While EA’s Madden series has been pretty much unassailable in terms of competition from other football video games, it hasn’t fared so well in court.
At least, not today.
A jury in U.S. District court, according to GameSpot.com, ruled that the statue of limitations for a lawsuit claim made by the original Madden designer has not expired, meaning that he can proceed in suing the video game giant.
Antonick began the lawsuit in April 2011 after discovering that the same code base he created in the first Madden (in 1988) was still being used – despite him not receiving any royalties since 1995.
At the time of the suit, EA had sold something to the tune of 90 million versions of the game in retail. Combining the royalties and revenues owed to the gamemaker could have ended up with a multimillion – if not billion – dollar settlement for the former game developer. However, Antonick’s sights are on a little bit of a lower number: 16 million in damages and 200 million in game profits, according to GameSpot.com.
“In today’s ruling, the jury tackled the statute of limitations, specifically whether the deadline for filing a lawsuit had already passed. It found in Antonick’s favor, ruling that he did not suspect any wrongdoing by EA before 2005,” Antonick’s legal representation said in a statement. “It also found that a reasonable person would not have known about the claims before 2005.”
Antonick’s lawyer, Rob Carey, said the legal team was confident that they would win the suit, now that it has been proven to be a legitimate case against EA.
“Now the case goes to the merits, where we have irrefutable evidence,” Carey continued. “We are confident that we will be able to demonstrate that EA failed to live up to its agreement with Mr. Antonick and lied to him about the use of his protected work product in the games.”