Madden creator sues EA for royalties

Electronic Arts is being sued for tens of millions of dollars by the original creator of the Madden football series, reports Reuters.

Creator Robin Antonick claims he's owed him almost two decades of unpaid royalties from the American football series. He says that the modern all-singing, all-dancing games are still based upon his 8-bit original John Madden Football, which was released for for Apple II, Commodore 64 and MS DOS in 1988.

Antonick's 1986 contract with EA entitled him to royalties from derivative games. To the untrained eye, the modern games are only based on his original in so far as they're both video game adaptations of American football, but Antonick thinks otherwise.

His legal complaint says, "according to recent statements by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the current generation of software apparently derived from software developed by Antonick." As Antonick last received royalty payments around 1992, he's seeking "tens of millions of dollars" in owed royalties and disgorgement of all profits from the series. EA's Madden series has shifted over 90 million units to date.

Reuters reports that this isn't the first time time Antonick have clashed, as the two are said to have engaged in confidential settlement negations over the past few years.