EA Losing NCAA Exclusive Rights Presents a Positive Opportunity
Should a proposed settlement to a lawsuit against Electronic Arts be approved, the publisher would no longer be the only one allowed to create games using the NCAA license for at least a five-year period. This will come as welcome news to those hoping to see another developer get a crack at making a college football game, something this settlement would make into a real possibility. At the same time, this doesn’t ensure that future iterations of EA Sports’ NCAA Football will suddenly be faced with any serious competition.
A lawsuit first filed on June 5, 2008 has morphed into a class action suit that now has a settlement awaiting court approval. EA is accused of violating antitrust laws with its exclusive agreements with the National Football League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Arena Football League which made it the only company with the right to create games using these respective licenses (including their teams and players). This also included the matter of price fixing, as EA allegedly forced a premium upon consumers with the Madden series following its acquisition of the NFL’s exclusive rights, a move which came on the heels of competitor ESPN NFL 2K5 being sold for $ 19.99 (rather than $ 49.99).
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