Since 2005, anyone wanting to make a video game version of American football has had to do so without the real stadiums, teams, and players that make EA's Madden NFL and NCAA Football series so authentic. But EA would lose at least half of its iron grip on the American football video game market under a proposed settlement plan in a class-action lawsuit first filed over four years ago.
Under the terms of the settlement, which still has to be approved by the court after being submitted last week, EA would not renew its current exclusive agreement with the NCAA when it expires in 2014, and for at least five years after that. That would open the door for truly accurate, competitive college football titles for the first time since Sega's NCAA College Football 2K3 (EA would also agree to give up its exclusive license to make Arena Football League video games in 2014, but really, how many people are going to be scrambling to make arena football video games?).
The proposed settlement is also interesting for putting a precise value on how much EA's anti-competitive practices have cost gamers over the years. Consumers who bought an EA-produced football game from 2005 on would be eligible to receive $6.79 per GameCube, PS2, or Xbox title and $1.95 per Wii, Xbox 360, or PS3 title.
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Article by Kyle Orland (c) Ars Technica - Read full story here.