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 ESPN.com 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 ESPN.com, 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.