Things Looking Worse for Defendants in Huge NCAA Player Likeness Lawsuit

Posted September 19th, 2012 at 10:45 am

An update today regarding the ongoing player likeness lawsuit against the NCAA, CLC, and Electronic Arts comes from who note some damning emails that could prove troublesome when the trial begins in 2013. 

The emails discuss some developments over the years including the period of time where EA Sports and the NCAA had initially agreed to allow actual player names to be used in their college football and basketball series. That, of course, never came about but the discussion of such a deal is what matters here.

The lawsuit is the culmination of two high profile filings that were combined as led by Sam Keller and Ed O’Bannon. It alleges improper use of player likeness through various forms of merchandise and media including video games in which the parties in question conspired to avoid paying players for their rights. Some interesting details and claims regarding the case at hand were revealed when EA was reentered as a defendant after initially being dismissed.

EA has won a previous case regarding player likeness with the courts ruling video games are artistic works rather than commercial speech and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court last year established forms of media, producing expressive works of art, are not subject to judgments based on incorporating someone’s name or likeness.

This consolidated case in California looks as though it will be going much further and ultimately be the determining factor of how the NCAA proceeds in the future handling broadcasting rights, merchandising, and video games. Should a negative result come down, which one analyst has pegged as being a potential loss of $1 billion for EA, it would likely not just end the NCAA Football series but also with it any realistic possibility of college sports games being made in the future. The trial is set to begin on March 11, 2013.

  • Galligaskins37


  • CSaintSwag

    this sucks.fck ed o’bannon,sam keller.fags,don’t fuck with my easports!!!

    • 49ersfan1


  • Keith.

    Hot damn…been saying all along this suit spells BIG trouble for EA. Couldn’t happen to a bigger group of a$$holes.

    • Congrats Keith, there’s a free box of shortbread cookies being sent to your residence as we speak. (We don’t provide Chocolate chip to dipshits.)

      • Keith.

        Don’t need any cookies. But if this leads to me getting a football game from someone other than Tiburon, I’ll gladly take it.

        • 655JR

          Foolish. Finding a way to get player names would make it more possible someone else makes a college football game. If this case goes against them there is no way anyone else is even going to try to make one.

          • Keith.

            If this case “goes against” EA, I don’t see them making another pro game either. A judgment anywhere close to $1B, and EA’s done.

          • Riposte

            So if it takes down EA it doesn’t matter if it ruins the ballpark for everyone else? That’s some nice thinking there mate.

          • Keith.

            For at least 8 years, EA has been the one “ruining” videogame football. If some one else can make a fully customizable game, and doesn’t have to worry about competing against EA, I’d hardly say it would “ruin” the ballpark for everyone else.

          • @disqus_BEL3K47yUc:disqus They wouldn’t allow a fully customizable game since people would edit in the real people. It would be a generic game with no edit boring.

          • Keith.

            See Backbreaker. With that game, I was able to use an all-time Steelers team that I had created, playing against a bunch of other user-created teams.

          • marshan3q

            Exactly… I even saw some people making NCAA teams in backbreaker.

          • marshan3q

            If the player is editing it no one can do anything about out…. all the developer is doing is providing the tools to allow the player to do really whatever they want. On, the “Gridiron Gamepak” is receiving funds that allows anyone to make their own football game with good graphics, 3d grass, physics, and custom branding.

          • Riposte

            Then that blows perhaps the biggest part of the playerbase out of the running. The casual fans who want to play with the people they know on day one. It’d really be a great world if everyone liked some of the more cult-games like Day Z or XBLA games but a good amount of fans, NFL or otherwise, still just walk into Gamestop and buy things based off the commercials they’ve seen or how cool stuff looks in-store. The Gridiron Gamepak would be great for the niche fanbase, but in terms of sales and getting the real groundbreaking stuff in terms of sports gaming, we still need AAA studios and this is the type of case that scares them off.

          • Riposte

            Then you didn’t read the post you bothered to reply to. As @c61fbd9048cb821cbd4bf7d450630eca:disqus said, there’s a high probability that this case might scare off potential players from making another college football if EA loses.

            Another thing I’ve noticed. It’s a widely held opinion that no competition is how sports games tank in quality, if that is the case, why are you so eager for EA to be taken out of the game? That would hurt the industry and sports gaming as a whole.

          • Harlem Knight

            I would gladly take a ruined ballpark in support of paying the “players”. If they deserve the money, then they should get it – regardless of how it affects me. We don’t have a right to other peoples free labor.

          • Keith.

            Amen. The NCAA and EA have unfairly profited off these guys enough over the years.

          • Harlem Knight

            At some point, during some major event (perhaps NCAA Tourny), the players should just stop, and sit and the court till somebody cuts a check. It’s really getting ridiculous.

          • Riposte

            That’s a very good point, but technically this isn’t over labor, it’s over likeness (which also isn’t free). I suppose not many of us, myself included, think of this as the dispute it is, and rather jump straight to the extreme conclusion.

        • Amen_Ra

          You really should be careful what you wish for. Backbreaker was trash and so was All-Pro football

          • Keith.

            See — I liked both of those games, and would welcome another football game from either 2k or Natural Motion.

        • Bill

          Do you think if EA is taken out because of this suit that there will be other football games? I’d rather have madden than no football game

          • Keith.

            If EA’s taken out by a huge judgment, the NFL license becomes wide open again. That might happen anyways, with or without a judgment in this particular suit.

          • Riposte

            Who do you think would pick up that title? I doubt that SCEA would be the best choice because Xbox fans would be dead in the water. 2K? Well it looks like they’ll be down to a single sport next year so I don’t think they’ll expand into it.

            The more and more you post, the less you seem like a sports gaming fan and the more you seem like an EA-Sports soothsayer.

          • Keith.

            Your thinking is backwards. Who says there would only be one title? If EA weren’t around to grossly overpay for the exclusive, my guess is we’d go back to the days when there were 4 or 6 competing football games on the market. I don’t remember there being anywhere near the number of unhappy football gamers back then as there are today.

            You can keep bringing that EA kool-aid around here all you want, but I’m never gonna buy it. If that makes me “less of a sports gaming fan” in your eyes, I could give two shits less.

          • Riposte

            That’s why there are 4 or 5 different NBA games right? Or the 6 or 7 soccer games? In fact, lets look at it like this.

            Soccer is a much more profitable game (as seen by how FIFA sells better than Madden) and yet there are only 2 games on the market? Maybe it’s because even without the license, the title which sells more in each iteration usually bullies the others out of competition to gain a monopoly over the sport.

            You don’t remember there being the number of unhappy football gamers back then as there are today, is most likely due to the advent of Amazon and the birth of casual message-boards and so on. Back then if a football game was bad, you talked with your friends about it, now you talk over the web and get to see more “horror stories.” Also, back in those days when were 4 or 6 football games, do you remember how terrible some of them were? We all remember NFL 2K5 and Madden 05 very well, but I’ve yet to see someone come on boasting about the quality of Gameday 99. Or how about NFL Fever? What about NFL Quarterback Club, remember how much fun you had with that one? Didn’t think so.

            I know you could give two shits less. You frequently ignore others points and make leaps of logic that are frankly, fucking crazy. Your “Die EA” spiel would be much more believable if you realized that the closure would hurt a bunch of studios just so you could get that NFL license.

            tl;dr: I’ll keep bringing the kool-aid to wash down all that shit your spewing.

          • Keith.

            I’m one of the guys who used to buy Gameday, Fever, QB Club and 2k. I love football, and each of those games used to bring something to the table that the others didn’t. Not sure why you weren’t on the internet back then, but I can assure you there were plenty of us talking about those games online, and not just with our friends as you suggest.

            8 years of shitty football games out of Tiburon are more than enough. Time for some more competent development studios to have a shot.

          • Riposte

            That fails to cover my points about the fact that even the most profitable sport doesn’t have multiple video games. I played QB Club and Fever, and I can tell you, they both paled in comparison to 2K and Madden. Gameday however, I remember well from the PSOne games as my go-to football game, but after that, it died.

            “8 years of shitty football games out of Tiburon are more than enough.”

            Guy, you didn’t even play Madden 13. That doesn’t mean you don’t get to complain or anything, it just makes that statement carry much less weight.

          • Keith.

            Football has always been king. Soccer? C’mon…this is the US. We don’t care about soccer. See the soccer article Pasta posted today? It had one comment last time I checked. NHL, golf, boxing, UFC, etc., barely ever get much more than that.

            I might’ve been exaggerating when I said 4-6 football games could exist in the same market. But a good 2 or 3 would be just fine by me.

          • Ryan

            Problem is the NFL is the one limiting it to just one game. So EA going down won’t change a damn thing.

          • Keith.

            Back before there was one company who was willing to grossly overpay for an exclusive license, the NFL sold the license to whoever wanted it, basically. If we go back to nobody being willing (or able) to grossly overpay, my guess is the NFL will have no choice but to take what they can get from as many game makers as they can.

          • Riposte

            Or perhaps create their own studio?

          • Ryan

            Again, they didn’t grossly overpay. People put in bids and were competing to get the license. It’s not like they went way over the top of everyone else. Was the price to steep? Perhaps, but it wasn’t the fault of EA making the NFL put up the license.
            And the NFL has stated they don’t want to open the license back up. Someone will win the bid for exclusivity. Keep dreaming if you want.

          • Keith.


          • Riposte

            More markets than the US in gaming my friend.

          • Keith.

            Sales of sports games overseas usually don’t amount to much, apart from FIFA. Besides, this board doesn’t seem to pull much international traffic.

          • Riposte

            It doesn’t but when we’re talking about sales international money when luimped together usually round out well.

          • Keith.

            And I played the demo. I’ve also seen plenty of video. After 20+ years of EA football, including 10+ from Tiburon, that’s more than enough.

          • Ryan

            EA didn’t grossly overpay. The NFL wanted to do an exclusive license because it meant more money for them and tighter control of what was produced.

            Both EA and 2K didn’t want to do it because it cost way more for the exclusive with not that much more profit for controlling 100% of the market.

            Being that the NFL gave them no choice so it was either win the exclusive or stop making NFL games, both put in bids for it and EA eventually won out. They didn’t just go way over the top to get it.

            EA is the party that is unhappy about the arrangement. But again, the NFL is not going to open it back up. When the agreement expires the NFL is just going to put back up the exclusive for bidding again and we’ll still have just one NFL game.

            And just a hint: 2K is in no position to win that bidding(EA may not be by then either). How do you think that’ll be when a developer with no football game experience gets their hands on it? If you thought EA was bad, wait until that shit goes down. And no college ball on top of it?

            Be careful what you wish for.

          • Keith.

            “EA didn’t grossly overpay.”

            I stopped reading there. EA reports hundreds of millions of dollars of losses every quarter. They went from selling 7-8 million copies of Madden across all consoles to 4-5 million today. They thought their sales were going to go up with the monopoly, er, exclusive license. And they were wrong. If you don’t believe EA didn’t grossly overpay, there’s really nothing else for me to say.

          • Ryan

            Maybe you should have kept reading. The NFL forced them to make the decision of game or no game.

          • Keith.

            B.S. EA approached the NFL first, the same way they did with the other exclusives they snatched up. But keep believing what you want to believe.

          • mcmax3000

            “B.S. EA approached the NFL first”

            Care to source this? because everything I’ve heard over the years is that the NFL decided they wanted to do an exclusive license, and EA was just the highest bidder.

            Also… “EA reports hundreds of millions of dollars of losses every quarter.” – That’s not all about Madden. Contrary to how you try to spin things around here, there’s a hell of a lot more to EA as a company than just Madden (and hell, a lot more to EA than just Sports titles too).

          • Keith.

            EA’s forecasting another big loss this quarter, as they do every quarter that Madden’s released. I put 2 and 2 together and conclude Madden’s contributing to the loss. It certainly doesn’t seem to be helping.

            As for the link to EA approaching the NFL first? Just Google it — I must’ve seen it posted 100 times over at OS during the last 8 years. Really ain’t that hard to find if you spend a minute looking for those news stories (Gamespot had the most cited one if my memory serves).

          • mcmax3000

            It’s definitely possible that it’s contributing to the loss, but you often speak as though the exclusive contract with the NFL is the sole reason for EA’s financial issues.

          • Keith.

            EA’s been making bone headed financial moves for a long time. Madden’s just part of the equation.

          • Riposte

            Agree w/@mcmax3000:disqus EA does have a whole lot of studios under their banner.

            Also, in earlier posts you spoke of OS has a horrible place but now you’re citing it?

          • Keith.

            OS has a man crush on EA — explained in part by the number of OS mods who have gone on to get development gigs at EA — but I don’t recall ever saying it’s a horrible place. It just is what it is.

        • marshan3q

          I could be wrong… BUT… if i understand this correctly, if this goes down, it means college sports games in general could be dead. This isn’t really something to be happy about if your a college sports fan.

    • mcmax3000

      While it would make your dreams come true, and might be a positive thing for the pro football genre (I say might, because for all that 2K has done well with basketball, they fucked up baseball pretty hard this generation), EA going under would be disastrous for the sports genre as a whole, despite what you & the rest of the haters would like everyone to believe.

      Basically, the only sports that sell worth a damn right now are pro football, soccer, and basketball. Somebody would probably pick up the NFL license, because it’s huge, 2K is doing basketball, and I could see Pro Evolution getting the FIFA license, since they’re the only other soccer game out there.

      But what about those who like Hockey? Golf? Boxing? MMA?

      I don’t see anyone lining up to make another NHL game, or a PGA Tour game, or a boxing game, and UFC’s popularity isn’t what it was a few years ago, so that would probably be a tough sell right now too.

      Not to mention baseball, which, while it might not be in their immediate plans, EA is probably the best shot Xbox fans have at seeing another MLB game anytime in the not too distant future.

      I’ve seen no indication that 2K is looking to rebuild their sports label beyond the NBA (I’m not even 100% convinced they’d go after the NFL license if it became available, though I wouldn’t rule it out), and with the genre as a whole generally not doing the greatest, losing the one company that seems to be willing to stick with these series, for better or for worse, is not at all a positive.

  • mcmax3000

    The thing that surprised me most reading that linked article is that in the suit, EA & NCAA are actually trying to claim that the players in the games aren’t based on their real life counterparts.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as they can’t really come out, and admit it, but it doesn’t exactly take a genius to tell that what they’re claiming is complete BS.

  • Jon

    i dont want to see ncaa football die like ncaa basketball. almost seems like there is no stopping it now. maybe they can pay the players?

    • I don’t think they could afford to produce a product that incurs increased costs such as that. NCAA Football is already struggling as it is, particularly because of no digital revenue source – though presumably if they did pay players and get their actual likenesses in then they could do an Ultimate Team mode there too and try to make up for it. I just don’t see it happening. Too many players, too many who’d want more than other players because their names are bigger, just a situation that seems to have few encouraging options.

      • roarshack1

        I’m fairly positive that college players would never be allowed to get paid to have their likeness’s appear in a video game….Pretty sure that’s against NCAA rules. I mean, these guys can’t even borrow a nice car from a friend, they can’t take money from family members to get them by on food for a few weeks. Unless I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying..

        • GMUPatriots

          The players would likely not get paid while they’re in college. The idea that’s been put forward by at least one of the plaintiffs is that college players would get a certain percentage of revenue from the sale of their likeness in merchandising (not just video games). Current players would have that money put in a trust or escrow account and only get paid after they have used up their eligibility.

      • CLEfan4LIFE

        digital revenue? c’mon you can’t be serious! If the game was actually good it would sell itself. The game sucks donkey balls, that’s why its sales are doing so poorly. common sense.

  • Dbgameover

    If this lawsuit doesn’t discourage anymore college games then future one needs to be completely random (numbers, ratings, builds etc). It is how it should be anyway college games have gotten away with this charade for long enough.

    • Generic games wont sell well. Companies aren’t going to invest in producing them.

      • Curious as to how customization and roster editing plays into this. Is EA being rolled for allowing that kind of user customization? Or are they on the hot seat for the default rosters implicating players based on there build, skin color, number, hometown etc?

        • Keith.

          Nope — customization/roster editing has nothing to do with this particular lawsuit.

          • Thanks for the solid answers fellas

        • mcmax3000

          It’s all about the default rosters, and how to my understanding, they are basically meant to represent the players in every way except name.

  • detfan782004

    so let me get this straight. tt’s not important what they actually did or didn’t do. instead it’s important what they talked about that never came to fruition? what B.S.

    • It’s all part of their argument of a conspiracy really. Not so much that, though it demonstrates the frame of mind they’re in, but the agreements in general and how they viewed them.

    • mcmax3000

      It shows that they are specifically modelling the in game characters to represent the real life players, which they are apparently denying that they do as part of the lawsuit.

  • Well if they are screwed they should get to release the game that comes out next year. They better make it the best in the series add all the things we have been wanting. I would be upset if the series was forced to die…really is the only game I play on a regular basis.

  • marshan3q

    So does this mean the NCAA Football series is going to die? That’s really a shame… it seemed like EA was getting back on the right track.

    • mcmax3000

      If EA & the NCAA lose the lawsuit, it pretty much means the end of any college sports games.

    • GMUPatriots

      Back on the right track? Obviously you haven’t played NCAA Football 13. Personally I’ve thought for a couple years that EA is planning for the death of college football games. They’re not putting in near the resources on the core game like they are with Madden. EA killed off college basketball and hardly anybody cared. IMO EA thinks that a large number of people who play college football also play Madden so they’ll keep them as a customer. Those who don’t EA probably thinks they can convert at least a percentage of them in to Madden players because it’ll be the only football game available.

  • marshan3q

    I don’t know if I should look at this as a good or bad things. It sucks that EA Sports could be taken out by this (If I’m correct in understanding this)… but EA Sports has been the BANE of simulation football since 2005. This lawsuit puts college sports games in general in danger, true… but if EA Sports would to go under… it would leave the NFL license wide-open again.

    • Just a guy

      It would also ruin their NHL and FIFA games too. Which are two of the best sports franchises out there.

  • Just a guy

    A $1 Billion loss for EA would do more than stop the NCAA franchise. It might very well stop EA all together.

    • catch21_2

      That’s not true. In 2011, EA reported nearly $1.6 billion in cash on hand and nearly $5 billion in total assets ($3 billion of that current). So if they were required to pay out a $1 billion lawsuit, they could. If it’s merely $1 billion in lost revenues, that would be even easier to handle.

      • Keith.

        Nonsense. This is from a financial article from today:

        “Electronic Arts (EA) has a troubling balance sheet. Even with the stock near 52-week lows, this company is in need of a real game changer. With some reprises of their most popular lines, this could be the pivotal time for management to turn the company around.

        Looking at the balance sheet, there are some serious issues that management needs to address. Looking at the liabilities, there is a glaring problem. Over the last three years EA’s liabilities have grown by more than 50% in that time. Newly issued long term debt accounts for 48% of that increase. If EA’s assets were growing at the same rate, it would be perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately, the assets are only growing 18% over those same three years.

        To make matters worse, included in those assets is a growing rate of Goodwill. Goodwill is a portion of the assets that the company deems too important to lose, and are considered to add that much value to the company. Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive were both included on Apple’s (AAPL) balance sheet under Goodwill for their contributions to the company at one point. EA’s Goodwill has grown by 70% to $1,718,000 over the past three years. That $1.7 million in Goodwill comprises 31% of EA’s total assets. That is a dangerous amount of leverage the company has locked up in Goodwill.”

        • Keith.

          Here’s the link.

          I think it’s hilarious that 31% of EA’s assets consist of goodwill, considering they were just voted Worst Company in America…lol. No wonder they just took out that $500 million loan a couple weeks ago (I previously posted the link).

          • Dan

            Voted worst company by 250,000 readers of Consumerists. That doesn’t really hold much weight in the real world.

          • Keith.

            If you want to remain convinced that — despite the Worst Company title, the recent $500 million loan, and its plummeting stock price — EA was correct to grow its Goodwill by 31% over the past 3 years, as the article states, then by all means be my guest.

            Ask any creditor what he’d expect to get from Goodwill if/when a company goes bankrupt.

          • Amen_Ra

            As a CPA, I support this statement…

          • Brian

            Keith, companies just don’t borrow money when they need it. They borrow when they think that employment of more capital can increase returns, and borrowing is extremely beneficial when interest rates are low. Allowing them to get a further return on a project that far outweighs the borrowing costs. The increase in Goodwill could be something as the license to the MMA game. They employed capital to get that license, why wouldn’t you count that as an asset? TMQ got something for it didn’t they?

  • Kevin

    Take Pat White’s inclusion in the NCAA football series, or “QB No. 5.” Both were QBs on WVU, both wore number 5, both were black, both where from Alabama (though different towns), both were 6’1 around 190 pounds, and of course, both threw with their left arm. You seriously think EA wasn’t attempting to copy these guys with the shear aim of reproducing the likeness of college football, and because of that, make a huge profit selling it to college football fans? EA and the NCAA should lose this case. I don’t want them to, but they should. This article states itself that once the player likenesses are no longer allowed it will ruin college video games. Who here wants to buy a game with completely randomized rosters?

    • Guest

      Two words. Roster share.

      • There’s a realistic chance that roster sharing will be prohibited if this case concludes in the plaintiffs’ favor.

      • Kevin

        Roster sharing itself could be the death blow for EA. Basically, EA has given it’s comsumer’s a chance to easily obtain real names. There is a thing called “letter of the law” and another called “spirit of the law.” When laws protecting an individual’s marketability were passed, the point was keep someone from making money off of your name and likeness without giving compensation. EA directly left the names off, but they provided a way to circumvent the law by providing ways to get the names with EA’s direct involvement. This violates the spirit of the law, and that loophole will likely be closed. In fact, roster share PROVES their intent to recopy these players since it is being used mostly for the purpose of recreating true rosters.

  • 49ersfan1

    soo… has anyone preordered nba 2k13? lol

  • 49ersfan1

    madden 12 vs. madden 13. 13 wins
    fifa 12 vs. fifa 13 idk yet
    ncaa 12 vs. ncaa 13. 12 wins
    pes 12 vs. pes 13. i dont play pes.
    nhl 12 vs. nhl 13. 12 wins
    nba 2k12 vs. nba 2k13. anything but 12, so from what im seeing on the videos, 2k13 wins.

  • Chris

    Wow way to ruin college video games you jackasses

    • As far as I know, most players love the fact that they get to be in a videogame. It’s a shame…Sam Keller and Ed O’Bannon cannot be popular people right now. I do wonder what inspired them one day to think up this lawsuit…cash strapped?

      • I think in Keller’s case it was lawyers, who contacted some former athletes, he was the first to accept being the face of that lawsuit. O’Bannon’s motivations are less clear.

        • Speaking of this – from Keller’s wiki page, I’m sure of which will be edited out soon ”
          If the lawsuit holds, it will promptly ruin the hopes and dreams of fat, lazy armchair quarterbacks everywhere. Faithful EA NCAA players ChefBD and Caleb Sampson have been placed on suicide watch as this lawsuit plays out.”

        • I saw O’Bannon on Real Sports talk about this. The guy works at a car dealership in Las Vegas and is broke. So money is his motivation. Life didn’t work out so well for him so he has to rain on everyone else’s parade.

  • tommy boy

    in reality–one billion dollars would cripple EA in all aspects except FIFA and Madden. NFL licence would instantly be up for grabs and EA is no longer the big fish in that Market. If this goes down, 2k will jump back into the market no doubt

  • Rogauthi

    This is whack… college athletes just think its cool to be in a video game. I miss College Hoops.. College sports over pro any day..

  • NCAA Football is not going to die. They will just release it with completely random rosters. It will just take a week or two longer to get real rosters as each player will need to be re-edited by the community. Granted, it could be tough to make this work in online games, where people would be bringing in custom rosters rated all 99s for their team. That’s one real hitch here. But online dynasties and such can work from one uploaded roster.

    • Random rosters would kill any interest in NCAA. It’s already losing sales ground, and EA is putting less resources in because the game can’t pay off their investments.

      The ability to even name rosters could eventually be taken out if this case ends a certain way. Roster sharing almost certainly would be stripped too.

      • One example that needs to be stated is the PES series with its creation modes. They basically give people two full leagues of completely generic squads. People have labored endlessly on these creating near picture perfect examples of their favorite leagues and teams. I don’t know anyone crying foul over that…

        Closer to home, what about NCAA Teambuilder? These basically provide a generic template for people to build true-to-life creations from scratch, and we can’t say it hasn’t been successful (albeit slightly stale now that EA hasn’t put much effort in updating it). In a sense NCAA is a vehicle for artistic expression then, merely providing the tools. Ironically, the more “illegal” thing would be to profit off of the player’s names via actually selling, say, named rosters, as at least one website has done in the past…

  • Bob

    not too worried, no matter what happens this will be sent to the appeals court then eventually the supreme court where, big corporations rule which is EA sports