Recent modifications to the class-action settlement EA made regarding the games could triple the amount paid out to claimants, reports Polygon. Under the new terms, people will receive $20.37 per game, as opposed to $6.79, if they bought a copy for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube or Windows PC. Those who bought a version for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii will see $5.85 per game, instead of $1.95.
Those amounts aren't set in stone, it's worth noting. EA agreed to cap payments at $27 million, meaning if too many people file a claim, the totals could go down.
It turns out not that many people either knew -- or cared -- about the rebates initially. While the cutoff date to add your name (and address) to the claim was March 15, that date has now been pushed out until May 15.
"The Court modified the distribution plan to ensure that Settlement Class Members received as much money as possible from the settlement fund," said the notification. "The amount of money being returned to Settlement Class Members was less than expected because fewer than anticipated Settlement Class Members submitted claims prior to the original close of the claims period (i.e., prior to March 5, 2013), and Electronic Arts had fewer names and physical addresses for nonclaiming Settlement Class Members than the parties originally believed."
The payouts all stem from the class-action monopoly suit Pecover v. Electronic Arts. A pair of disgruntled gamers filed the case against the publisher in 2011, accusing EA of overcharging customers and stifling competition via its exclusivity agreement with the NFL, NFL Players Association and other leagues.
The crux of the argument goes something like this: Before EA and the NFL signed their exclusivity agreement, 2K Sports initiated a price war be releasing ESPN NFL 2K5 at $20. EA was then forced to quickly drop that year's Madden price to $30.
At the time, EA's management said it would take any necessary steps to protect the Madden franchise, then shocked everyone by signing the exclusive NFL deal. Once that was done -- and 2K was essentially pushed out of the market -- prices jumped back to the $50-$60 range and have stayed there ever since.
Full details about the settlement and how to file a claim are available at the plaintiff's website.
- Company Legal & Law Matters