The lawsuit that effectively killed off one of the most popular sports video game franchises after Madden — and RBI Baseball of course — is expected to reach a finalized settlement by the end of the month. EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company could be paying out $40 million to plaintiffs in the well-documented Ed O’Bannon case and other similar lawsuits.
A settlement was reached back in September, around the time conferences were pulling their license from EA Sports and the video game giant announced there would be no more college football video game in 2014 or beyond for the time being. According to Al.com, the terms of the settlement have yet to be finalized in federal court for approval and those drafting the settlement are attempting to merge a lawsuit filed in New Jersey with the one currently being negotiated in California, the O’Bannon case. The New Jersey lawsuit was filed by former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart stating he was uninformed about the settlement details. Leonard Aragon, one of the lawyers responsible for drafting the settlement explains the delay in merging the New Jersey and California lawsuits in to one is one of the reasons the settlement details has been delayed to this point.
“The moving part is the New Jersey case and incorporating that into the California case and getting all the parties into agreement,” said Aragon to Al.com. “They’ve changed lawyers. It’s a new set from the original settlement. It has been something of an issue. I think we’re getting to a point where we can reach a resolution fairly quickly. I don’t see the settlement being curtailed.”
As has been noted before, getting in touch with every player who may be due some form of compensation from the lawsuit will prove to be a difficult task. For starters, football rosters in the video game do not include every player on an actual football roster due to limitations in the programming. Starters and key players will be easy to figure out, but second and third stringers will be quite a different story. Considering the lawsuit spans a number of years’ worth of games, that is going to require a lot of research. Getting in contact with every player due a share of the compensation is another arduous task that will take plenty of patience.
In other words, if you are a former player expecting a payment from Electronics Arts, hang in there. It is going to be a while.