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Reports: Video game suit settled for $40 million

Matthew Edge AP

Yesterday it was announced that EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company had settled a lawsuit involving thousands of players and the use of their likenesses in video games.

For those who thought the settlement would be a windfall for former and current players, think again.

Both the New York Times and are reporting that the two sides of the suit reached an agreement that will see EA Sports and CLC pay $40 million as a settlement. While that sounds like a jackpot, the devil is in the details.

According to, somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 current and former football players will be entitled to a piece of the settlement. If it’s a straight split between all of the players involved, and it’s at the high-end of the number of individuals involved, it would result in each player receiving a whopping $133.33; the low-end would mean $200 apiece.

And that’s without even factoring in the cut for the law firms involved in the litigation, although there’s been some speculation that EA Sports and CLC will pay legal fees above and beyond the reported $40 million settlement.

Whether it’s even a straight split among players also remains an unanswered question.

“We have to come up with a plan of distribution, and that’s what we are working on now,” Michael Hausfeld, one of the attorneys involved in the case on the side of the players, told the Times.

EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game put in the neighborhood of $1.3 billion into the company’s coffers since 1998. We’re guessing that, at least privately, the company beyond ecstatic with the outcome of the suit.

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13 Responses to “Reports: Video game suit settled for $40 million”
  1. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 27, 2013 3:22 PM

    Why would they settle for that???? I understand the lawyers want them to, but what real gain is that?

    Nobody won here…. especially not fans of the game…

  2. BeEtLjOoZ says: Sep 27, 2013 3:34 PM

    Reblogged this on #LouisianaMultiverse.

  3. senorpapino says: Sep 27, 2013 3:43 PM

    So all this fuss from a bunch of ex-college players to earn a whopping 133 bucks.


  4. Anoesis says: Sep 27, 2013 3:53 PM

    “EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game put in the neighborhood of $1.3 million into the company’s coffers since 1998.”

    This has to a gross typo. $1.3 Billion perhaps? Otherwise, tacking on legal fees means EA is losing $50 million+ on this “settlement.” I’m going to guess it’s a typo.

    Once again the NCAA has covered its collective butt by throwing the student/athletes under the bus. Good work, Emmert and company.

  5. kinggw says: Sep 27, 2013 3:56 PM

    Does this even pay their lawyer fees?

  6. kinggw says: Sep 27, 2013 4:01 PM


    What are you talking about? This lawsuit involves the CLC and EA sports. How exactly did the NCAA throw student athletes under the bus?

  7. drummerhoff says: Sep 27, 2013 4:02 PM

    So is this like Curt Flood’s situation?

    Curt didn’t earn anything but opened the doors to free-agency for all ball players after him.

    There is a much bigger picture here and things will never be the same thanks to Ed O’Bannon.

  8. thomsaewerlingmilwerls72076 says: Sep 27, 2013 4:10 PM

    So how does this court ruling staing that those in college are entitled to revenue for using there likeness apply to the NCAA and the Ameture athlete status of the players

  9. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 27, 2013 4:13 PM


    The NCAA had nothing to do with the suit. CLC is it’s own entity. The NCAA received royalties from a products that CLC markets on behalf of schools and the NCAA as a client. CLC, on behalf of it’s clients, has now successfully sued EA Sports and the $40 million represents an agreed amount.

    The winners are the lawyers.

    So O’Bannion won a huge $133.33, after taxes maybe $110. Was it worth it?

  10. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 27, 2013 4:32 PM

    So is this like Curt Flood’s situation?

    Curt didn’t earn anything but opened the doors to free-agency for all ball players after him.

    There is a much bigger picture here and things will never be the same thanks to Ed O’Bannon.

    In a way yes. The member institutions of the NCAA, all Division I,II and III schools WILL never approve play for pay for student athletes, men or women. Why? Cost.

    The smaller schools, Division II and III, could never pay the proposed stipend without driving up the cost of their overall athletic programs, which are already heavily subsidized by the NCAA coffers.

    What separates the Flood case from college sports is the fact that students can be released from their Grant in Aid at one school and go to another NCAA institution or NAIA school.
    Flood could not under baseball’s reserve clause which restricted movement outright.

    Should college athletes be paid. I don’t know.

    They are already remunerated with an opportunity to earn a college diploma. What value do you put on an education at Notre Dame versus an education at the University of Buffalo?
    Huge difference.

    My greatest fear is that the prime drivers of college sports, Men’s Basketball and Football,
    go to “professional” club sports in Europe and each club signs, develops and sells their talent
    to other league members. You’d have a select few teams that would be the developmental
    leagues for the the pro clubs. Gone would be the Butlers and Gonzongas in basketball
    Gone would be the Boise States and Louisville in football. The college experience would be poorer for it and what would Saturdays in the fall be without OU/Texas, Florida/Georgia,
    Michigan/Ohio State or USC/UCLA?


  11. ray1950 says: Sep 27, 2013 5:06 PM

    The Ed O’Bannon lawsuit was against the two companies and the NCAA. The NCAA is now the lone defendant in the ongoing case.

  12. overratedgators says: Sep 27, 2013 6:23 PM

    Typical class action: the lawyers get rich, the class members get squat.

  13. sportsguy3434 says: Sep 28, 2013 12:18 AM

    The only winners are probably the lawyers. In these cases the lawyers seem to average 40% of the settlement including court costs, so around $16,000,000. (like the zeros?)

    The athletes get a pittance….maybe. They will also for the immediate future not have their resemblance on games.

    The fans no longer have the games to play…most minor issue.

    Let’s not forget that only around 20 athletic programs are not a loosing money, so everyone else has to fund the departments to keep them going. This is a tough situation to resolve.

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