For the first time since 2009, college teams will be available for use in video games, only the way they can be used will be different than in the past.
ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell has confirmed that NBA 2K has secured licenses for at least 10 college teams. A previous search of the Collegiate Licensing Company’s database listed 11 schools as having granted licenses to 2K: Arizona, Arizona State, Connecticut, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Texas, UCLA, Villanova and Wisconsin.
The lawsuit that Ed O’Bannon filed back in 2009 strictly pertains to the likenesses of the athletes, not to the jerseys and logos owned by the university themselves. In other words, this would make sense if the game allows you to play as a specific team so long as the players on that team are fictional.
The working theory seems to be that this means that NBA 2K’s ‘MyPlayer’ mode — which allows the user to create a player and play as that character throughout an entire career — will matriculate through the college ranks. More simply, if I wanted to create myself in the game, I could enroll at UConn, crush the fictional competition for a year or two and then enter the NBA Draft.
If true, that sounds like a pretty awesome idea.