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College football players can begin opting in to EA Sports College Football 25 Thursday, EA Sports vice president of business development Sean O'Brien confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. Each athlete that allows EA Sports to use their name, image and likeness will receive $600 and a free copy of the game -- which is valued at at least $60 -- in return. 

That will give over 11,000 players around the nation the chance to appear in one of the most anticipated sports video game releases in recent memory. The athletes can appear in all editions of the game moving forward unless they choose to opt out. 

"We feel very proud that we'll be the largest program, likely the highest-spending program," EA Sports vice president of business development Sean O'Brien told ESPN. "And really an inclusive opportunity with an equitable distribution of funds across the board."  

EA Sports will also offer other opportunities to promote its brand and the video game, with further financial incentives involved. ESPN notes that EA plans on using men's and women's athletes from other sports to promote the game. 

All 134 FBS schools have agreed to appear in the game at launch, and many have already worked with EA Sports to include university specific assets, including crowd noise and fight songs. FCS schools will not be present in EA Sports College Football 25's initial launch. 

EA Sports got the hype train rolling once more last week when it revealed a teaser trailer promising that its long-awaited college football release will launch this summer. The company once produced the college football game annually, but the series came to an abrupt stop in 2013 when an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The NCAA's decision to reform its NIL policy in 2021 opened the door for college-related video games to return, and EA Sports almost immediately pounced on the opportunity to bring back one of its most valuable properties.