Boom! Suit Against Madden NFL Allowed To Proceed!
Perhaps you could call it a missed block, but a United States District Court earlier this week denied a motion to dismiss Robin Antonick’s lawsuit against EA Sports. Antonick was a developer of the first Madden game. Believe it or not, the game was first developed in 1988 for the Commodore 64, MS Dos and Apple II platforms. And all the kids who today still play Madden just collectively asked “what are those?” In any event, by the early 1990’s Antonick left EA, and EA told him that it had hired Park Place Productions to develop a new version of Madden that would not use any of Antonick’s intellectual property. Antonick apparently believed the EA folks, and that appeared to be that. Until Antonick heard EA president Trip Hawkins give some interviews in connection with the 20th anniversary of the game. In the interviews, said that the current game was derived from the current version. At that point, Antonick called an audible (did you think I wasn’t going to use football puns? Is this your first time reading this blog?) and filed a lawsuit. He claims he’s entitled to millions, if not billions, in royalties and profits for Madden games sold since he left EA. Of course, EA asked the court to flag Antonick for the legal equivalent of a delay of game penalty. EA argued that Antonick’s claims were well outside the statute of limitations. But in the recent ruling, the court found that Antonick presented sufficient evidence that EA hid the facts from him, so that the metaphorical play clock never started running. Which means, of course, game on.