The Madden Class-Action Settlement Triples Its Payout to Gamers

Illustration for article titled The emMadden/em Class-Action Settlement Triples Its Payout to Gamers

If you bought EA Sports' American football products between 2005 and mid-2012, good news: An adjustment to its settlement of a class action lawsuit has elevated the pittance of a payout gamers would have gotten into something a little more substantial. You have a month to claim it.

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To recap, in July, Electronic Arts settled a suit brought against its notorious exclusive license to make NFL video games, alleging price-fixing, illegal monopoly, and a bathtub full of other complaints. Rather than continue to litigate it, EA negotiated a $27 million pool to distribute to the thousands of customers who bought Madden, and NCAA Football and the fourteen or so people who actually bought Arena Football. (Note: EA admitted to no wrongdoing in the settlement, and its exclusive deal with the NFL still survives.)

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The payouts have now been tripled, though the hit to EA is still $27 million. This is because fewer claims were filed than were expected when the prize pool was originally divided. So a judge modified the settlement's distribution plan to ensure that members of the class action (i.e. you, the Madden customer) get as much moolah as possible. So here's what you get:

• If, between Jan. 1, 2005 and June 21, 2012, you bought a new copy of Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or Arena Football for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, PC, or GameCube, it's $20.37 per game, capped at eight in all.

• If, between Jan. 1, 2005 and June 21, 2012, you bought a new copy of Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or Arena Football for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or, God help you, the Wii, it's $5.85 per game, capped at eight.

The original payoff was $6.79 for the previous generation games and $1.95 for the current gens, or a third of the new sum.

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Looking at my own purchase history, (games I actually bought, not reviewed) I'm due $58.29, which is good enough to get me off my ass to file a claim. Come to think of it, I also bought a friend a couple copies of Madden and I'm going to be a total dick and claim that, too. Sorry, Eddie.

Notices went out to gamers yesterday (I got two, which suggests this is tied to the EA Sports account you set up when you bought these games, and that will likely be used to verify your claims.) So check your spam folders. Otherwise, head over to the link below for more information on claims, rights, deadlines, etc.

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Pecover vs. Electronic Arts, Inc. [Official litigation site]

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DISCUSSION

ChemDrragon
ChemDragon

People are going be dicks and say serves EA right, but that is completely wrong. Hate EA for a lot of things, but the argument made in this suit? Completely invalid. The entire premise is that EA has been "overcharging" for football games. The price of Madden and all the other football games? $60. The same price it was BEFORE they bought exclusivity rights. The same price as all other retail games for the most part (yes, a select few come out at $50). There is no possible way anyone can legitimately say EA has overcharged people for selling a brand new retail game.

The only thing people can even think to bring up is that NFL2k5 cost $20. The thing about that though? 2kGames was illegaly price gouging to hurt EA. The sad part? It didn't work. If it had worked and 2k beat out EA, 2k would have been in legal trouble for price gouging. It would be like exxon charging 5 cents a gallon for a while to get some other local gas station out of business, then going back up to the regular $60. It is an illegal business tactic in the United States.

This suit isn't about being a monopoly alone, it is specifically about overcharging because of being a monopoly. EA's defense claim is right on every one of their points. Any one who filing a claim to take part of this is just trying to steal money from EA to get money (and I understand most will).

If somehow the courts allow this bullshit of a suit to go through, I will be really disappointing with the legal system in my country. First apple illegally suing samsung and a bunch of other people and winning, then this stupid crap.