Looks like EA is going to get sued again, because the U.S. Supreme Court just denied EA’s attempt to dismiss the lawsuit over the use of retired players in their Madden franchise. Oops! Thousands of retired NFL athletes originally filed suit against EA in 2010, alleging that the publisher violated their state-law right to publicity by using their likenesses on historic teams in Madden titles from 2001-2009.
It wouldn’t be the first time EA has been in hot water, another lawsuit brought forth by Ed O’Banon threatened their use of the NCAA license, leaving college football fans without a video game. It also probably won’t be the last.
Sports video games seem to be somewhat of a legal minefield. Between this and the lawsuit between Take-Two Interactive and a group of tattoo artists, it looks like 2016 already has a couple of major lawsuits on the way. Not a great way to start the year!
If this case goes to court and EA loses, we’re looking at another scenario similar to the Ed O’Bannon case. Historical teams and athletes will probably be out of the question, unless of course something is negotiated, but let’s be honest — that’s probably not going to happen. I guess all we can do is hope, but in the meantime you can keep your eyes on SGO as we continue to follow the case.
What do you think? Will this lawsuit jeopardize historic teams and athletes in Madden? Let us know in the comments or on social media.