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Thanks for Nothing Electronic Arts

A grizzly bear wandering through the Columbus Zoo
This bear is my spirit animal, and it's not happy with EA either.

Over the past several months, my son and I have been playing NCAA Football 14 on an Xbox 360 I've had for several years. He shares my love for college football, specifically The Ohio State Buckeyes, and it's been a great way to pass the time as we wait for the next iteration of NCAA Football that is coming out this July.

The reason it's such a big deal goes back to a lawsuit that made NCAA Football 14 the final installment in the annual series until now. At the time that game came out he was not quite 3 years old, and I remember thinking how disappointing it was that I wouldn't be able to play these great games with him in the future without some major legal hurdles being overcome.

I've never been a huge gamer, but I did grow up with a variety of games and love to go back from time to time for nostalgia's sake. I even sold my old console, and the physical copy I had of NCAA Football 14 along with it, when money was tight and I knew it was only collecting dust. The Xbox 360 and copy of the game I have today were bought a couple of years later, and I've held onto them for the past 6 or so years, playing once in a while but mostly just hanging on as my son aged and I reached a point in my life where gaming was important again.

Over the past year or so, he's gotten into playing a lot of games. I gave him my Xbox One and set him up with Gamepass, and like any teen boy he's invested hours into playing games. When he asked me to play along with him, I knew it was time to pull out the Xbox 360 and boot up NCAA Football together. We started a franchise, each picking our own team (not Ohio State because we agreed we both wanted that job and figured it would be more fair for them to offer one of us the job), and we started playing on a pretty regular basis.

We play other games as well.

Everything from WWE 2K23 on PC to Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 (a game which he didn't realize I'd played for hours on and far outranked him the first time we played together), and even Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (a game I played as a kid with my brothers). And we were both super excited to upgrade our college football experience in July to a new game.

Then the news that it would only be releasing on newer consoles came out.

Like many families, money is tight for us at the moment. Just shelling out the $70 for NCAA Football 25 would be stretching things, but it was doable, and I'd worked it into the budget. The problem is that the newest console we have is the aforementioned Xbox One S, and NCAA Football 25 is only releasing on the Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 5. This effectively means that to even get the chance to play the game, we'd need to shell out $300+ minimum for a new console AND the $70 for the game (plus tax).

This obviously isn't the end of the world, and really boils down to the ultimate first world problem. There are people all over the world starving, so not being able to play a video game isn't the worst thing at the end of the day. But the disappointment is still there.

EA could have released the game on PC, even older consoles. This is something within their power. Yet they're choosing not to do this. They are shutting out a whole collection of fans, like my son and I, who were looking forward to playing an updated college football game together.

I'm hoping that we'll be able to work something out by the holidays and pick up a newer console with NCAA Football 25, but the fact that we can't play it on the consoles/PC when it comes out is incredibly frustrating. He was more disappointed than I was, but just having the chance to play games together is something we still treasure.

He turns 14 this year and starts high school in the fall, so every moment counts, and I try to be the dad I didn't have. If nothing else, this moment is kind of a wakeup call about how much the things we do together matter.

I honestly just wanted to rant about this a bit on here because it's one of those things that no one is really gonna to see or care about online. It's kind of a moment in time, capturing how I'm feeling about a specific topic. Maybe one day he'll read this blog, get this far and see how much it mattered to me that we got the time to play these games together.

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