A federal judge has ruled that a case brought against EA by the original developer of John Madden Football may proceed to trial. The developer, Robin Antonick, claims that he was the original designer and developer of the Madden NFL series (he worked on the early computer-based versions of the game) and is owed "millions in unpaid royalties, punitive damages and disgorgement of all profits arising from the $5 billion Madden NFL franchise."
The case will now proceed to a trial, and is scheduled to begin on June 17, 2013. EA tried to get the lawsuit dismissed, but failed in that endeavor.
The case revolves around EA and Antonick signing a series of publishing and development contracts. An agreement signed in 1986 required that EA to pay him royalties on any derivative works related to the original version of EA Madden, including current annual releases, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit further claims that EA has failed to pay millions of dollars in royalties owed to Antonick and failed to keep his work confidential as required by the contract.
“We have very compelling evidence indicating that EA used Mr. Antonick’s ground-breaking code and design elements as the basis for both past and present Madden NFL titles,” said Robert Carey, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP partner and one of Antonick’s attorneys. “Yet, EA has failed to compensate him as required by his agreement or give him proper credit for his work. We look forward to proving our case at trial, and we are very confident that we will prevail.”
Antonick is also represented by Leonard Aragon of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and Stuart Paynter of the Paynter Law Firm.
You can read more about the case – at least from the Antonick's and his legal team's perspective, here.