News broke today that a case between the alleged original developer of John Madden Football and Electronic Arts will be moving to trial starting June 17. After over two years of Electronic Arts attempting to have the case dismissed, a California federal judge has denied their claims and is pushing the case to trial. The lawsuit claims that developer Robin Antonick is owed millions in royalties.
Robert Carey, one of Antonick's legal representatives, made the following statement:
"We have very compelling evidence indicating that EA used Mr. Antonick’s ground-breaking code and design elements as the basis for both past and present Madden NFL titles. Yet, EA has failed to compensate him as required by his agreement or give him proper credit for his work. We look forward to proving our case at trial, and we are very confident that we will prevail."
Allegedly, Antonick and EA signed a number of legally binding documents that require EA to pay royalties to Antonick for any derivative work related to the original release of Madden. It's likely that Antonick will have to prove that he is actually the sole developer behind the original titles on top of proving that such a contract exists. He'll probably also have to explain why he's waited almost twenty years to come forward.
The trial is scheduled to begin on June 17 and we'll try and keep you updated on it and any effects it might have on Electronic Arts or the Madden franchise. John Madden Football was originally released in 1988 for MS-DOS, Commodore 64, and Apple II.