Gamers Sue EA for 'Anticompetitive Conduct'

Two gamers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Madden publisher Electronic Arts. Filed in the US District Court of Northern California, the suit states that EA's 2004 and 2005 obtainment of the exclusive NFL, AFL and NCAA licenses constitutes "blatantly anticompetitive conduct."

In response to the allegations, the duo wish to see EA surrender the profits that stemmed from those actions, the voiding of the exclusivity contracts, and restitutions offered to those that have purchased any EA-branded football game since 2005.

EA's exclusivity arrangements came after publisher 2K Sports debuted a competing football title, NFL 2K5, at $19.99 in 2004, causing EA to drop the price on Madden 2005 from $49.99 to $29.99.

"This vigorous competition benefited consumers," claim court documents obtained by GameSpot. "Electronic Arts could have continued to compete by offering a lower price and/or a higher quality product. Instead, Electronic Arts quickly entered into a series of exclusive agreements with the only viable sports football associations."

Only one 2K Sports-branded football title has been released since then, the league-less All-Pro Football 2K8, which sold just over a quarter of a million units.