Madden NFL trial begins

Original designer Robin Antonick claims EA used his code and never paid him; EA denies this and says," lawsuit is too late."

Madden NFL 25

Proceedings in the court case between Electronic Arts and original Madden designer Robin Antonick began this week in San Francisco, with Bloomberg providing a report from inside the courtroom.

A lawyer for Antonick told a jury this week that EA continued to use his code to create later versions of Madden, but never paid him for his work.

"Electronic Arts told him one thing and did another," Antonick's lawyer Robert Carey said in opening arguments.

For its part, EA denies using Antonick's code, saying later Madden NFL games were built outside of the foundation Antonick originally created.

EA "never used anything of Robin Antonick's in any later games," company lawyer Susan Harriman said. "Mr. Antonick's lawsuit is too late."

The opening arguments came as part of the first phase of the case, which will determine if the statute of limitations passed and if Antonick is in fact owed any money for Madden games sold before 1996.

Antonick is seeking compensatory damages of around $16 million and nearly $200 million from EA's pre-1996 game profits.

If the court agrees that the statute of limitations has not expired, then damages for games sold after 1996 will be considered in a second phase of the proceedings. According to Antonick's legal team, he is seeking a 7 percent royalty rate for all games sold and a repayment of profit EA made on the franchise.

This could reach into the "hundreds of millions of dollars" range, according to the report.

More than 99 million Madden NFL games have been sold to date, generating billions in revenue. Antonick originally sued EA in April 2011.

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.

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