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Thursday, March 31, 2011

'Madden NFL' Creator Sues Electronic Arts, Says He Is Owed 'Tens of Millions'

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 3:28 PM

click to enlarge madden9.jpg

If you're a man under the age of 40, chances are you have considered suing Electronic Arts -- for the hours, days, and years of your life lost to the video-game company's addictive football franchise, Madden NFL.

Well, game developer Robin Antonick has his own bone to pick. Antonick, who asserts that he created the first version of Madden for computer systems in the 1980s, is suing EA for what he says are "tens of millions of dollars in royalty payments" that were never payed to him for subsequent iterations -- there have been 12 -- of the game.

While each version has arrived with improved graphics and features, Antonick claims the formula that made Madden a hit in the days of systems such as the Commodore 64 -- software that realistically simulated the endlessly complex mechanics of a professional football game -- was of his making.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asserts that the Redwood City-based gaming company has avoided paying royalties "by affirmatively and fraudulently misrepresenting to Antonick the derivation of the current generation of Madden football games."

According to the complaint, "Only recently ... did Antonick become aware that Electronic Arts did not independently develop subsequent versions of its Madden NFL software."

If this thing gets to trial, we sure hope the judge allows ardent Madden fans to bring their Doritos and Schlitz into the courtroom.

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Peter Jamison


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