Madden Creator Sues EA for “Tens of Millions” in Owed Royalties

Robin Antonick is tackling EA head on with a massive lawsuit surrounding unpaid royalties for his Madden games. Antonick created the first version of the game nearly 23 years ago, and has since sold over 85 million units and generated over $4 billions in profits. Now he’s claiming that he has been left out of the Madden franchise fortune, and an ugly war with EA looks to be underway.

Antonick says he hasn’t received a dime since 1992, despite signing a contract in 1986 that is still valid, and rejects the excuse that the more recent Madden games are nothing like his initial creation.

“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,” reads the complaint. “Instead, according to recent statements by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the current generation of software apparently derived from software developed by Antonick.”

As well as seeking out unpaid royalties, the contract also requires EA to pay any derivative works. Antonick believes that his IP was used in developing the NCAA Football franchises and the EA hockey games, which EA founder Trip Hawkins admitted used Madden’s engine.

IGN managed to squeeze a comment out of Tiffany Steckler, an EA spokesperson: “The complaint and its 20 year-old claim are utterly without merit.”