In Wake of Legal Threats, Old Timer Teams Removed From Madden

Kotaku reports that "legacy" teams from past NFL seasons will no longer be included in any version of EA’s best-selling Madden football game.

An unnamed EA spokesperson told Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo that the decision was not entirely due to last year’s class action suit in which NFL retirees won a staggering $28 million judgment against their former union, the NFLPA. While EA wasn’t a defendant in the landmark suit, evidence at the trial showed that the NFLPA conspired with EA to "scramble" the identities of retired players so as to avoid individual licensing issues.

More recently, militant NFL retiree Bernie Parrish has been making noises about suing EA and John Madden himself over the use of the old players’ images. The EA rep told Totilo:

[To say that the decision was based on the lawsuit] wouldn’t be entirely accurate, because we haven’t had legacy teams in Madden next-gen ever, and it was just a matter of getting some consistency across the entire franchise.

However, Fourth and Goal, a site dedicated to the interests of NFL retirees, has a different view on the news:

You’ve got to think that once the union was pounded with the $28.1M verdict the folks at EA Sports got more than a little nervous. After all, it was their company that produced the game and their employees that communicated with the union to scramble the images.

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  1. 0
    Chadius says:

    Remember, this is from the publisher whose solution to competition was to monopolize NFL video games.


    Not surprised (or excited) in the least.

  2. 0
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  3. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    To be fair, EA wasn’t a defendant in the lawsuit so they didn’t have their ass handed to them.

    But yeah, talk about low class. I wonder if these retired players can go after EA for back revenue or something.

  4. 0
    axiomatic says:

    Wow EA, just wow…. so first you aid in screwing over "legacy" players and now since you had your ass handed too you in court you do the least classy thing you could think of and ensure that "legacy" players will NEVER see another payday from EA games ever again?

    Something tells me you missed the point, the boat, the pier, and quite possibly the water.

    You just lost a sale on your upcoming Madden game.

    Stay classy there EA.

  5. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    To avoid future lawsuits, they should probably also stop using current players and teams. If it’s all fictional, hopefully the NFL won’t find a way to sue them again.

  6. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Wow! Those old helmets make him look like some kind of Marvel Supervillain from the 1960’s….

    However, on topic, yeah, 100% lawsuits based, I don’t buy this ‘consistency’ thing in the slightest, funny how it didn’t bother them until after the court case…

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