Original Madden Programmer Sues EA for 20 Years of Royalties

  Reason for lawsuit
Robin Antonick, who is one of the original developers of the Madden series, has launched a suit against video game publisher Electronic Arts, saying that he has not been paid royalties on derivative works for more than 20 years.

Robin Antonick, who is one of the original developers of the Madden series, has launched a suit against video game publisher Electronic Arts, saying that he has not been paid royalties on derivative works for more than 20 years.

The developer says that Electronic Arts has used the technologies that Antonick has created for the first Madden video games, which arrived in 1988 for platforms like the Apple II, the Commodore 64 and the MS-DOS, in order to later develop the tech that then powered the franchise on other platforms.

The lawsuit was filed in the California District Court and says that the initial agreement between the developer and Electronic Arts, penned in 1986, talked about Antonick getting 1.5 percent of the profits that Madden generated on other hardware and from new video games.

The documents attached say that the first Madden game included innovations like 3D cameras, instant replay, 11 players sides and “sophisticated models of player behavior in place of static rules-based gameplay,” all of them linked to the work done by Robin Antonick.

Electronic Arts has refused to pay royalties because a new development team, called Park Place, was brought in when the SEGA Genesis version of Madden was in development.

The lawsuit says that one of Antonick's closest collaborators worked with the people at Park Place, giving them information on the technology that Madden used.

The lawsuit says, “Given Richard Hilleman's extensive knowledge of Antonick's code, it would not be possible for Hilleman to spend 'countless hours' working on subsequent versions of Madden without benefiting from and in fact utilizing Antonick's ground-breaking prior development work.”

Publisher Electronic Arts has recently announced that it has extended its exclusive rights to create video games based on the NFL license.

At the moment, the company is choosing the cover athlete for Madden NFL 12, even though a lockout might lead to the game being delayed.

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