10:07 PM - July 23, 2013 by MMChrisS
This wasn't the 25th Anniversary Electronic Arts Execs had planned on.
After three days of deliberations, a jury in the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of Robin Antonick, the original designer and developer of Madden NFL Football awarding him a figure in the range of $11 million per year.
This victory also gives Antonick the ability to pursue the same claims against EA for Madden NFL games released after 1996.
In the case, Antonick Alleges EA signed a series of publishing and development contracts with him which culminated in a 1986 agreement which requires EA to pay Antonick royalties on any derivative works of the original EA Madden game.
“This is a tremendous victory,” said Rob Carey, partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and one of Antonick’s attorneys. “In many ways, this trial was a test of each party’s version of events. The jury uniformly rejected the idea that this game was developed without Robin’s work. It is, if nothing, a good omen for the next phase of the litigation.”
If that law firm sounds familiar, they are also the firm in charge of the Ed O'Bannon suit which alleges EA and the NCAA owe student athletes royalties for use of their licenses and is the reason the NCAA and EA are no longer business partners.
The next phase of the trial will be held to determine if they owe Antonick royalties for all Madden games released since 1997, a sum which could be far bigger than this one.