottom of the screen and I can’t say it detracted from my playing experience in any way.

I think EA wanted their presentation experience to be uniquely their own for this title.

Several users also asked:

Does this game include dynamic weather?

I’m not sure I exactly know that means in this context. If it’s raining, you’re going to see splashes in the grass and turf, and it’s going to be harder to throw and hold on to the football. You see grass stains on uniforms over the course of a game. There are different weather options and they can impact the game’s presentation and gameplay…but I don’t think the weather is tied to like, actual conditions at the real life stadium at that exact moment or anything. If that’s the case, nobody mentioned it.

A gazillion other people asked me:

What sort of specific customization (rosters, equipment, postseason, conference realignent, etc) is permitted?

As far as conference realignment is concerned, we were told that users will be able to change conferences, as well as add user-generated teams (via TeamBuilder) into those conferences. Users cannot delete conferences, and if they are adding user-generated teams, they’ll need to replace an existing team. I think the future scheduling logic is hard-coded for the specific number of FBS programs currently in the game, just like in previous years.

Users will have the ability to change conference “rules” in Dynasty mode. Want the Big Ten to only play eight conference games? Want to protect an annual UCLA-Indiana game for some reason? Go for it. I was also told that if you change conferences, your new league’s logo will be represented in the stadium, jersey patches, etc.

I was also told that there’s some element of dynamic crowd size during Dynasty runs. If you’re taking over at a lousy low-major, don’t expect immediate sellout crowds…and your high-profile program takes a nosedive, expect a few more empty seats. The crowds I personally saw in Play Now mode were plenty full, but folks did ask about this during Dynasty presentations.

I plan to ask, but I legitimately don’t know the nitty-gritty specifics as to what level of customization will be permitted for NIL players (I have to assume it won’t be related to ratings), vs generic players (we were told users will have more options here, but more was not specifically defined). I know many people deeply care about mixing and matching equipment specifications, names, etc. I don’t know where the exact line is yet, nor do I have much in the way of Teambuilder specifics.

I am not 10000% sure, but I do not believe users will be able to edit the size of the College Football Playoff, and that the current selection rules, such as they exist, are coded into the game. That means that Notre Dame isn’t getting a first round bye (no conference title!), etc.

User Dirk asks

Are records kept and detailed? Can we try to break national and school related records?

My understanding from the presentations is that records are kept at the national, conference and school level in Dynasty and Road to Glory, giving you another benchmark to try and hit during your play.

This newsletter is brought to you by Teamworks:

Teamworks, the leading technology provider for collegiate athletic departments, will launch Teamworks Wallet this summer. Teamworks Wallet (“Wallet”) is a digital banking solution built specifically for athletic departments and student-athletes. Trusted by over 700 NCAA institutions and 1,000 elite sports organizations worldwide, Teamworks is uniquely positioned to deliver a centralized destination for student-athletes to receive, store, and spend their money.

At launch, Wallet will integrate with Teamworks Influencer to streamline NIL payments for student-athletes. This integration allows collectives, businesses, and donors to quickly transfer funds directly into student-athletes' Wallet accounts without incurring any fees from Teamworks.

Several users asked:

How will uniforms/rosters/ratings be updated during the season?

It’s my understanding that EA views CFB25 just like their other major AAA sports titles, in that the game is meant to be a dynamic “live service” that changes throughout the game’s lifecycle, rather than remaining a static product from launch.

A few months ago, multiple school-based sources told me they had already shared uniform designs with EA that were not public yet…and then shortly after they wore those uniforms in real life during the season, they could be added into the game. The mechanism is there for EA to update specific rosters, player ratings, even crowd “color-out” configurations, over the course of the season. I wouldn’t be shocked if some of the bigger crowd reaction memes find their way into the game in some capacity later in the year as well.

I can’t guarentee there’s a specific update cycle, but I believe it is fair to say that this is a game that will continue to “breathe” after July 19.

If I didn’t get to your question, I’m very sorry, but I got roughly a thousand of these between my DMs, mentions and email over the last few days, and there’s a good chance I missed it. Give some time to catch my breath (and work some phones) and I’ll try to answer more as we get closer to July 19.

Thanks for reading. I’ve got some other stories that have nothing to do with video games coming soon as well.

Join the conversation

or to participate.