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Pecover Vs Electronic Arts Heating Up.

I along with many others, opened their email inboxes today to find more than just porn ads and 50% trade-in bonus coupons at Gamestop and the occasional plea for help from a Nigerian Prince. We got a nice legal notice which informed us of the following :

"On June 5, 2008, plaintiffs, on behalf of a purported class of indirect purchasers
of video games, filed suit against Electronic Arts, Inc (“EA”) for allegedly
foreclosing competition in a market for football-based interactive video games" 

Note that the lawsuit it’s self was filed nearly three years ago, but has just today picked up some steam as the legal counsel has informed everyone who has registered a copy of Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or any EA Arena Football League games in the past 6 years. The cut-off date to be excluded from the Class Action Lawsuit is set for June 25th 2011 which means the trial will be moving forward very soon.


You can go read all the legal mumbo-jumbo over at http://www.easportslitigation.com/ but I’ll sum it up for you. Basically these two guys are claiming that since EA aquired exclusive rights to the NFL, NCAA, and AFL brands in their video games, that it created a monopoly for the American football video games market. They also claim that due to this supposed monopoly that the price of the games increased nearly 70% from 24.95 to 49.99 in 2005, and six years later, they want their money back.

What does this mean for the market?

Well if pecover and the legal counsel lose the case then nothing happens, everything stays the same. If they win, then I see it going one of two ways. Either EA loses exclusive rights to the NFL and we see an increase in NFL related games like we saw from 1998 – 2003 due to the NFL liscensing everybody, OR, EA loses exclusive rights to the NFL and it turns into what the NCAA is now, randomly generated player names, only it will be taken a step further to include randomly generated team names as well. If the case goes through I don’t think it will result in BETTER overall football games because despite what the lawsuit states, EA does not have a monopoly on the American football games market.

What ever do you mean Pride?! There are other football games?!

Absoloutly. You do have choices when it comes to your football games. Blitz : The League, Backyard Football, and Blood Bowl to name a few. “Pride… You’re an idiot, Blood Bowl is an RTS about orcs and dwarves and shiz…”  Yeah, but it’s an RTS about orcs and dwarves playing AMERICAN FOOTBALL is it not? The point is, while no these games can’t use the names or likeness of NFL players and teams, it doesn’t take away from the fundamental gameplay of American Football. Besides, use your imagination a little, it’s good for you. Hell, it isn’t even that hard. That quarterback throwing picks and fumbling the ball all game, yeah, it isn’t a stretch to claim that’s Brett Farve. At least that guy doesn’t go around showing his willy to underaged girls.


I don’t see this case ending the way Pecover wants it too. They don’t have a monopoly, and the price increase is at this point, standard video game pricing.