Fresh off the heels of John Madden’s retirement from broadcasting, news drops (via GamePolitics) of another lawsuit slapped on the gaming industry by disgruntled NFL retirees.
For those not uneducated in the sports genre (boringly simulated or preposterously arcade-y), recent iterations of sports franchises have included retired players for pure fan service. You can match the ‘86 Bengals with the ‘08 Bengals and see which version of your favorite team the computer thinks is better. Or you can loose Hall of Fame players like Babe Ruth and Cy Young into an unsuspecting baseball simulator and watch as high-ceiling prospects lose jobs to long-dead, overweight superstars.
Unfortunately, EA has been less than forthright about their use of retired NFL players. Last year, retirees managed to squeeze $28 million from the NFL Players Association for suggesting to EA that they should scramble the identities of retirees to avoid royalties. They’re also gunning for Madden, citing the royalties he’s received while they’ve been left in the dust.
This was all kicked off (ha) by a post on Dave Pear’s life-post-football blog, with supplemental info to be found over at Retired Players For Justice. While I’m sure this won’t permanently damage the Madden game brand, it’ll be interesting to watch how this battle with the big dogs at EA plays out.