Juries can be harsh, right EA Games??
LOLz! The gaming company has just been ordered by a jury and court to pay $11 million to the creator of one of their most lucrative franchises — Madden NFL!
Robin Antonick created the first version of Madden NFL Football back in the 80's, and launched a lawsuit in March, 2011. He was going after Electronic Arts for allegedly breaching a development contract he signed in 1986 that entitled him to royalties on derivative versions of the Madden game, which is a LOT of money, because the game has sold more than 100 million copies and earned more than $4 billion in revenue.
Because the games had higher revenue after 1996, damages could stretch into the hundreds of millions of dollars!
Here's his argument, according to his lawyer:
"Only recently, as a result of publicity surrounding the 20th Anniversary of the Madden videogame did Antonick become aware that Electronic Arts did not independently develop subsequent versions of its Madden NFL software. Instead, according to recent statements by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the current generation of software apparently derived from software developed by Antonick."
Robin had the burden on him to prove that everything the more modern versions of the game was doing had been directly derived from what he created.
Apparently he did — because this phase had the jury ruling in his favor!
We wonder how far this will go before EA tries to settle with Robin, or if they'll take it all the way to the end just so they can appeal!
[Image via Chris Park/Invision/AP Images.]