A district court has ruled EA Sports must face fraud claims suggesting the publisher failed to give the Madden NFL franchise’s original developer his fair share of profits.
Robin Antonick claims to have created a prototype that later became the first Madden NFL game way back in 1988, according to Bloomberg’s report.
Antonick’s lawyers said he was hired in 1984 to code a football game for EA, on Commodore 64, Apple II and IBM computers – the game eventually released as John Madden Football. As of 2011, when n Antonick filed his complaint, the franchise has gone on to bring in over $4 billion in sales and sell 85 million copies.
Although Antonick’s code was not used in later releases – of which there are nearly 30 – he’s accused EA of fraud and demanded royalties.
US District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco said he has “serious concerns about the fraud claim” but will let it go to trial anyway; the case has been scheduled for a June hearing.
EA Sports is still in the throes of an anti-trust case, too.