Sports video games are a huge business -- and for many years, it was an extremely competitive space. I remember a few years back trying to wade through half a dozen different baseball video game titles to figure out which one was worth buying. However, a few years back, video game giant EA started signing "exclusive" deals with a variety of sporting leagues, including the NFL. These "exclusive" deals supposedly meant that only EA could produce games with the names and stats of real players -- a huge
selling point among most fans. And, of course, in gaining exclusivity, EA has completely cashed in. However, a bunch of angry video gamers are now suing the company for anticompetitive conduct
, noting that these exclusive deals killed off all the competition, allowing EA to drastically raise its prices.
Of course, there's a separate issue that might make these gamers (and other video game companies) happy: with the recent rulings
concerning fantasy baseball, it appears that the court system recognizes that player names and stats are public domain data. Thus, even with the "exclusivity," other video game companies should be able to include real player names and data. They probably still cannot use real league logos, and even player likenesses may be out (which, again, is often a big selling point) -- but hopefully it at least brings some competition back to the market.