It'll cost Electronic Arts a pretty penny, that's for sure.
Attorneys representing student athletes who claimed EA illegally used their likenesses in various EA Sports games over the past decade have won a victory, and EA might have to shell out as much as $40 million.
The settlement was reached back in September, but we're just getting the details now due to a motion to approve the settlement. Each individual who was illegally represented in an NCAA football, basketball or March Madness game will receive as much as $951 for each year they were featured in the franchise(s). With nearly 100,000 current and former players appearing in EA Sports games since 2003, this could add up to the aforementioned $40 million.
Said co-lead attorney and managing partner of Hagens Berman Steve W. Berman:
"We’re incredibly pleased with the results of this settlement and the opportunity to right a huge wrong enacted by the NCAA and EA against these players and their rights of publicity. We’ve fought against intense legal hurdles since filing this case in 2009 and to see this case come to fruition is a certain victory."
If the settlement is approved, this will be the first time an NCAA commercial partner will pay student athletes. That's officially, of course. Nobody actually believes high-profile student athletes never get any money…I mean, no one is that naive.