USA Today has calculated that Electronic Arts could face $1 billion in damages if it eventually loses a class-action lawsuit brought against the publisher and the NCAA by former college athletes. The lawsuit, which has been ongoing for two years
, revolves around compensation for athletes' likenesses being used in EA's NCAA football and basketball games.
The Cliff's Notes version of the math
works a little something like this: the law apparently says each player can be awarded $1,000 per likeness, per platform. This ends up being about $305.5 million for all the football players and $29 million for basketball players, a total of $334.5 million. Now, if the judge decides EA and the NCAA were "knowing, willful or intentional" in their compensation violation, the amount can be tripled under the Indiana publicity rights statute for damages over a billion dollars.
EA's official statement, provided by EA corp. comm VP Jeff Brown: "We could lose billions more if a giant meteor hits the earth. We're not planning for either outcome."