On the same day that MDS posted a blurb regarding the impact of concussions on the next version of the Madden game, we’ve stumbled over a story that, after reading it, makes us feel like we’ve suffered a concussion of our own.
According to Reuters, Robin Antonick claims that he created the first versions of the Madden franchise in the 1980s for the MS Dos, Apple II, and Commodore 64 platforms. And he claims that he recently realized that he wrongfully has been denied a piece of the profits as it has exploded onto all sorts of other derivative platforms.
He wants tens of millions in unpaid royalties and “disgorgement” of nearly $4 billion in profits from the sale of the game.
Antonick allegedly hasn’t received a royalty payment since 1992. So why is he causing a ruckus 19 years later?
“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,” the complaint states. “Instead, according to recent statements by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the current generation of software apparently derived from software developed by Antonick.”
Antonick has to make that claim because, otherwise, the statute of limitations for any claims to be filed by Antonick have long since expired. And while the so-called “discovery rule” delays the running of the clock when the plaintiff had no knowledge nor reason to know that his rights had been violated, a reasonable person would have realized at some point over the past, you know, two decades, that the Madden game as played on various other platforms and devices possibly derives from the work Antonick did.
So even if Antonick’s claims have merit, his biggest challenge will be to show that he didn’t wait too long to pursue the case.