Electronic Arts Inc. and the National Collegiate Athletic Association were sued by a former college football player who claims athletes’ images are used in video games without their permission and in violation of NCAA rules.
Electronic Arts, the second-largest video-game publisher, circumvents the rules by allowing customers to upload player names directly into games and creating images that closely resemble student athletes to increase sales and NCCA royalties, according to the complaint filed by Sam Keller, a former quarterback for Arizona State University.
The practice is sanctioned by the NCAA and a licensing company for the association, Keller said in his complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Oakland, California. Keller seeks to represent all NCCA football and basketball players featured in Electronic Arts’ NCAA video games.
“Electronic Arts is not permitted to use player names and likeness,” Keller said. Yet the company “with the knowledge, participation and approval of the NCAA and Collegiate Licensing Co. extensively utilizes actual player names and likeness.”