EA Sports has been sharing Madden 17 details in the last couple of weeks, but the company has just made a costly settlement. Cleveland Browns? retired star player Jim Brown will get US$600,000 from EA after winning a lawsuit against the game developer.
Brown filed a lawsuit back in 2008 claiming that the company used his likeliness without his permission, and due to unauthorized access of his image in Madden video games, EA will have to pay the player. The settlement took place between the player and the company, and both agreed to a pricey settlement.
In his statement, Brown said that his stand is for all the athletes, and the case has laid a framework for all. According to Brown, the settlement is a way to make the companies realize the value of the presence of athletes in helping their video games become profitable. The settlement was announced on Tuesday by Hagens Berman, a firm that represents Brown.
Brown?s attorney, Robert Carey, said that the companies should think twice before using the players? hard-won achievements and identities in merchandise without any authorization. According to ESPN, Electronic Arts previously asked Brown?s permission for his identity to be used in the Madden game, including the team that won the title in 1964. The report states that Brown refused the offer.
Brown filed the case, saying that a character in EA?s game is similar to him in weight, height and color. The player also claims that the character represents a similar position, experience and abilities in EA?s Madden game.
According to GameSpot, the case was dismissed in 2009, but Brown?s legal team appealed again and brought the case to this stage, where Electronic Arts is bound to pay US$600,000 to the player. The court also dismissed several appeals by EA in which the company said that the use of Brown?s likeliness was just coincidental.
“Hopefully, this is a step forward in getting companies like Electronic Arts to recognize the value that athletes have in selling their products,” said Brown in the statement.
The company is gearing up to release Madden 17 this year, so it would be interesting to see whether this settlement will have an impact on the upcoming game or not.