Video Game giant Electronic Arts’ trademark sloagan for their sports titles is: “It’s in the game.” Now, EA appears to be under a class action lawsuit for not letting competitors “in the game” by monopolizing what the Plaintiffs in the case call the “interactive football software” market.
“Electronic Arts has driven its competition out of the market for interactive football software, including most significantly Take Two Interactive Software, Inc., the maker of interactive football software title NFL 2K5 and has prevented additional competitors from entering the market.”
The Plantiffs in the case claim that EAs agressive negotiation of exclusive rights with the National Football League (NFL), National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA), National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), and Arena Football League (AFL) has led to an EA monopoly of football video games that violates California law and has allowed EA to force a 70% price increase on consumers of it’s Madden NFL video game title.
So what? Well, according to court documents, if you’ve purchased Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or Arena Football League titles between Jan 1, 2005 and the present you’re “in the game” as part of the class action lawsuit against Electronic Arts.
An email sent to me by the legal team representing the Plantiffs informs those who have purchased any of these EA games in the time span that unless you opt out of the suit, “you will be bound by the court’s rulings in the lawsuit, including any final Settlement or Judgment.”
Electronic Arts denies any wrong doing. However, for a software franchise that has sold more than 85 million copies this wide-reaching legal action has gone from virtual to reality.
If interested, you can learn more about the case at www.easportslitigation.com.