alleging that NCAA and EA illegally used college athletes' names and likenesses in its NCAA Football series, said "the NCAA's decision to end its long and hugely profitable relationship with EA is tied directly to the pressure our litigation is bringing [to] bear," in a statement to the media.
"This announcement makes plain that the NCAA is attempting to mitigate the damage by ducking its responsibilities," Berman said. The lawsuit in question is one of two from Hagens Berman against EA, the other having been settled in July 2012 by EA for $27 million with the requirement that EA not renew its exclusive license with NCAA for five years.
NCAA's announcement this week that NCAA Football 14 would be the last game in the series to use the NCAA branding included a note that "given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA," pointing to the ongoing legal battle as reasoning for its departure from the partnership.
"Our suit illustrates how the cabal between the NCAA and EA has exploited student athletes for years, using their images in video games without compensation," Berman said. "While we are heartened they've stopped the practice, we believe they owe those student athletes a great deal more than their implied promise to stop stealing their images."
EA announced that it will continue development on next-gen college football games without the use of NCAA branding. It will do so under a non-exclusive, three-year agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company beginning on July 1, 2014.