A lot of times there are uninformed gamers out there who buy and play games casually, and then one day by chancing a visit to a lesser known website or blog that uninformed gamer runs into one of the many hate-filled articles about EA. Said gamer then asks, sincerely "Why all the hate for EA?" and then a long laundry list of things will fill out subsequent replies. You can add the Madden price-fixing lawsuit to that laundry list.
According to Terminal Gamer, the court could force EA to pay out a $27 million dollar settlement in antitrust and consumer protection laws where they overcharged for their games. In game development money, EA could have made two Gears of War quality games for that amount, as well as seven Guitar Hero sequels. Yes, that's nine games EA could have made instead paying out money after screwing people over. Oh EA.
Attorney Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm representing consumers, stated that...
“After more than four years of hard-fought litigation, we have reached a settlement that we strongly believe is fair to consumers,”...“We look forward to moving this process forward and asking the court to approve this settlement, which we think is in the best interests of the class.”
I didn't know there was such a thing as "hard-fought litigation", I guess there was a lot of weasely-rhetoric and dodgy-diction being used in the court battles. I'm almost tempted to say that they should have hired Phoenix Wright, it would have had the case done in a hop, skip and a finger point.
Anyway, the stipulation not only sees EA potentially paying out to consumers $6.79 per sixth generation sports game (or titles released on the PS2, Xbox and GameCube) they'll also have to dole out $1.95 per game to consumers who own specific sports titles on seventh generation consoles (or games available for the Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3).
The court stipulation further deems not to sign a deal with the AFL over the course of the next five years and they cannot renew their license with the NCAA when it expires in 2014 until another five years after that. You know what means? It means 2K Games, Sega and any other publisher can grab the licenses for the AFL and NCAA and you won't be relegated to EA-only sports titles from those divisions. I think that's "woot-woot" worthy.
The court reportedly classed a number of consumers in the case for anyone who picked up a copy of Madden NFL, NCAA Football and any AFL title between January 1st, 2005 to the present. If you'd like to learn more about the court case, feel free to pay a visit to the Official HBSS Law Website or check out the original article over at Terminal Gamer.