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.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.wired.com/2015/04/dmca-ownership-john-deere/04/21/2015 - 1:58pm
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson: Classic shell ^_~04/21/2015 - 1:56pm
Matthew Wilson@zipp I dont like the star menu taking up the whole dam screen, so just getting the start menu back will be worth it.04/21/2015 - 11:19am
ZippyDSMleeI got a extra HDD I will take win 10 for a spin. see if tis worthwhile heck if I do not have to move colums over in Skyrims creation kit its a keeper!04/21/2015 - 10:53am
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson: Been on win 8.1 a few months the only thing I do not like is compatibility issues with older programs. 10 won't fix that sadly...04/21/2015 - 10:51am
E. Zachary KnightThe US Supreme Court has ruled that the 4th Amendment does offer US citizens some protections. This is a change of pace from other 4th Amendment rulings. http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/21/supreme-court-says-police-violated-4th-a04/21/2015 - 10:35am
E. Zachary KnightNot sure on that specific. But It is slightly annoying, but it can help to clairfy on occasion.04/21/2015 - 10:13am
IvresseCan I just ask out of curiousity why people repeat the title in their shout when it clearly states it in the URL?04/21/2015 - 9:07am
E. Zachary KnightI would say that is true. It drives me nuts when games are patched. The closer the patch is to launch, the worse it is.04/21/2015 - 9:06am
PHX Corphttp://www.npr.org/2015/04/19/400829880/when-video-games-are-patched-gamers-lose-trust-in-reviews When Video Games Are 'Patched,' Gamers Lose Trust In Reviews04/21/2015 - 9:03am
IvresseWell Totalbiscuit's port report video was positively glowing about it...04/21/2015 - 4:05am
MattsworknameHey, slightly off topic, but, anyone got a good sugestion for a flight stick for elite dangerous?04/21/2015 - 12:38am
Matthew Wilson@pm intreasting the gta5 port was already good from what I have read.04/20/2015 - 9:32pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.pcgamer.com/gta-5-pc-patch-reduces-cpu-usage/04/20/2015 - 9:00pm
PHX Corp@zippy I'm Probaly going to Warn my uncle who is a techie that it may come out at the end of july04/20/2015 - 8:45pm
Matthew Wilson@zippy I want windows 10 badly, but that is because I am stuck on 8.1 yuk. that being said the new dx12 looks very good, and the reported performance gain from it.04/20/2015 - 8:00pm
ZippyDSMleeMy body is readY! http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2015/04/20/amd-microsoft-to-launch-windows-10-at-the-end-of-july04/20/2015 - 7:54pm
PHX CorpI may have posted this before but a leaked email from Sony pictures has the MPAA written all over it http://www.extremetech.com/computing/203654-leaked-sony-emails-show-mpaas-opposition-to-fair-use-confirms-users-are-viewed-as-thieves04/20/2015 - 4:53pm
Mattsworknameyet another reason the DMCA should be dismantled and rewritten04/20/2015 - 4:41pm
Matthew Wilson@zippy that is worse than the ESA thing.04/20/2015 - 4:26pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician