The likenesses of the historic teams in Madden 09
were apparently a little too
lifelike, as over 6,000 retired NFL players have come together and filed a class-action lawsuit against EA. According to IGN
, the lawsuit claims that EA used the stats and positions of past players, but changed their uniform numbers and removed their names in order to get around having to pay licensing fees.
The lawsuit also takes aim at the customization options available, which let players freely edit in the real names and uniform numbers of these classic athletes. "The only significant detail that EA changes from the real-life retired NFL players is their jersey number," the suit claims. "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."
The lawsuit seeks damages associated with the "deprivation and violation of publicity rights."