The creator of the Madden series is suing EA for royalties he was denied and a recent ruling means he may just win his case.
Robin Antonick, the man behind the beloved Madden Football video game franchise, is taking EA to court over unpaid royalties after he discovered some of his original Madden code was being used in recent contemporary entries in the series.
Antonick and EA originally signed a mutual contract way back in 1986; the terms being that EA would pay Antonick royalties on profits generated from the series (as long as they continued using the programming code he originally wrote). However, it wasn’t until 2005 that Antonick discovered EA had been using his code without his knowledge or permission as far back as 1990 and he is now suing the company for $200 million in royalties (roughly the amount of profit generated by Madden titles between 1990 and 1996).
EA tried to have the case dismissed by claiming the statute of limitations for Antonick’s claim had run out but a judge ruled in favor of Antonick saying that since it wasn’t until 2005 that Antonick first learned of EA’s infringement on his contract, there was no possible way he could have filed a claim earlier (since EA was purposefully keeping Antonick in the dark).
If Antonick wins the suit, EA will have to surrender all profits generated from the Madden franchise in addition to the $200 million they’ll own Antonick. A secondary phase of the suit will also cover Madden games released between 1997 and 2013.
The full legal briefing can be seen on the following page.