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Madden NFL Scores $11 Million Touchdown With Official Ruling

EA walks away with a win after the judge watched the replay.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

Electronic Arts (EA) finally caught a stroke of luck. With recent news of their VP, founder, and developers all bailing on the company, things aren’t looking good. Add having lost a court battle for the original coding of Madden, and it’s been a long 12 months for the behemoth. Finally, they recovered one of those many fumbles, thanks to an overruling.

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Let’s take a walk down memory lane

According to Game Informer, Robin Antonick, the original creator of the multi-million dollar Madden franchise won a court case in July of last year. The $11 million lawsuit held EA responsible for NOT paying Mr. Antonick. He claims of missing royalties since they still use the same basic coding from ’96 for the franchise today.

Well, U.S. district judge Charles Breyer, overturned that ruling. The judge stated this, in regards to the evidence presented to the jury:

“Without the opportunity to view each of the versions, the jury had no basis for evaluating whether the changes addressed altered each subsequent game,”

“The law requires a side-by-side comparison before jurors can make an evaluation of copyright infringement.”

Shortly after, Game Informer reached out to EA for a response to the ruling. The company rep was happy to say via email:

“We are thrilled to see the claims resolved in favor of EA,”

“…because Antonick had no involvement in the Sega Madden games, he had no entitlement to further royalties.”

My Thoughts

I by no means have seen the cases presented, but if they are still using part of this man’s original source code… that’s a huge problem. He deserves the money. Although, I would really like to see how a 2013 iteration of a game could in any way compare to a 1996 version. It’s been almost two decades, along with two if not three cycles of new consoles. That seems odd that EA would slip up about that.

EA is big and likes to make money; they’re a business. Everyone makes mistakes, but not tying up any loose ends like this seems foolish. Madden is their best-selling franchise and continues to sell every year. EA has been hit hard enough in recent months, they don’t need to lose out on too much more money. I’d hate to see another studio close its doors due to this.


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I'm a stay at home dad who writes about video games. I enjoy my family, video games, and music.