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Okay, let's talk about the EA Sports College Football 25 trailer and what comes next

Let's peek at the newsmakin' sausage for a second

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

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Writing for the Extra Points audience can be tricky, because so many of you read this publication for different reasons. Thousands and thousands of you read Extra Points for my original reporting and analysis of the college athletics industry…the type of folks who will want to read about FCS AD interviews, or sustainable NIL fundraising efforts, or legal analysis of labor law.

And other folks are really just here to talk about the college sports video game.

And that’s cool! For this newsletter…let me talk to the video game people.

As I’m sure all of you know by now, EA finally released an update on the development of EA Sports College Football 25. That update included a refresh of the brand Twitter account, complete with new logo:

And the release of a short commercial, highlighting many mascots, uniforms, and in-game assets.

We’ll get to the content of the video in a second. But first, let me peel back the curtain, and explain about what I knew, what I reported, and what comes next.

Here’s what I reported…and why what I reported didn’t exactly happen

Over the weekend, I started getting DMs and text messages from folks I know who work in external relations and licensing at power conference athletic departments. These are the type of people that I’ve gotten to know not just from filing a billion FOIAs, but as sources in other industry stories I write. These messages were telling me to watch for an update on the game on Feb 15.

Specifically, I was told that while EA was going to make a small update themselves, each school was also going to share a customized version of the EA Sports College Football 25 iconography, in their own school colors, to signify that school’s public participation in the game.

I verified this information with three separate officials at three completely different power conference schools. I felt like three different people was enough sourcing to tweet this on Sunday:

On Wednesday afternoon, I got a text from a source tied to a completely different school, suggesting that plans had changed and that the schools were going to share graphics later next week. I was not able to confirm that with anybody at EA or at any of the original three schools, so I didn’t tweet anything.

I’m going to be honest. I didn’t know EA was going to drop the commercial on Thursday.

One thing I’ve learned now from tracking this project’s development very closely is that sometimes, plans can change around EA very quickly. When I wrote that EA Sports was going to move the publication date of the game to 2024, I shared the text of what I was told would be EA’s public release…but the actual published release did not include that message. When 247 Sports reported that EA planned to share information about the game around the CFB National Title game… I now believe 247’s information was accurate. The plans just changed.

I don’t believe anybody actually shared the specific social media imagery I was expecting. But several school accounts did essentially confirm their participation in the game, just with different graphics. We’ll see if there ends up being a more coordinated effort on the school side to promote their game participation in the coming days…but I’ll stand by my reporting that such a plan was the original intention.

I’m not going to take any victory lap here or anything, because I didn’t think there was going to be a commercial, and what was actually shared wasn’t exactly what I had been led to expect. But this time around, since fans got more they expected…at least nobody is screaming at me over the internet.

That’s a welcome development.

So, what else can you add about the commercial?

I laughed out loud when I saw it for the first time, because it is very clear that the folks at EA read your tweets, look at Reddit, and follow the conversation around the game online. They’re very aware that there are a ton of people who stubbornly insisted that the game didn’t exist, and in the absence of more hard-and-fast information, rumors proliferate.

The final text of the trailer reads “yeah, it’s really happening”. I’m told that previous versions of this trailer were even more wink-and-nod to the internet, with one version reading something to the effect of “please leak this trailer.”

Now, I don’t think there’s a ton of hard news in the trailer. The video shows all kinds of stadium animations, mascot renderings, depictions of campus traditions, and various uniforms and helmets. Basically, that’s the exact stuff I’ve been filing FOIAs over and reporting on for the last two years. If you guys have been reading Extra Points, you already knew the plan was to put that kind of stuff in the game.

But it does look cool! Here are a few images the EA communications team provided, in case you haven’t seen them:

via EA Sports

via EA Sports

and one more:

ew, gross.

The tweet says “full reveal in May.” What does that mean?

When I have spoken to staffers at EA over the last few months about communications timelines, the timeline that has regularly been given to me was that EA planned to share more with the world “in late Q1”, and then share more and more information as we crept closer to the summer release.

At this time, I don’t know if this trailer and tweet constitutes all the information EA plans to release themselves before May, but I certainly intend to continue to make phone calls and ask questions from now until then, and I’m sure my colleagues in the industry will do as well.

The plan is still for EA to release the game in “summer”…i.e…not May.

I’ll share more hard and fast information as I get it. If you, athletic department official, would like to leak something about the game, my tips line is [email protected].

Before I get to the rest of the newsletter, I have a quick favor to ask…

If you enjoy Extra Points, would you mind emailing me a one-sentence testimonial that I could use on promotional graphics? We’re about to start some #rebranding efforts of the Extra Points webpage and various social networks, and a few testimonials (especially from industry folks, other reporters, etc.) would go a long way. I don’t think I have a particularly compelling prize or bribe, but if you’re okay with me using your name and a few words about you enjoying the newsletter, I’d really appreciate that. My email is [email protected]

Hey, did you know I also wrote a ton of stuff this week that has nothing to do with video games?

It’s true!

In the coming days, I’m working on stories about how basketball teams actually feed their players, the potential growth (and challenges) facing collegiate rugby, eligibility changes in collegiate hockey, benefits and risks of athletic fundraising via private equity, updating Athletic Director Simulator 4000, hopefully hiring an outbound sales specialist, and much, much more.

You can support Extra Points by making sure you’re subscribed. Free subscribers get two newsletters a week, while paid subscribers get four newsletters, and access to ADS4000. You can upgrade for just eight bucks a month or $75 for the year.

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This newsletter is also brought to you in part by Wolverine Studios and Draft Day Sports College Basketball 2024:

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Thanks for reading, everybody. I’ll see you in your inbox on Monday.

If you’d like to buy ads on Extra Points OR in ADS4000, good news! We have a few unsold slots left for March. 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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