Electronic Arts Reaches Settlement With College Athletes in Lawsuit

Published on September 29, 2013
by Mike Isaac

electronic artsEA Sports, the athletic division of game-making giant Electronic Arts, agreed this week to settle ongoing lawsuits with college athletes whose likenesses the company used it its games.

The lawsuits, which were filed more than four years ago by retired UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, called into question current practices around how athletes’ images, names and likenesses are used in videogames and on broadcast television. It could have implications on whether players would have a share in the millions in profits involved around college sports.

Earlier this week, Cam Weber, EA Sports general manager of American Football, said in a company blog post that E.A. would not be publishing a 2014 college football title, and will continue to mull the future of the company’s massively successful franchise.

“The ongoing legal issues combined with increased questions surrounding schools and conferences have left us in a difficult position,” Weber wrote. “One that challenges our ability to deliver an authentic sports experience, which is the very foundation of EA Sports games.”

As a result of the individual settlements between E.A. and the athletes — the terms of which were not disclosed — NCAA will remain the sole defendant in dispute with the athletes.

Updated 1:40 am ET to clarify who remains in dispute if the settlements are accepted by the court.

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