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."