EA Sports is no stranger to lawsuits, especially those concerning likeness rights of the athletes within their games. The latest brought to court concerns the use of classic and retired NFL players in their Madden NFL series. Specifically, Tony Davis, former running back and Plantiff in the case, cites the concern that EA “knowingly and intentionally” used character rights in a way that allowed them to avoid paying fees. Davis’ legal representation states that EA used the specific stats and positions of “historic” players, without stating their names.
“The only significant detail that EA changes from the real-life retired NFL players is their jersey number,” the suit says. “Despite EA’s ‘scrambling’ of the retired NFL players’ numbers, the games are designed so that consumers of the Madden NFL video game franchise will have no difficulty identifying who the ‘historic’ players are.”
EA’s official response to Elder-Geek questions was that “We do not comment on pending litigation.”