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EXTRA POINTS INVESTIGATES: Will you be able to eat the Pop-Tarts Bowl mascot in EA Sports College Football 25?

I asked around. Here's what I've learned.

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

I’m still technically on vacation until Monday, and I don’t normally publish newsletters in the evening unless I have a compelling reason.

But Extra Points isn’t just a newsletter about NIL best practices, conference realignment, TV valuations, and labor law. It’s also a newsletter for the people.

So when I get a chance to do the people’s business, well, you publish as soon as you can.

As a nation of college football weirdos celebrated the ending of the Pop-Tarts Bowl, a game where the winning team got to eat the actual mascot, one burning question was left unanswered.

Will we be able to eat the Pop-Tarts Bowl mascot in EA Sports College Football 25, the return of the much-beloved video game franchise, scheduled to release this summer?

An official spokesperson for the Pop-Tarts Bowl confirmed that bowl representatives authorized EA Sports to license the bowl’s intellectual property. However, the spokesperson stressed that the agreement the Pop-Tarts folks agreed to was the standard, boilerplate agreement given to all bowl games, not anything unique about say, the ability to devour a mascot in a cutscene.

“I don’t yet know how they plan to integrate our IP, but I can only hope the opportunity exists for Strawberry to compete in mascot mode or for a virtual PTB to end with a virtually-edible mascot,” said the spokesperson.

EA has not, as of this publication date, reached out to the Pop-Tarts Bowl specifically about bowl mascot IP.

Unrelated, a bowl spokesperson also wanted to tell me that a) they read our story about potentially turning the Pop-Tarts Bowl Trophy into an actual working toaster, and b) earlier trophy designs did include some sort of lever to allow the pastries to move up and down. Will toast-making be a feature for next year? To be determined.

So the game itself will be in the game, but we don’t know if the mascot and accompanying self-sacrifice ceremony will be included…yet.

Sources familiar with the video game’s development have told me that as one might expect, many EA Sports employees were out of the office over the holidays, and are just returning now, so nobody should read into anything yet, re: the lack of bowl mascot meetings or paperwork.

However, I am told that historically, EA Sports has not included bowl mascots in previous editions of the game, even though several of those mascots (like say, the Famous Idaho Potato, or Fryin’ Nanni) have gone viral or won fans among developers. One reason for this is that bowl game sponsors change regularly, and developers are reluctant to dedicate limited animator resources to assets that might need to be scrapped a few months after release. The Pop-Tarts Bowl itself, after all, was recently the Cheez-It Bowl, the Camping World Bowl, and the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Of course, just because something hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t ever be done. And since much of the development for EA Sports College Football is based in Orlando, and since the company has long had a relationship with Florida Citrus Sports, perhaps the timing and location are right for the two sides to figure something out quickly.

Tl; DR: I feel confident in stating that the Pop-Tarts Bowl, as a postseason entity, will be in the video game. The extent to which various Pop-Tart sacrifice rituals will also be in the game, I believe, is still TBA.

I reached out to an official EA Sports spokesperson for comment, but did not receive a response by press time. Should that change, I’ll update this newsletter.

Before you tweet and/or email me other questions about the video game….check this link first.

I wrote a summary of all of the major things I’ve learned about the development of EA Sports College Football back in November, from what I’ve learned about the assets schools have submitted, to when the game is coming out, and more.

Before anybody asks, I do believe there is a good chance the world will hear some sort of official communication from EA about the video game before the end of the national championship game between Michigan and Washington, but I do not believe “some sort of official communication” will include a full gameplay trailer, and would encourage fans to keep their expectations modest. Multiple sources with direct familiarity with the project’s development have told me to expect more official communication as we move into the Spring, as more of the project is finalized.

Once I learn something concrete, I promise to share it with all of you here. If you want to make sure that you can read all of my coverage, not just on video game development projects, but everything else I write about, be sure to subscribe to Extra Points here.

We’ll return to our regular publishing schedule first thing Monday morning. Thanks for reading everybody.

If you’d like to buy ads on Extra Points OR in ADS3000, good news! They’re affordable, and we still have openings for this year. Drop me a line at [email protected]. If you have news tips or FOIAs you want to share, I’m at [email protected]. Otherwise, I’m at [email protected], @MattBrownEP on Twitter, @ExtraPointsMB on Instagram, and @MattBrown on Bluesky

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