Madden creator sues EA for lost royalties

Programmer of original football sim sues megapublisher, claiming he was excluded from series' massive profits.


Since its inception, Madden NFL Football has grown into the biggest sports franchise on the planet. Since it was introduced nearly 23 years ago, the series has sold 85 million units and generated in excess of $4 billion in profits, helping publisher Electronic Arts lock down a monopoly on the NFL franchise until 2013.

Madden creator Robin Antonick wants a bigger piece of the Madden pie.
Madden creator Robin Antonick wants a bigger piece of the Madden pie.

The riches EA has reaped from the franchise have apparently angered Robin Antonick, who helped create the original Madden game back in 1988. Now, according to Reuters, Antonick is suing EA, accusing the megapublisher of withholding royalties and demanding a share of the massive profits the series has generated over the years.

According to Antonick, even though the Madden series has become much more sophisticated, it is still based on his original game, meaning he is due a share of the franchise's income. He claims he hasn't received any form of payment from the game since 1992, the year before the franchise was renamed from Madden Football to Madden NFL Football.

"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. "Instead, according to recent statements by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the current generation of software apparently derived from software developed by Antonick."

As of press time, EA had not commented on the matter.

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