It isn’t just former college football players upset with video-game maker Electronic Arts for using their likenesses in games without getting paid for it: A federal appeals court judge has just given another lawsuit against EA the go-ahead, this one brought by former NFL players who are ticked off that EA used their avatars in the Madden NFL series without proper compensation.
For a decade, fans of EA’s wildly popular Madden NFL video games have been able to try the game out for a couple of weeks before its release via demo versions made available on Xbox and Playstation consoles. But in an apparent effort to get people to sign up for its new $5/month EA Access service — currently only available on Xbox One — the video game publisher (and two-time Worst Company In America winner) doing away with the publicly available demo and instead dangling the carrot of being able to play the game fives days early through Access. [More]
Electronic Arts (aka our Worst Company In America winner) has settled a lawsuit alleging that it was overcharging for some of its most popular sports titles, including Madden NFL as well as NCAA Football and Arena Football games. But while the settlement restricts EA’s ability to sign exclusive deals with the NCAA and Arena Football, it appears its Madden Monopoly on NFL titles will march on intact.
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.