NFL retirees are unhappy that Electronic Arts used their likenesses and stats in Madden NFL 09 without paying for the rights to do so. The game didn’t include the old-timer’s names in order to run the end around on licensing fees, the class-action lawsuit alleges. EA also changed the players’ numbers for an extra layer of protection.
IGN quotes the lawsuit:
“The only significant detail that EA changes from the real-life retired NFL players is their jersey number. Despite EA’s ‘scrambling’ of the retired NFL players’ numbers, the games are designed so that consumers of the Madden NFL video game franchise will have no difficulty identifying who the ‘historic’ players are.”
This is not the first time EA has been tackled in such a manner. Former college athletes are fighting an ongoing lawsuit with EA on similar grounds.