Thursday, April 07, 2011

You Have Madden? EA May Owe You Money.

A lawsuit over EA cornering the market on sports games, in particular football, is officially going to court. And they want everyone to know about it and sign up to help the cause.

The complaint is pretty basic. Two guys, one in DC and one in California, allege that EA has a monopoly on the football game market by having license exclusivity to the NFL and NCAA licensing, therefore not allowing new developers to enter the force and causing a price hike on EA football products. The plantifs use Take Two Interactive NFL 2K5 as an example, and once EA got exclusive rights from the NFL their products went from a price base of $29.95 to $49.99. Because there is no one else in the market for football games, EA can easily raise prices and consumers have no other alternative to turn to. Except, you know, not buy the game. But heaven forbid. >.>

The way the complaint sounds, it's almost as though the plaintiffs were former Take Two employees who were pissed about losing their jobs. Their purchases of Madden took place in 2007 and 2008 long after 2K5's release for the newest Madden games, at the time. Or two guys that are just pissed off at EA and were looking for a reason to get back at them.

It's no secret that EA is the king of the sports market. They have licensing exclusivity for multiple sports franchises. And while they dominate the market, there are still some sports games, including football!, that are out there. It just happens to be that EA and their massive chunk of marketing money can put their product on the fore-front. Funny enough, EA did try to buy out Take Two not that long ago. Then it really would have been an EA only market on football games.

Those who have purchased Madden games since 2005 and have registered their email with EA may have received a note about the lawsuit in their inbox today. You have the option to join in on the fight or opt out. The plaintiffs are looking for monetary damages (duh), payment of at tourney fees (double duh), and more money. After reading the files it's all about money. Then again, what lawsuit against a company isn't these days? EA's response is pretty simple. They state that where their company is located, the price of Madden at the time and the price drop occurring at some retailers as part of a sale promotion, and that they deny any allegations as the plaintiffs do not have sufficient evidence to indicate a monopoly is taking place. Oh, and they want their legal fees reimbursed by the plaintiffs for going to court. Just to wedge that screw in a little more. lol


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