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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Yuuri@ Goth_Skunk, in many states being gay is not a protected status akin to say race or religion. It's also in the "Right to work" states. Those are the states where one can be fired for any reason (provided it isn't a "protected" one.)07/07/2015 - 6:07am
Goth_Skunkregarded as a beacon of liberty and freedom that is the envy of the world, would not have across-the-board Human Rights laws that don't at the very least equal those of my own country.07/07/2015 - 5:47am
Goth_SkunkI find that hard to believe, Infophile. I have difficulty believing employers can *still* fire people for being gay. I would need to see some evidence that this is fact, because as a Canadian, I can't believe that the United States,07/07/2015 - 5:46am
InfophileFor that matter, even women don't yet have full legal equality with men. The US government still places limits on the positions women can serve in the military. And that's just the legal side of things - the "culture wars" are more than just laws.07/07/2015 - 5:43am
InfophileAnd that's just LGB issues. Get ready for an incoming battle on rights for trans* people. And then after that, a battle for poly people.07/07/2015 - 5:41am
InfophileA battle's been won. In many states employers can still fire people for being gay. And in many states, parents can force their children into reparative therapy to try to "fix" being gay. Those battles still need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:40am
Goth_Skunkand now they've switched to battles that don't need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:37am
Goth_SkunkIn my opinion, it was the final legal hurdle denying homosexual couples final and recognized statuses as eligible spouses. But even though this war's been won, some people are still too keen to keep fighting battles,07/07/2015 - 5:28am
Goth_SkunkAnd it's a trend I don't mind seeing continue. Same-sex marriage was at long-last made definitively legal by SCOTUS, and it's about time. I'm glad it's finally happened, as it was desperately needed.07/07/2015 - 5:25am
Infophile(cont'd) It started long before that. Perhaps the American Civil War comes to mind?)07/07/2015 - 3:59am
InfophileOn Goth's linked article: Historically speaking, there may have been cycles, but remember that the left has steadily gained ground. Is there a good reason to expect that to be different this time? (Oh, and no, Culture War 1.0 wasn't with the Baby Boomers.07/07/2015 - 3:59am
Goth_Skunk"THIS VIDEO IS PROBLEMATIC:" About Social Justice Warriors, by J.T. Sexkik. Excellent video. http://ow.ly/PgGnD07/07/2015 - 3:22am
Goth_Skunkand repeats the cycle, over and over. Presently, the far left culture is overreaching, and is about to lose their stranglehold on power.07/06/2015 - 10:01pm
Goth_SkunkAs far back as the 60's, according to the writers. The culture war moves in cycles from one generation to the next. The left rebels against the right, takes over, overreaches to the point where the right rebels right back, takes over, overreaches ->07/06/2015 - 9:58pm
MattsworknameGoth, what "Comming overreach" , the media and goverment have been overreaching for years07/06/2015 - 9:34pm
MattsworknameJim sterling is awesome ,dont always agree with him, but when it came to those guys, he was dead on. Thank god for jim.07/06/2015 - 9:33pm
Goth_Skunk"Welcome to Culture War 4.0: The Coming Overreach" an excellent opinion piece by The Federalist. http://ow.ly/Pggw507/06/2015 - 9:32pm
Wymorencehttp://goo.gl/snN00H Okay, this is hysterical if you've followed the Digital Homicide Vs. Jim "Mother****ing" Sterling stuff. A podcast of the two groups talking it out with one being eviscerated07/06/2015 - 9:12pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.engadget.com/2015/07/06/kuratas-versus-megabot-robot-duel/ ok I want to see this. not gamming related but still cool. us giant robot vs Japanese giant robot.07/06/2015 - 8:39pm
Goth_SkunkFair point.07/06/2015 - 7:56pm
 

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