EA sued over Madden feature

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

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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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