Creator of first Madden game sues EA for billions

Years of trying to hammer out a settlement haven't worked

The man who developed the very first Madden videogame more than 20 years ago is now looking to collect back royalties he claims he's owed.

Robin Antonick created his first Madden-inspired football game in the 1980s for the Commodore 64, MS DOS, and Apple II. In 1986, EA offered him a contract that gave it the rights to Antonick's 'Madden code,' and in turn promised him royalty payments on all future games that used it, according to the lawsuit.

He allegedly hasn't received a royalty payment since 1992. Call us crazy, but we wouldn't wait 19 years to speak up and ask for money we were owed from one of the most successful game franchises of all time.

According to Antonick, though, he simply didn't realize his programming was still being used in recent versions of the game.

"Only recently, as a result of publicity surrounding the 20th Anniversary of the 'Madden' videogame did Antonick become aware that Electronic Arts did not independently develop subsequent versions of its Madden NFL software," reads the complaint.

It points to a specific comment from EA founder Trip Hawkins in which he hints, "The current generation of software apparently derived from software developed by Antonick."

Reportedly, Antonick has been discussing the issue with EA behind closed doors for around two years but apparently didn't like their offers.

The suitfurther accuses, "Electronic Arts decided that it did not want to share profits with him even though he was responsible for the development of virtually all of the ground-breaking technology at the heart of the game."

Antonick is seeking tens of millions of dollars in royalties, as well as disgorgement of all profits from the series, which climbs into the billions.

[Source:Reuters]

Apr 1, 2011

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