Economist Jeffrey MacKie-Mason says Electronic Arts’ NFL monopoly has cost gamers $926 million over the last four years. Because the game publisher has an exclusive deal with the NFL to use teams, stadiums and player likenesses, no competitor can line up on level ground, and thus EA can charge $60 for its Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game every year, GamePolitics reports:
MacKie-Mason arrived at the eye-popping figures using an estimated overcharge percentage that ranged from 50% to 66% for the 30.04 million units of Madden sold during the 2006-2009. He writes:
“When Take-Two was able to compete unhindered, Madden NFL’s competitive price was in the range of $19.95 to $29.95. I assume for this exercise that these would have been Madden’s prices but for the alleged [monopolistic] acts.”
MacKie-Mason’s reasoning may be flawed — after all, EA faces competition in its NBA and NHL titles yet still charges $60 — but I support his cause because it sucks that new Tecmo Bowl games aren’t allowed to simulate the Arizona Cardinals’ dominating air attack.
Economist: EA’s Madden Monopoly Cost Gamers Up To $926 Million [GamePolitics, via Kotaku]