In 2011, we reported that Electronic Arts was being sued by Robin Antonick, designer of the original John Madden Football, who was claiming unpaid royalties for derivatives of his work after realizing subsequent early Madden games were similar to his original design. EA responded, "The complaint and its 20 year-old claim are utterly without merit."
Well, EA lost the suit today after a three day jury deliberation. Looks like that one had a little too much mustard on it. "The jury found that several of EA's games, published between 1990-1996, were virtually identical to the original version of Madden NFL Football, developed by Antonick, and used substantially similar plays and formations," according to a press release issued by Hagens Berman, the law firm representing Antonick. "With mandatory prejudgment interest, the verdict should entitle Antonick to more than $11 million." That's a lot of turducken.
What's more, Antonick's claim that his work was recycled in the series spans beyond the 16-bit, 1990-1996 time frame considered in this initial decision, which the law firm called "a good omen for the next phase of the litigation." That next phase is set to decide if EA owes Antonick for games published after 1996 and into the present, "where revenues exceed $3 billion." Yikes. Looks like an all-out blitz.