Nothing in the settlement prevents EA from making college sports games, according to a lawyer on the case.
About a week ago, EA finally reached a settlement in the long-running suit with collegiate athletes. Before the details were even publicly announced, EA declared that it was going to place its plans for a college football game on hold for now. However, according to a lawyer representing the players, it was never their intention to kill the entire franchise.
“We would’ve been happy to have the game go forward. It was never our intent to not have this game [continue],” Leonard Aragon, a co-lead counsel for the players, told Polygon. “That’s not us. We didn’t tell them to do that… We would be fine if they published a game.”
According to the agreement, both EA and the Collegiate Licensing Company will pay around $40 million to college athletes for using their likeness. “There’s nothing stopping [EA] from making the game, so long as they don’t use players’ names, images or likenesses. Or [they could] pay the students, which they didn’t really agree to,” Aragon said. However, EA seems pretty set in its decision, as its college football studio was recently absorbed into the Madden team, laying off several people in the process.
The long-running legal battle was a snarl of various antitrust and right-of-publicity suits filed by college athletes against Electronic Arts, the collegiate Licensing Company, and the NCAA. After last week’s settlement, the NCAA remains the sole defendant in the case.