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Just saw this article in the online version of the Wall Street Journal. According to the article, Electronic Arts (EA) has settled a class action anti-trust lawsuit that alleged their exclusive contracts with the National Football League (NFL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and Arena Football League (AFL) constituted monopolistic behavior. If the settlement is upheld by the court, EA will owe a small sum of money to consumers who purchased any of their Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or Arena Football video games for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Wii, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360.

I doubt that many gamers will be able to actually claim the money owed to them, since I'm sure EA will demand receipts that show a new purchase of the games (and honestly, how many people actually keep receipts for every game that they buy?). I'm also not sure how the settlement will treat consumers who purchased applicable games used, or consumers who resold the games (i.e on eBay or to GameStop).

The most disappointing thing though, is that although EA is agreeing not so sign exclusive deals with the NCAA or AFL, there is no mention of the status or future of its current deal with the NFL. If EA is not forced to relinquish its exclusive deal with the NFL, then this settlement is a very hollow victory for football gaming fans.

I still have a lot of questions, but the prospect of a return to open competition on football video games should be very exciting for football fans! Even if it doesn't apply to the NFL. I hope that companies like 2K, Natural Motion, Sony, and Microsoft will release competitors to EA's NCAA Football over the next few years. I'm disappointed that NFL 2K, NFL Fever, or Backbreaker NFL don't seem to be any more likely, but I hope companies will step up to the plate with new titles like NCAA Football 2K, NCAA Football Fever, and Collegiate Backbreaker.

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According to a post that I saw on Operation Sports, EA has finally submitted its second patch for NCAA Football 12 to Sony and Microsoft for approval for release. It's about damn time. This patch was announced back on August 2nd on the EA blog, and football fans have been waiting [not so] patiently for a whole month to hear news from EA regarding the patch's release.

This patch is supposed to fix a bug that changes player tendencies when their names are changed, which makes it impossible to play the game using named rosters, since AI-controlled players will behave completely inappropriately. Most hardcore football fans have had to wait for the patch to release in order to be able to even start their Road to Glory and Dynasty modes.

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Personally, I've been delaying my review of this game while I wait for this patch to hit, since the problems are so severe. Regardless of whether or not the patch significantly improves the quality and playability of the game, I will be taking the poor state of the game at release into account when I write my final review.

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Last Friday night (March 11th), the NFL Player's Association officially dissolved itself, pulling out of mediated discussions with the NFL over the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that has been a hot topic within the league for two years now. The dissolution of the NFLPA was quickly followed by the filing of a class-action anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL by a coallition of NFL players including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees in order to end the owner-initiated player lockout that began after the union's decertification.

Over the course of the past year, the NFL has made a slew of unpopular decisions including:

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Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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