Forums - Gaming Discussion - Could lawsuits have a chance to break the exclusive contracts on sports franchises?

It's a tired old cliche to say that EA and 2K are doing badly with the sports titles, and it is also tired old cliche to say that they got worse since it the contracts for them were made exclusive. 

Or the arenas were trademarked....I think that was a thing somewhere. Not sure the exact franchise...

The question I'm wondering is if it would be possible to use a lawsuit to break the contracts open earlier and without the ability to get them renewed? I'm no legal expert, but there should be something you can weaponize. 

Monopoly, Unfair Business Practices, brand damage...something. 

(I'll fully admit the thought came to me at first as a 'how to hurt E.A' thought after the Switch Legacy edition was announced, so I am asking this in part out of sheer spite. But hey, we all hate EA so.....)



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EA are doing fucking amazing with FIFA mate, no idea what you're talking about. It's been my personal GOTY for the last two years and is the favourite to win that honour again this year too!

And no, a lawsuit wouldn't work. Monopoly? It ain't a monopoly though. Others can still make sports games, they just can't use any of the exclusively licenced leagues, and I'm pretty sure there's not a single sports game in existence that has every league licenced. Plus EA are a US company and from what I know of American ISPs the US clearly couldn't give a fuck about monopolies anyway so...

Unfair business practices? Unfair to who exactly? Every business has the right to bid for those rights so it's certainly not unfair to anybody in that respect. Besides, buying the exclusive rights to something has been around for a LONG time and is done in pretty much every industry in existence.

Brand damage? Well the only people who'd really have a case to claim "brand damage" would be the owners of said brands, and they're the ones that signed the rights contracts and are raking in the money from them so why would they want to stop that? Plus, what damage? If anything it's done more to enhance those brands than it has damage them.



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EA and 2k are doing a great job. The games themselves are good. The only issue people have is monetization.



If there was a way to achieve this with lawsuits (which I certainly wouldn't support), don't you think these giant publishing companies would have made it happen by now?



Both parties signed a contract and only them have saying in canceling it. No point in a third party entering a lawsuit to be allowed to use the properties or names or any other way to null the contract. And if anyone granted that it would be preposterous.



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Ok, serious question. Why doesn't anyone just make a sports game... without licenses? No expensive players, no corrupt sports organization... just a good sports simulator. Does the name really carry so much power it makes competition impossible?



You know it deserves the GOTY.

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Darwinianevolution said:
Ok, serious question. Why doesn't anyone just make a sports game... without licenses? No expensive players, no corrupt sports organization... just a good sports simulator. Does the name really carry so much power it makes competition impossible?

People do make these games. You don't hear about them cause they flop.



KrspaceT said:

It's a tired old cliche to say that EA and 2K are doing badly with the sports titles, and it is also tired old cliche to say that they got worse since it the contracts for them were made exclusive. 

Or the arenas were trademarked....I think that was a thing somewhere. Not sure the exact franchise...

The question I'm wondering is if it would be possible to use a lawsuit to break the contracts open earlier and without the ability to get them renewed? I'm no legal expert, but there should be something you can weaponize. 

Monopoly, Unfair Business Practices, brand damage...something. 

(I'll fully admit the thought came to me at first as a 'how to hurt E.A' thought after the Switch Legacy edition was announced, so I am asking this in part out of sheer spite. But hey, we all hate EA so.....)

Firstly, both companies and their sports titles are doing fine.

secondly, they have the rights to these sports titles because said sporting associations sold them the rights. Unless someone si willing to pay more for the rights (aint happening), nothing is going to change



Darwinianevolution said:
Ok, serious question. Why doesn't anyone just make a sports game... without licenses? No expensive players, no corrupt sports organization... just a good sports simulator. Does the name really carry so much power it makes competition impossible?

A big part of sports culture is the actual teams and the players in said team.

Players are very much bigger than the teams they are in themselves quite often. No licenses means very little interest from a large portion of the player base.

FIFA vs PES I think exemplifies this. 



Ka-pi96 said:
EA are doing fucking amazing with FIFA mate, no idea what you're talking about. It's been my personal GOTY for the last two years and is the favourite to win that honour again this year too!

And no, a lawsuit wouldn't work. Monopoly? It ain't a monopoly though. Others can still make sports games, they just can't use any of the exclusively licenced leagues, and I'm pretty sure there's not a single sports game in existence that has every league licenced. Plus EA are a US company and from what I know of American ISPs the US clearly couldn't give a fuck about monopolies anyway so...

Unfair business practices? Unfair to who exactly? Every business has the right to bid for those rights so it's certainly not unfair to anybody in that respect. Besides, buying the exclusive rights to something has been around for a LONG time and is done in pretty much every industry in existence.

Brand damage? Well the only people who'd really have a case to claim "brand damage" would be the owners of said brands, and they're the ones that signed the rights contracts and are raking in the money from them so why would they want to stop that? Plus, what damage? If anything it's done more to enhance those brands than it has damage them.

Not in the case of Madden. EA actually had a competitor in that sport, and it was very successful - until EA simply bought the exclusive rights to the NFL. In other words, no other company is allowed to make an american Football game anymore, down to the rules!

So yeah, since no other was allowed to get an NFL license anymore, EA killed all potential competition with that move.