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Madden suit awards $11 million to original programmer

Wednesday, 24th July 2013 01:55 GMT By Brenna Hillier

A jury has ruled in favour of original Madden programmer Robin Antonick, awarding him $11 million in damages in a suit against EA Sports.

A Californian District Court jury spent three days deliberating its verdict before ruling in Antonick’s favour.

The pay out, which includes interest, is expected to be more than $11 million. Antonick’s legal team intends to pursue additional compensation, which must be determined by a judge, and appeal the dismissal of fraud claims.

The ruling also opens the door to the second phase of Antonick’s suit, which concerns games published after 1996. Revenues generated from 1997 exceed $3 billion. If he next phase of the trial goes the same way, Antonick could be in line for substantially greater damages.

Antonick sued EA Sports over unpaid royalties; his 1986 contract for the very first Madden game allegedly stipulated that he paid royalties on any derivative works.

Despite a judge’s misgivings on the subject, the jury found that games released between 1990 and 1996 were “virtually identical” to the original Madden.

“This is a tremendous victory. In many ways, this trial was a test of each party’s version of events,” attorney Rob Carey of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro said.

“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.”

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6 Comments

  1. MCTJim

    11 million..yea I think he can retire..as for EA…they just got a smack down.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. f1r3storm

    “Antonick’s legal team intends to pursue additional compensation”

    Ah, such greediness.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. GrimRita

    @2 its not about greed, its about fairness. After all, if EA didnt treat him like a piece of shit, they wont be in this mess. They have made a lot of money from his work, pushed him out, tried to ‘tweak’ the game to get around copyright issues and failed.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. viralshag

    It’s not about greed but fairness? Are you having a laugh. How many other programmers that have worked on a Madden game – original or not – walk away with over $11 million (and also trying to get $200 million in royalties)?

    From what I can see he worked on the original only, and you think even though the game has evolved so far beyond that, he is due royalties on the entire franchise?

    This case, based on what I’ve seen about it shouldn’t even be in court.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. GrimRita

    @5 – Doesnt matter. This spawned the legacy of Madden and EA have made millions from it – from someones original idea. I think of it as music. Someone writes the song, others cover it and some royalties go to the original artist/writer – the same should be in gaming.

    Just because you throw in a different colour scheme, change X or Y doesnt make it different. If this was the case, then music would be screwed as well because when an artist covers a song and they totally remix it( as in Paul Young I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down vs original) he/his company wouldnt have to fork out a penny.

    Law is the law and its there to help the little guy as well as the corporate greed machines

    #5 1 year ago
  6. silkvg247

    I don’t get it. Did the guy invent american football? Shouldn’t the person who invented the sport be getting all of this money?

    Shouldn’t every single tennis game be paying out royalties to the creator of pong?

    Just stinks of fucking greed this does.

    #6 1 year ago

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