Here at Poor Scholars, we are always looking for ways to scrounge up some pocket change to improve our lowly financial status. As it turns out, the constantly criticized Electronic Arts (EA) is offering to cut most of us a decent sized check along with anyone else who has purchased a copy of Madden, NCAA Football, or Arena Football since 2005.
Pecover vs. Electronic Arts was a class action lawsuit filed by a disgruntled gamer who claimed that EA held a monopoly on the production of football games after signing an exclusive rights deal with the NFL in 2005. As it turns out, the courts agreed, and EA has agreed to a settlement that will allocate up to 27 million dollars to fund the claims of “eligible settlement members”, which is basically anyone who has purchased a football game during the last decade.
The settlement calls for a payment of $20.37 for any of the aforementioned games for the PC, Xbox, Playstation 2, or GameCube up to $162.96 in total. Games purchased on next generation systems like the Ps3 or Xbox 360 will only be given a $5.85 reimbursement per title up to $46.80, so those in search of a maximum payout are advised to look out for the pictures of Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb or Ray Lewis that graced some of the older Madden covers.
The plaintiffs cited the immediate price increase from $30 in 2005 up to $50 the next year after the rival 2K football series was pushed out by the exclusive rights deal as reason for necessitating EA’s repayment of fans who had been forced into accepting higher prices. Based on the current success of their NBA series, one can only imagine how a copy of NFL 2K13 might fare today against a Madden series that has been sub par in recent years. General information on the settlement can be found here and the claim form here.
I would comment on how all major sports titles now hit the shelves at 60 dollars apiece and Madden is only one of a group of culprits, but frankly no one deserves this kind of hit in the gaming industry more than Electronic Arts. From their laziness in updating key features of Madden to the horrendous release of SimCity earlier this year, EA has been notorious for phoning in content and collecting large profits, so it’s about time that they face some sort of consequence for their repeated mismanagement.
So get those forms in by May 15th folks, and receive your validation for years of loyalty to gridiron gaming.