EA and CLC Only Out $40 Million in Player Likeness Case Settlement

Posted September 27th, 2013 at 12:15 pm


When the settlement to the likeness case was announced yesterday many wondered what it was about the agreement that resulted in the shuttering of EA Sports’ college football series. With the dollar amount of the settlement now known it has become clear that it wasn’t the money involved but rather the avoidance of future litigation and terms that made the series no longer a viable product going forward. 

Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company will only pay out $40 million in the settlement. That is a shockingly low number when considering how monumental the case was but shows that the video game end was never the primary focus. To put that into perspective, FIFA 13 made $65 million in digital revenue through Ultimate Team mode in its first month alone of release last year. Like the football pricing case settlement (which cost the company $27 million) it’s a drop in the bucket for EA particularly compared to the consequences that could have been faced by going to trial which may have cost them upwards of $1 billion.

For those who want to begrudge current and former athletes for being greedy none are getting rich off this settlement. After taking out estimated attorney’s fees, and factoring in the likely class size, the average player that appeared in the NCAA Football series will receive about $200. Not every individual will receive the same amount – it will be mostly dependent on how many years they were represented in the games – but the $200 gives an idea of how paltry the settlement is for them. They’re going after a much greater score from the NCAA with broadcasting and merchandising in mind.

It’s important to remember that EA and the CLC settled with current and former collegiate athletes. Doing so would not protect them from future players suing them if they continued the series without making significant changes. The most likely result of the agreement was that EA would no longer provide any sort of player editing ability in the future and rosters would be completely randomized. The required alterations to protect themselves along with the loss of the NCAA, conferences, and many individual school licenses made for what would be an unappealing product that would not be able to meet consumer expectations and have no growth potential.

  • Rick

    Ouch… no more college football.. huge bummer.. especially with next-hen coming too..

    • Mark Britten

      more like no more college sports video games ever.

      • The Great Leon

        Yep, we will never see a college football or basketball game again. If someone make a college football game they probably won’t get actual conferences or team. A all generic game would not be profitable.

  • Saumutuck

    Are you telling me these former players ended this game for just a measly couple hundred dollars for books and groceries? LOL!!!!

  • brian

    I will be ok if that actually put focus into madden on every aspect of the game from the look to the gameplay…

    • I actually believe the loss of NCAA could hurt Madden. Really depends on how the execs approach it.

      • Tazdevil20

        Does it really matter? Could it get much worse?

  • The Gaming Messiah

    The sad thing about this is that the two individuals spear heading this man hunt are two persons who could not manage their finances responsibly and are looking for the easy way out. But, what should we expect when we foster a “me now” mentality in America with athletes…

    • Phil

      realistically the players should have been getting paid $100 to $500 a game, I dont know what would be a fair number but that range to me would be a fair number and pay kids at a school like alabama on the higher end and pay kids at a school like UAB at the lower end, it is not much but it is extra spending money the players deserve for their likeness being used.

      • MBird

        Not saying I would be opposed to letting college athletes have a piece of the huge money pie, but you’re suggesting that there should be a sliding compensation scale depending on the size of the program? I think that would be a huge competitive advantage to the larger programs at the expense of the smaller programs. If it came down to paying college players, I would think anything other than a flat rate to all players would be unfair.

        • Phil

          alabama players already get better treatment than players at other schools, $400 a year shouldnt be the difference between going to one school or another and EA usually only makes roughly 60 players for a team so if you went to alabama you might not be in the game so you wouldnt get paid.

  • Saumutuck

    Pasta! Are you deleting my comments?

  • Sean

    So sad. Really loved NCAA football series. Bought it every year since 2001!!!! Really helped to get me pumped for college football every year!!!

  • Rick

    So…. Now what?… This is very silly IMO, these players got nothing from EA or the CLC worth bragging about.. A measly 200-500 dollars? Incredible! If these idiots were mart they should’ve worked out a deal for ea and the likes to add money to a fund for college athletes . It could’ve helped them develop a fund so those who graduate cond get some money post schooling if the pro game was out of the question for these boys n girls…

    Very disappointed, I guess it’ll die down for a few years and then we’ll find ourselfs playing sum NCAA game again… Always loops holes to be exploited

    • Mark Britten

      I’d put the odds of there ever being an NCAA sports game somewhere close to the odds of there being a new 2k football game.

  • radja

    if i am reading between the lines of the other articles correctly, this only solves the issue between EA and CLC. the ncaa portion is still on going. the money is much bigger there and the real goal of the lawyers.

  • GtxSinister

    In Goldberg voice Madden your next!

    • Mark Britten

      lol. Although I’m not sure how that works, since the NFL players do get paid via the Players union license, so if there’s an issue it’s not comparable.