EA sued over Madden feature

Game developer claims publisher stole his idea for football game; EA says suit is "without merit."

Electronics Arts, the world's largest game publisher, is finding itself in a legal battle over one of the features of its popular Madden NFL 06 game. Pernell Harris, owner of Virtual Jam, has sued the game maker over breach of contract and confidentiality violation.

According to Harris, he met with EA in 2003 to discuss some ideas he had concerning a football game titled Heart of a Champion. In the game, players take a high school athlete from the preps to the pros, making sure they get passing grades and even picking their parents to assure an optimum gene pool.

Legal papers flew when Harris noticed some of these features were included in this year's edition of Madden NFL 2006. Harris is seeking unspecified damages, restitution, and lawyer's fees.

EA doesn't seem bothered by the allegations. A company spokesperson told Reuters, "We have read the complaint and the allegations are completely without merit."

Madden NFL 2006 was released in August, and is one of the top-selling games of the year.

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96 comments
BeatOfMax
BeatOfMax

phhhhhhhh!! sOUNDS PRETTY CHEAP !! lol !!!

omarmalick
omarmalick

Right...this joker probably copied off some other game - i'm pretty sure you can do something similar on a gamecube wrestling game

bbooty
bbooty

That High School to pros idea would be AWESOME. He should talk to microsoft and make that happen with real Nfl teams because microsoft or XSN sports isnt held back by that exclusive right Bull S#*t that EA has.

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

Whatever. The NFL was MY idea anyway. You don't see me runnin' around all namby-pamby suing people. I took it like a man. ... Kids these days. Humph.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

don't sue EA over a feature in a game, please! LOSER!

kaziechameleon
kaziechameleon

EA, is the smart parts of the gaming industry, in manys eyes they push profits and tend to steer clear of real inovation , ubisoft used to be original, the last compelingly creative game they made, farcry, could have been so much greater. EA pushes partially finished pc products(battle for middle earth any one) they then sit there and rake in the profit. few if any of there ideas are theres. they then try to buy up and own everyone rather then really helping the industry they are trying to own it, this narrow mind set will eventually force people away from games as they realize the ever increasing price of games is delivering ever decreasing gaming experience. when EA owns valve, id(ignore the "quake 4" blemish) and the other greats we'll all be screwed.

kaziechameleon
kaziechameleon

EA, is the smart parts of the gaming industry, in manys eyes they push profits and tend to steer clear of real inovation , ubisoft used to be original, the last compelingly creative game they made, farcry, could have been so much greater. EA pushes partially finished pc products(battle for middle earth any one) they then sit there and rake in the profit. few if any of there ideas are theres. they then try to buy up and own everyone rather then really helping the industry they are trying to own it, this narrow mind set will eventually force people away from games as they realize the ever increasing price of games is delivering ever decreasing gaming experience. when EA owns valve, id(ignore the "quake 4" blemish) and the other greats we'll all be screwed.

ZugZug4
ZugZug4

EA should be sued for sucking.

BurningWreck
BurningWreck

I think he missed an idea...why just pick your parents? I think you should be there when they have sex to create your player, then you could be the sperm that fights its way up the uterus and fertilizes the egg! Booyaah!! Your first win! The making of a champion!!!

reallaughingman
reallaughingman

they had to see if it was popular before they sued for cash. If it was a flop nothing would have happened.

coolfx13
coolfx13

Hey EA you know that new feature with the quarterback vision in the newest edition of madden, well that was my idea and now I'm going to sue you, I want half your share in the profits.-lol

prtynacan
prtynacan

Why is the assumption that Harris is the liar here, and Harris is the money hungry villain? I can't believe people what I'm reading on this board - "oh poor multinational billion dollar corporation Electronic Arts is being sued by a money hungry individual who is seeking compensation for an idea that EA stole from him. Harris is obviously a complete fraud." This thread makes me realize why the tobacco companies still won't admit their product causes cancer. This is ridiculous. I would give Harris the benefit of the doubt over EA by far. Let's take a look at EA's not so stellar track record - it has cornerned the market by securing the NFL license for itself. This move drove an arguably better football game out of the market, thus hurting all NFL video game fans who desire improvement and options. EA's monopoly now allows the company to rest on its laurels and reap the cash cow that is Madden football. It produces a nearly identical game year after year after year. Put a 2007 on the box, a new cover athlete, new rosters, and a flashy new "how many cheerleaders can my created player hook up with in a season" or "construct your own stadium" and, voila - I've just created EA's new Madden game (if EA steals either of these ideas, I'm suing them by the way). Minor improvements are what drives the people to buy the new version game, and what eases EA's conscience in producing yearly Maddens. If Harris came up with an idea that EA used - and it looks that way, he should be compensated, plain and simple. EA needs people like Harris to keep their stagnant product fresh - they can't take his ideas and ignore him later. If this cae makes it past the initial stages of trial, which it probably will, look for a fast settlement from EA.

Maraxusofkelds
Maraxusofkelds

LOL. If this guy actually wins i will eat my shorts. This is worse than the Wendy's finger incident because this guy is bascially claiming to have done something after he sees the potential without any hindsight. Jeez, i can go around saying i invented Halo if i was like him. lol..................................

metaldeath87
metaldeath87

Isn't it strange that people would automatically assume that this guy is just suing EA to make money? We have no clue what kind of proof is involved. I'm sure that nobody thought Immersion would get money out of Sony for the Dualshock, but they did. I would advise shutting up unless you have an idea what the case is all about.

CareyxFMXxHart
CareyxFMXxHart

wow, that guy is dumb, he probly just made it all up

GoodWillDie
GoodWillDie

Yo you have to look at it this way. It takes six months for a lawyer to prepare a legal case agaist such giants as EA.

luc11044
luc11044

It wouldn't surprise me if EA stole his ideas. Like it would kill them to come up with new ones.

OnLineKilla
OnLineKilla

Everyone attacks EA sayin they suck. If they suck so much, how did they get to where they're at now? They're one of the biggest video game companies and they make alotta top selling games (Need for speed, Burnout, Live, Madden, Street, Battlefield just to name a few) When they released BF, that **** took over first person shooters for awhile. So how is it that people manage to talk **** bout EA? And another thing u gotta learn bout big corporate businesses like EA is that they're there to make money, not to give a damn bout other businesses, so it makes sense that they would buy the rights and license to NFL. That's actually a smart ass move for them to make. So quit hating on a business that started from nothing and took over everyone just cuz they're doin good now. I didn't ever hear anyone bad mouthing EA back in the day when it was just EA sports.

AceBlack
AceBlack

O.o I don't even know what to say. 6 months? THEN you do something? I would drive you to the hospital after the judge slams the book in your face, but I would laughing far too hard to drive correctly.

your_mom91
your_mom91

Hes Just trying to get money out of EA...lol nice try

deadwooddick
deadwooddick

Obviously most of you guys are kids and dont understand that big companies steal and do stuff like this all the time. I wouldnt be surprised if his claims were true, considering all of the other underhanded and unscrupulous things EA does. Remember the lawsuit they lost for overworking and not paying their game designers? They make billions of dollars and are were cheap/selfish to even pay the people that make their games overtime while forcing them to work 7 day, 80 hour work weeks, so like I said I wouldnt be surprised if this were true. EA sucks. Corporate greed at its finest. Companies like EA are ruining the gaming industry. Not to mention many of their games are fairly crappy in recent times especially the sports games that just keep recycling the same game with barely any upgrades. I wont even get into how buggy and poorly coded BF2 is.

TAKEDOWNKID1820
TAKEDOWNKID1820

Ah all they want to do is get rid of EA and there madden titles.

Marjk
Marjk

Yeah, or the guy could be straight up and EA stole his idea. It happenes, it happens one hell of a lot. The deal is, why didn't he have EA sign an NDA before discussing it with them?

jpt62089
jpt62089

Personally I hope he wins. EA Sports needs to learn a lesson for what they did to 2K Sports. They got rid of all their competition, so now they have no influence or real need to make there games much better. I mean yes they will but not as much as they would if Sega was still allowed to make NFL games.

LoneSierra
LoneSierra

Hey guys.....actually I had the idea about 15 years ago to make a game and name it after Madden. I'm going to sue for everything. You think I could talk to this guy, we could go into it together. I think we'll win don't you?

Atomic_Mutant
Atomic_Mutant

What Electronic FArts needs is a class action suit For making crappy games and ruining otherwise valuable assets in exploitation of licenses. The same goes for LAckivision too.

XX44
XX44

The original game the guy was apparently discussing sounds like it would rule.

ismellfunny28
ismellfunny28

hey who knows.. i mean its not like the guy was playing this game right when it came out.. and he could be telling the truth, its a big currupted world out there

Blazedspider420
Blazedspider420

I'm sueing EA for false advertising. They say each year of Madden is a new game and it is so just the same **** over and over.

Gigas_Yuu
Gigas_Yuu

This is why EA should not hold an exclusive NFL license. Atleast Visual Concepts/Sega (Espn NFL 2k5) games might have used the idea, oh and actually MAKE THE GAME LOOK GOOD OR SCORE ATLEAST 9 IN THE PROCESS. =D EA= Trash. Give the license to Sega.

dohenydude
dohenydude

wow, lol if the guys statements are true i feel so bad for him... luck to both them and they'r just givin away good money to greedy bastards - lawyers.

Texas69
Texas69

It is a little late... ; ^(

cusoker
cusoker

ok i want to know one little thing, why are all these people yelling out "EA SUX" in various forms, and saying Madden Sux!! Is it because the NFL was willing to let EA buy the exlusive rights to the its property? Or is it simply the idea that once a company gets really big that it is no longer any good. You know, like when a small band you have followed that no one else really knows about makes it big, some fans think the band has sold out. Is that the case here? Each league (NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL, etc.) is responsable to their property and they want to use their name is up to them. MLB could sell exclusive rights to the 2K series, and then EA wouldn't be able to use MLB in its games. I am not attacking anyone here, i would just like to know the reason behind this line of thinking. Just saying something sucks because you think so is not bases for a thought process. So please respond in an intelligent manner if you wish to. And if you want to respond with "you suck," "EA just sux," or anything like that, please spare the rest of us with dignity here the bother of reading and dont bother typing it out. Thanks guys!!

Dissipate
Dissipate

Its possible that he is just trying to cash in but I find many of the people hear to quick to judge. If its true that he did met with people from EA then he does have an actual case. By coming up with an idea of creating a player based on his parents genes was something they talked about then I think he will actually win. Its part of the game and though EA didnt go as far ast he high school thing, they still did steal one idea of his (if its true) and he deseves compensation.

QueConsegui
QueConsegui

I love how EA just kinda flicked him away like a fly on their shoulder.

Irvine78
Irvine78

The iron law of Electronic Arts must be repressed!

TDBrown56
TDBrown56

If he is telling the truth I feel bad for him because a lawsuit against EA is about as hard to convict as a lawsuit against OJ

DryvBy
DryvBy

EA is like the gaming mafia so this guy is either gonna lose or someone's gonna take him out.

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

Wow... He's going to sue over that? It's not like they signed any contracts or he had a pantented model... He discussd his idea... That's how Apple got boned by Bill Gates, lol. This is almost as bad as when that guy tried to sue Disney for having a zoo in Disney World. He claimed it violated his copyright on environment displays that separated people from the animals, but allowed them to view them. Yeah... Only every zoo in the past 200 years had those, buddy, lol.