Madden Creator Sues EA Over Royalties

April 1, 2011 -

Robin Antonick, who is credited with programming the very first Madden game, is suing Electronic Arts for royalty payments he never received. With 85 million copies sold to date that could prove to be a lot of money if Antonick prevails in court. Antonick is asking for a jury trial in California in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. He claims that EA cut him out of the Madden franchise fortune.

Antonick claims that he created the football video game and had signed a development contract with EA in 1986 that entitled him to royalties on "derivative versions" of the Madden franchise.

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

Antonick is seeking "tens of millions" in royalties, disgorgement of all profits from the sale of the game as the result of "fraudulent behavior." The Madden NFL game franchise has generated more than $4 billion in profits since its launch more than 20 years ago.

Antonick says that he has not received a royalty payment from the game since 1992.

Over the past couple years, EA and Antonick have supposedly engaged in confidential settlement negotiations. EA denies this claim.

"The complaint and its 20 year-old claim are utterly without merit," EA spokesperson Tiffany Steckler told the Hollywood Reporter. Commenting on alleged settlement talks, she added, "We never offered to pay Antonick a penny."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter by way of No High Scores


Comments

Re: Madden Creator Sues EA Over Royalties

EA's getting sued AGAIN?! Didn't the NFL already sue EA over Madden? Twice?!

Lesson learned: Stay AWAY from SPORTS!

Re: Madden Creator Sues EA Over Royalties

Or just stay away from developing sports games that have three letter organization names at the pro-level that pay most players over $200,000/year (NBA, NFL, MLB...)

There are lots of obscure sports out there.  I'm sure curling and the caber toss would be fun as video games.

- Left4Dead

Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: Madden Creator Sues EA Over Royalties

Caber toss, I could see it being good on the Wii and with the PSMove.

Re: Madden Creator Sues EA Over Royalties

According to copyright law..

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/101.html

"A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”."

Kinda sounds like it is. It's a newer version of the C64 version. It's still called the same thing, more or less.

Depends on the contract's wording of course.

Still, typical of these companies to be hell bent on DRM until it means they have to 'pay the artist'. In spite of the 'protecting the artists' rhetoric.

Re: Madden Creator Sues EA Over Royalties

eh, publishers prove over and over that they don't give a damn about the artists, they care about the bottom line.

Re: Madden Creator Sues EA Over Royalties

I find it very difficult to believe that modern versions of Madden still contain legacy code from the Commodore 64.

I would venture to say that even stat and roster tracking algorithms (which are about the only thing the games could possibly still use) have been written from scratch several times over since 1986, especially since most C64/Apple2/etc games of that era were written almost exclusively in assembler.

And Trip Hawkins hasn't been at EA since 1991 (?), which pre-dates the original PlayStation, N64, and any other console that would have prompted the transition to a polygon based 3D engine for the franchise... so I don't know if I'd want to base a lawsuit on something the ol' tax dodger might have said recently...

Re: Madden Creator Sues EA Over Royalties

Wow, first the founder of EA owes the IRS $20 million in taxes, and now this? No wonder EA is clinging so desperately to their Online Pass.

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

 
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Thomas RiordanNo, certainly not. Anything to prevent that kinda crap.09/01/2014 - 8:18am
SleakerAlthough.. I don't think it hurts anyone if kids think the report is true :P09/01/2014 - 3:26am
Sleakerand just for future reference. National Reports is a fake news site, they decided to remove their disclaimers a while back apparently...09/01/2014 - 3:25am
Thomas RiordanDon't feel bad. I posted the same thing last night and deleted it once I realized it wasn't real.08/31/2014 - 11:13pm
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ConsterProbably because it's a satire site.08/31/2014 - 7:13pm
E. Zachary KnightI agree that the kid should be punished, but the charge and sentence seem a bit overboard to me. http://nationalreport.net/15-year-old-swatted-domestic-terrorism/08/31/2014 - 6:56pm
Andrew EisenI get a "page doesn't exist."08/31/2014 - 11:50am
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/Nevelets/status/506076879309508608 What we're currently supposed to be offended by, or whatever.08/31/2014 - 10:10am
MechaTama31AE: Probably snarky commentary on this: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/08/29/principle-player-leland-yee-arms-trading-case-dies08/30/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenConster - Don't know. Got a link to whatever you're referring to?08/30/2014 - 7:04pm
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MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
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prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
 

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