Madden Designer Awarded $11 Million in Lawsuit Against EA
Ryan Bloom / Jul 24th, 2013 No Comments
[adsense250itp]A U.S. District Court jury in the Northern District of California ruled in favor of original Madden designer Robin Antonick in a lawsuit against Electronic Arts, awarding him more than $11 million in damages.
The case began in 2011 and alleges that EA signed a publishing and development contract with Antonick in which EA agreed to pay him royalties on any future works related to the original Madden or derivatives of it and prohibited the company from using his confidential information. The lawsuit claims EA violated those terms.
Antonick developed the first Madden title in 1988. John Madden Football was released on MS-DOS and the Apple II.
According to the jury, Madden NFL titles from 1990 to 1996 were virtually identical to Antonick’s first Madden and used similar plays and formations.
The decision only covers Madden games published between 1990 and 1996. However, the verdict also paves the way for a future trial to determine if EA is responsible for paying Antonick royalties for Madden games published from 1997 to the present. Revenues for those games reached more than $3 billion. It is also around the time when new consoles launched with improved graphics.
“This is a tremendous victory,” Rob Carey, partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and one of Antonick’s attorneys, said. “In many ways, this trial was a test of each party’s version of events. The jury uniformly rejected the idea that this game was developed without Robin’s work. It is, if nothing, a good omen for the next phase of the litigation.”
In addition to seeking unpaid royalties for more recent games, Antonick and his lawyers plan to appeal the previous court ruling that excluded Super Nintendo titles and fraud claims from jury deliberations.
EA said the verdict made in the case will have no affect on the Madden franchise as it currently stands. The company has been denying Antonick’s claims since the lawsuit was filed in 2011.
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