EA Sports College Football 25 will include Notre Dame

One of the biggest questions surrounding the new EA Sports College Football game now has an answer: Notre Dame will be in the game.

The "will it or won't it" back-and-forth of the school allowing its markings to be used in the game had been a discussion for almost two years since the video game company announced it was going to restart the popular franchise, in part because of the school's feelings toward name, image and likeness rules.

On Tuesday, Notre Dame said it will participate in the game, which is expected to come out this summer.

"After nearly two years of work with EA Sports, we're proud to announce that our fans around the world will be able to play as the Fighting Irish in the upcoming College Football franchise," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. "The work that EA Sports is doing to provide over 11,000 college student-athletes opportunities to benefit directly from their name, image and likeness is a first-of-its-kind undertaking and we're proud to have been involved in the process."

In its statement about including the Irish, EA Sports said Notre Dame has been "an outstanding partner" throughout the addition process. "We've been working closely with Notre Dame, and hundreds of other institutions, to authentically represent their programs, their traditions, and unique atmospheres -- from stadiums to mascots to the name, image and likeness of athletes. Notre Dame has been an outstanding partner, and we're honored to bring the Blue & Gold to life in College Football 25."

Notre Dame's initial hesitancy about allowing the school to be used in the game surrounded the NIL questions back in 2021 -- nearly three years ago when the landscape of NIL was much cloudier and EA Sports had not finalized a plan for athletes to benefit from being in the game.

NIL has since been woven into the college sports landscape, allowing athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness being used, a development that helped ensure that Notre Dame will be in the new EA Sports game.

EA Sports College Football 25 will be the first college football game by the company since 2013, when NCAA Football 14 was released with then-Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson on the cover.