Have you ever heard the name Robin Antonick? Probably not, but he’s a very important person in the world of sports gaming. He was one of the programmers of the original Madden games, back when consoles only had eight bits and end-zone dances were but a twinkle in EA’s eyes.
Antonick recently sued Electronic Arts for the cool sum of eleven million dollars. He claimed that EA owed him royalties for several EA games published between 1990 and 1996. A contract that Antonick signed in 1986 guaranteed him "royalties on any derivative works related to the original version of EA Madden, including current annual releases, and prohibits EA from using his confidential information." He claimed that Madden games from 90-96 were almost identical to the original Madden game that Antonick developed.
The trial is now moving into the next phase, which will determine whether or not more modern Madden games could be considered derivative works as well. These games use entirely different polygonal engines, so the case will be a little harder for Antonick to prove. However, the franchise has earned over three billion dollars in revenue since 1997, so a win for Antonick means quite the hefty payout.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Senior Contributing Writer