Madden NFL suit going to trial

Designer Robin Antonick seeking millions in allegedly unpaid royalties and damages from Electronic Arts over football franchise.

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Original Madden NFL designer Robin Antonick's lawsuit against Electronic Arts is going to trial after a California federal judge denied EA's final attempt to dismiss the case, according to a release from his legal team. Antonick originally sued EA in April 2011.

Court proceedings are scheduled to begin on June 17, 2013.

Antonick is accusing EA of withholding royalties and demanding a share of the profits the series has generated over the years. More than 99 million Madden NFL games have been sold to date, generating billions in revenue.

According to the complaint, Antonick conceived and developed the first version of Madden and was described as "miraculous" by EA. In all, he is seeking tens of millions in restitution.

"We have very compelling evidence indicating that EA used Mr. Antonick's ground-breaking code and design elements as the basis for both past and present Madden NFL titles," said Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP partner Robert Carey in a statement. "Yet, EA has failed to compensate him as required by his agreement or give him proper credit for his work. We look forward to proving our case at trial, and we are very confident that we will prevail."

An EA representative declined to comment.

The next entry in the series is Madden NFL 25, a special version of the game launching in August to mark the franchise's 25th anniversary.

Discussion

38 comments
Thathanka
Thathanka

Purely for the fact I have not been able to play an NFL game for years now and that EA has released Madden 05 for the past 8 years, I hope they get sued to hell.

darius343
darius343

Karma is a bitch. Right EA, remember Bethesdasoftworks and how they made the engine for the first madden games in 1986, remember how you were suppose to help them out, but hung them out to ry after madden became a sucess, well it seem karma come back to bite you in the ass.

acelogan1989
acelogan1989

that is what you get if you  involved with evil company

Succumbus
Succumbus

It took him THIS long to notice? I think he was just holding out.

CincoToes
CincoToes

I just hope this lawsuit causes the NFL to rethink letting EA have the exclusive license. I haven't had a football game since the last 2k, what was that, 5? Fuck.

electro57
electro57

That's funny, I dont remember seeing the ambulance drive onto the field in the last Madden.

Senor_Kami
Senor_Kami

I'd love to see what code from the 90s is still being utilized in the 2013 version.

kcender08
kcender08

EA will eventually get its comeuppance.

juiceair
juiceair

Looks like Karma is getting ready to kick EA in balls!

berserker66666
berserker66666

When shit hits the fan, EA's always gonna be the one to take it all. EA sucks.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

i wonder what part of the code this is...

criegz
criegz

Couldn't have happened to a more deserving company.

ScreamDream
ScreamDream

Yet, EA has failed to compensate him as required by his agreement or give him proper credit for his work.

Depends what his contract stated. I'll have to wait for the trial.

urtin3
urtin3

Take that son of a bitch!

pal_080
pal_080

I don't get it... the guy creates the first Madden game and then feels like he's entitled to share in the profits of ALL of the games made after that...?

...Sounds a bit sketchy to me...

Adavanter
Adavanter

Just imagine if Activision and EA never existed. If Bioware had never been bought out. If Infinity Ward had gotten to move on to it's next project like it wanted... If the sport licenses hadn't been monopolized.

Dieofnv
Dieofnv

burn this franchise to the ground !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

moodyfoo
moodyfoo

An EA representative was not immediately available to comment...of course not. they have to prepare their little lies and cover ups stories to deny all of this like all the crooks in this screwed up world that we live in.

DoublesWorld
DoublesWorld

@Senor_Kami Well if youve played madden recently it sure doesnt feel like much has changed since then lmao

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@juiceair Not quite. Even if they end up giving him tens of millions in dues, it's barely going to hurt their financial stability. The only chance is that this drives the stocks dramatically down, where they have to lay off half of their devs, then those devs could get together to form new independent studios and go back to make great games.

ggregd
ggregd

@pal_080 "He signed a development contract with EA in 1986 that allegedly entitles Antonick to royalties on derivative versions of the "Madden" game."

"He says he hasn't received a royalty payment since approximately 1992."

"Over the past couple years, EA and Antonick are said to have engaged in confidential settlement negotiations."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/01/us-media-madden-idUSTRE7305Y620110401

EA wouldn't have been trying to block the lawsuit if it thought the case was groundless.

frostdawn99
frostdawn99

@pal_080 Antonick had a contract where he was entitled to royalties for the sale of the game using his design. If his claims are accurate in that EA continued to use his design for successive versions of the game, it means contractually he is entitled to royalties related to those sales, and EA is obligated to pay them. If anything is sketchy here, I think it's on the EA side of the house. 

moodyfoo
moodyfoo

@Adavanter maybe we can invent a machine that goes back in time and make sure these things don't happen?

david1230
david1230

@moodyfoo i'd love to see just one real newspaper or news anything actually report that as the truth, but yes time to sit down with PR and make sure we say the right things here.

cursealoud
cursealoud

@Total_mischief if that were true then why did they not settle out of court. Wanna know why...BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING BROKE!!! They can't afford to pay and if they do there's no telling how many others they have screwed. They would open the floodgates to more lawsuits. I guess you really dont understand business do you

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@ggregd @pal_080 Exactly. There are two reasons why EA would've tried to block the lawsuit: They didn't do any wrong, but Antonick could drive them bankrupt through legal fees or they did fail to pay Antonick his dues. The first scenario is obviously not happening.

Adavanter
Adavanter

Yeah but then EA and Activision would just send back cyborgs to stop us at the same time.

cursealoud
cursealoud

@Total_mischief @cursealoud Are you really that dense? Why would he go to court if he wasn't looking to settle the case. He's no fuckin superhero looking for justice. HE WANTS HIS GODDAMN MONEY! If they paid him a settlement he would would have taken it. They tried to BLOCK the case lawsuit which means they didnt offer anything you dumbass!!!!!! Damn I feel like I am arguing with a damn 9 year old. Are you really that damn stupid?

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@cursealoud @Total_mischief Wanna know why they didn't settle out of court ? Probably because Antonick wasn't interested in an out of court arrangement. If you think EA is going broke you need to rethink that for a moment.

cursealoud
cursealoud

@Total_mischief Dude, your arguments are idiot and hypocritical. Your first one stated that EA is financially sound and now you're saying this lawsuit could bankrupt them. WHICH ONE IS IT!?! Second, a company doesn't block a lawsuit if THEY ARE RIGHT. They block it because it can potentially sink them because of wrongdoing. Listen carefully(dummy), if EA loses this lawsuit, they will have to not only fork over millions of dollars(which they dont have in liquid right now) to Antonick and his lawyers and they will also open up more doors to other lawsuits in which they screwed other developers. His victory will become a victory for others.