Since EA Sports puts student-athletes' names and likenesses "in the game" for its NCAA sports titles (pun intended), a judge ruled it has to pay for their appearances.

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California has approved a $60 million settlement to conclude the lawsuits of former student-athletes filed against the NCAA, Collegiate Licensing Company and Electronic Arts, CBS Sports reports (courtesy of Polygon). This decision is going to redefine publishers' approaches towards collegiate sports games, as the courts have decided student-athletes have to be paid for their appearances and names being used in college sports games.

Both EA and the Collegiate Licensing Company agreed to pay $40 million to previous players back in May 2014, NCAA also agreed to pay $20 million a month later. Judge Wilken approved both settlements yesterday in a decision that will forever change how collegiate sports are handled in the video game medium.

"We are pleased with the decision from Judge Wilken to approve the $60 million combined settlement that will be distributed to hundreds of student-athletes," said lead plaintiff lawyer Steve Berman. "This landmark decision marks the first time that student-athletes will be paid for their likeness or image, and stands as a huge victory in the ongoing fight for student-athletes' rights."

The shares of this $60 will vary depending on the athlete. Obviously a player who appeared in multiple NCAA games would receive more of this share compared to a player who was only featured in one. These players appeared in EA Sports' NCAA games spanning 2003-2014.

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