According to Kotaku, a jury has ruled that Electronic Arts used code and features developed by the designer of the first John Madden Football, Robin Antonick. The code was used in Madden games that were published into the mid 1990s. Antonick was not paid royalties, nor was he given credit. The jury ruled that EA is required to pay $11 million in damages and that amount may be increased.
Antonick was credited on the cover of the original 1988 PC game along with John Madden. He sued EA in federal court in 2011 alleging that the company recycled the code, design, and other features that he put in the game for future editions. The 16-bit console versions of the Madden game helped the popularity of the game series surge. The jury’s decision encompasses the Madden games that were published between 199 and 1996, which was the lifespan for the games on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.
?This is a tremendous victory,? stated one of Antonick’s lawyers Rob Carey. “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.?
During a future phase of the trial, it will be determined whether Antonick’s work appeared in versions of Madden beyond the 16-bit versions. Antonick’s lawyers said that EA’s revenues of the Madden games published during that span exceeded $3 billion.
“While we?re disappointed with the jury?s verdict and will appeal, this has always been a case about games from the early 1990s, and it has no impact on today?s Madden NFL franchise,? said Electronic Arts in a statement.