EA could be liable for "potentially billions of dollars" after the co-creator of the very first Madden video game announced he is taking the publisher to court.
Since its inception the Madden series has sold in excess of 85m copies generating in the region of $4bn in profit.
Now Reuters reports that Robin Antonick, who claims to be the creator of the very first game for EA for the Commodore 64, MD Dos and Apple II, is arguing that he’s been cut out of the series’ success.
A contract signed in 1986 allegedly entitles him to royalties on derivative versions of the Madden games. He hasn’t received any payments since 1992 and that he wasn’t aware of EA’s plans to expand the franchise to other platforms.
He also argues that despite the series’ continued evolution and increased complexity, it is still very much based on his original which did actually include "expertise and knowledge" NFL star John Madden’s strategies.
He also claims that he’s been in confidential negotiations with EA for a couple of years.
"Only recently, as a result of publicity surrounding the 20th Anniversary of the Madden video game did Antonick become aware that Electronic Arts did not independently develop subsequent versions of its Madden NFL software," the complaint reads.
"Instead, according to recent statements by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the current generation of software apparently derived from software developed by Antonick."