Reuters is reporting that the designer of the groundbreaking original John Madden Football is suing Electronic Arts, claiming that the company owes him millions of dollars in owed royalties. Robin Antonick filed the lawsuit on Wednesday which claims that a development contract he signed with EA in 1986 entitles him to royalties on derivative works, meaning the entire Madden series. Antonick says he hasn't received a royalty check for his game since 1992.
So, why did it take so long? Antonick's complaint states that the plaintiff only became aware that the modern Madden franchise was based on the work he did on John Madden Football, "as a result of publicity surrounding the 20th Anniversary of the 'Madden' videogame," having assumed further entries had been independently developed. EA and Antonick have been reported as engaging in settlement negotiations over the last couple of years.
EA has responded, with Tiffany Steckler stating to 1Up, "The complaint and its 20 year-old claim are utterly without merit."