EA settles Madden monopoly lawsuit

Saturday, 21st July 2012 21:22 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

A class-action lawsuit claiming EA Sports’ exclusive on the NFL football license constitutes an illegal monopoly has been finalized.

What this means, is that consumers who purchased a Madden product from EA between 2005 and today on PS3, Wii or Xbox 360, they can get $1.95 back as part of the suit. If it’s a Madden game for GameCube, PS2, or Xbox, they can get $6.79.

The lawsuit also puts a five-year ban on an exclusive license between EA Sports and the NCAA once the current contract expires in 2014. The last NCAA football game released by a company other than EA was Sega’s College Football 2K3 10 years ago. EA can sign any non-exclusive deal with the NCAA after 2014.

EA Sports also can’t sign any exclusive licensing contracts with the Arena Football League for five years.

The lawsuit, Pecover vs. Electronic Arts, was filed in July 2008 and claimed the NFL license not only allowed EA to raise game prices by 70%, but killed off the NFL 2K series, and any other football game based on US football based around real teams – forcing consumers to only purchase EA Sports video game products.

EA is setting aside $27 million for the suit.

Thanks, Kotaku.



  1. SlayerGT

    Wow. Where do i get my money?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Stephany Nunneley

    I know, right? :D :D


    (those who get the reference get infinity rep points from me)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. SlayerGT

    Damn I can’t place it Steph. I’m apparently untitled to $8.74. Which is nice. I’ll be able to pick up last years Madden used from gamestop and have a buck twenty five left! ;P

    #3 2 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    This is great ruling. EA has been steping all over this issue for a long time. Too long. Really glad to read this, if for nothing then a moral victory.

    Kind of hoping we can get some proper american football games now.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Giskard

    @4 Nobody will have the money to fork out for the deals. EA still have a more refined game, they just need to do minor adjustments for between each game and they’re set. Other companies need to develop from scratch.

    Nah, EA will still have a monopoly. Just a legal one.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OlderGamer

    Prolly right Giskard. Sadly.

    I did really like the 2K football games. I am hoping we get some more of them.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    I am with Giskard here. If someone gets the license they will have to start from scratch which will only allow for 1-2 games learning how to do things all over game when EA has this done to a formula. When EA gets back it will be next gen and people will be craving for a new NFL or NCAA game that is properly done right.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. SlayerGT

    @7 You’re right Phoenix, it will be next gen. But all that means is that everyone will kinda be starting from scratch. And if someone (like 2K) were gonna take a run at making an NFL game after hearing this news, who’s to say they can’t start gearing up tomorrow? Shit it might even benefit them as they won’t have only a year to develope it. In theory they could get caught right up or even surpass what Tiburon is capable of doin. Should be interesting to say the least.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Phoenixblight


    It takes at least 6 months to get a studio up and running with motion capture. Not to say they have to get an engine going too.

    Btw EA has 3 studios handling the EA sports franchises one of them being in Austin Texas. EA has been doing it for so long its formulaic and their engine they have it so that it can scale with hardware so even when next gen they don’t have to start from scratch. Where 2k or whomever has to since they haven’t been doing it for multiple years and have closed down studios because they stopped that franchise.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dragon246

    Competition is always good, now if only this kind of ruling also comes in soccer , then we can have a real fight between pes and fifa.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    True PB, but 2K has a healthy line of other US sports too. I am very much looking forward to what they might be able to do. 2K has put out both NFL and Collage titles before. And I really enjoyed them.

    Tbh, i think EA got off lite. They set aside 27million, yet they surely raked in far more while owning the death grip on the market.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. IL DUCE

    @2 that would be the paperboy in Better Off Dead

    But yeah this suit is pointless…no one makes football games better than EA and not many people will buyy NFL 2K over Madden as was proven in the past by Madden killing off NFL 2K w/o even trying…just like no one besides 2K makes basketball games anymore because the NBA 2K series killed off NBA Live/Elite even though EA is attempting to make yet another comeback with a new NBA Live but it will likely flop and put EA making basketball games to an end…plus no one besides shitty 2K makes MLB games for the 360 I for one would like to see someone else’s take on a baseball game on the x box

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Uncontested

    Sony puts out a superior baseball product on PS3.. Wouldn’t be hard for someone to do the same on Xbox.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    Sony used to make a NFL football game too if I recall. I kind of doubt either MS or Sony will do that because they don’t want to step on EAs toes. But how awesome would a new Tecmo game be? I would buy it.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. AlchemyFire

    EA, I’m just saying…

    #15 2 years ago

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