Madden creator sues Electronic Arts for potentially billions

The man who created the first version of the video game franchise “Madden NFL Football” has sued Electronic Arts for potentially billions of dollars in royalties.

Yes, that was billions.

Robin Atonick is seeking jury trial in California after years of failed settlement talks with the company, according to Reuters. The video game has sold more than 85 million copies over the last 20 years and apparently Antonick only recently discovered that EA did not independently develop subsequent versions of the software for the game since his creation was used. Antonick’s original game was released in 1988 for Commodore 64, MS Dos and Apple II. His programming skill was combined with John Madden’s football knowledge.

Per the report, Antonick signed a development contract with EA in 1986. He claims he hasn’t received royalty checks since 1992. Antonick is asking for tens of millions in royalties plus damages for a game that has made more than $4 billion in sales.

So, as the real players and the real NFL fight over $9 billion per year, the video game version of the NFL will battle it out over billions in its own fight.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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