EA loses a $11 million lawsuit to one its original programmers

Once again EA is back in court facing a Breach of Contract case, and after more than two years of legal maneuvering Electronic Arts,  a California federal judge has put a end to EA’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit brought by former employee Robin Antonick who worked as a designer and developer for the Madden franchise, according to the lawsuit Antonick is seeking millions for unpaid royalties, punitive damages and disgorgement of all profits arising form the $5 billion Madden NFL franchise.

Antonick,according to his lawsuit conceived and developed the first version of John Madden Football for the Commodore 64, MS-Dos and Apple ll platforms The game was the first to accurately simulate 11×11 football, among other advances, and was described as “miraculous” by EA.

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To get into more details of the case EA and Antonick signed a series of publishing and development contract, culminating in a 1986 agreement that requires EA to pay him royalties on any derivative works related to the original version of Madden, including current annual releases. The lawsuit also claims that EA has failed to pay millions of dollars in royalties owed to Antonick and failed to keep his work confidential as required by the contract.

The Jury found that several of EA’s games, publined between 1990-1996, were identical to the original version developed by Antonick, the game used similar plays and formations. With mandatory prejudgment interest, the verdict should entitle Antonick to more than $11 million.

“This is a tremendous victory,” said Rob Carey, partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and one of Antonick’s attorneys. “In many ways, this trial was a test of each party’s version of events. The jury uniformly rejected the idea that this game was developed without Robin’s work.  It is, if nothing, a good omen for the next phase of the litigation.”

“We have very compelling evidence indicating that EA used Mr. Antonick’s ground-breaking code and design elements as the basis for both past and present Madden NFL titles,” said Robert Carey, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP partner and one of Antonick’s attorneys. “Yet, EA has failed to compensate him as required by his agreement or give him proper credit for his work. We look forward to proving our case at trial, and we are very confident that we will prevail.”

A future phase of the trial will be held to determine whether EA is responsible for paying Antonick for games published between 1997 and the present, where revenues exceed $3 billion.

Antonick and his attorneys still plan to seek additional compensation during this stage of the litigation from the judge, who reserved for himself to decide claims for disgorgement of EA’s profits. They will also seek to appeal previous rulings that excluded Super Nintendo games and fraud claims from the jury deliberations.

The case will proceed to trial, which is scheduled to begin on June 17, 2013. Antonick will be represented by Leonard Aragon of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and Stuart Paynter of the Law Firm.

Again this is a case Ea was bound to lose, in the past they were allegations of them over working there employees, in fact EA had to pay a $14.9 million dollar settlement to their programmers that have worked there between February 14, 2001 and February 14, 2006 in a case similar to Antonick. Its not good when a company as big as EA is still having legal issues whether it be past or present be so similar. EA has a lot going on right now and it looks as if past wrong doings are catching up to them.

Hopefully EA can stop bleeding because in this boxing ring called the Legal System they don’t stand a chance.

 

 

Maxis goes inside SimCity with a video on the GlassBox Engine

SimCity is coming back in a big way, the new game is slated to attack a new generation of gamers on the PC in 2013, there’s a lot of road to clear between now and then and Maxis is determined to demonstrate their efforts so far in this latest video. The clip demonstrates the power of the GlassBox engine driving the entire experience for users. The goal of GlassBox is simple, everything around you is active and acts as a messenger to the larger game engine, all the changes and choices you make feed back to the larger simulation engine active and shape your destiny and the destiny of your city.

It’s an interesting look at what helps shape a game like this and how much complexity rests under the hood and is never seen. Check out the clip below for part 1 and we’ll keep you posted when more clips go live.

Battlefield 3 unveils Close Quarters Trailer and upcoming DLC

EA already hinted at this one but today we have video and details on the upcoming DLC package for Battlefield 3. Close Quarters acts exactly as noted and brings tight action to the game with new weapons and maps. For those who didn’t pre-order the game, this shouldn’t be any different from the Back to Karkand DLC pack that hit in December as it packs even more into an already expansive game.

Close Quarters going almost completely indoors is bound to bring up some tension, Ziba Tower is the demo video and honestly it’s beyond tense with destructive environments coming out of the woodwork. If you have a fear of heights or tight spaces this map will do anything but put those at ease. Explosions, damage and gunfire will keep anyone on edge as cover is shot to pieces of fragged into dust. It’s a sweet teaser for something coming out so far off in June, I’m sure we’ll have more glimpses as the DLC gets closer to release.

Details from EA:

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters key features

·         Get plunged into frantic and relentless infantry combat on 4 new maps
·         HD Destruction lets you reduce entire locales to ruin
·         Earn 10 new weapons and bring them back to the base game
·         Complete 10 new Assignments and equip 5 unique dog tags

Battlefield 3: Armored Kill key features

·         All-out vehicle warfare on huge maps
·         Includes the biggest map in Battlefield history
·         New vehicles, including tanks, ATV’s, and mobile artillery

Battlefield 3: End Game is the final expansion slated for this Winter but they’re not speaking up on it yet. In the meantime check out the pricing details below and get saving for your next mission assignments.

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters information

·         Publisher: Electronic Arts
·         Developer: DICE
·         Formats: PlayStation® 3, Xbox 360®, PC
·         Release: June 2012 (1 week early access on PlayStation®3)
·         Players: 2-16
·         Rating: ESRB Mature 17+ / PEGI 16
·         MSRP: $14.99 USD for PlayStation 3 and PC, 1200 MS Points

Day 5: Android 10 Billion download 10 cent event keeps going

Day 5 continues and we get a bit of a warning, last night we got a last minute slap that EA put Need For Speed: Shift on sale at the end of the night for 10 cents as well. Anything seems to go in this wild event so keep your eyes locked on the market at night for last chance deals.

Pano is great but reviews say it requires a constant data connection for it to check the license validity, a problem when you go for scenic shots in tougher locations. Asphalt 6 was something I picked up in the Day 1 sale and don’t regret, it looks amazing but it’s a little difficult to get used to, touch steering is always a bit more difficult than axis controlled steering. The Sims 3 was a pick with no hesitation, I mean it’s The Sims and it’s portable which is just deadly in itself. Age of Zombies and Apparatus also look like great picks for the day.

Black Fire 2 Mod touches down on Crysis 2

Black Fire 2 is ready to rock on Crysis 2, packing a huge variety of engine changes and texture swaps it might be the best mod to have in your collection. Keep in mind this is a big swap and some major changes to textures have left them bare of Tessellation for now, if you can stomach that I suggest checking out the mod. If you’re still on the fence I suggest watching the youtube demo and getting your mind BLOWN AWAY.

Crytek did a good job with the DX11 patch but this really kicks the life out of that patch and leaves it for dead. Download it here (Translated) it’s a 9 stage process from what I can see.

EA / Bioware announce Dragon Age 2 for PS3/360/PC

Today RPG fans can go wild, Bioware brings official confirmation that Dragon Age 2 will be coming in March of 2011 to the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The latest story will take players into the role of Hawke a Blight survivor and hero set to transform the world.

Details are vague on the changes to the game for the sequel, noting only that the game will deliver the same epic story and a new bar for action. The key of course is that they still wish to keep original fans happy and familiar with the sequel instead of jumping beyond the target. New combat systems, improved graphics and storytelling are just some of the foundations to be focused on.

From EA/Bioware:

Dragon Age 2 thrusts players into the role of Hawke, a penniless refugee who rises to power to become the single most important character in the world of Dragon Age. Known to be a survivor of the Blight and the Champion of Kirkwall, the legend around Hawke’s rise to power is shrouded in myth and rumor. Featuring an all-new story spanning 10 years, players will help tell that tale by making tough moral choices, gathering the deadliest of allies, amassing fame and fortune, and sealing their place in history. The way you play will write the story of how the world is changed forever.

For more information, keep an eye on the Dragon Age website / twitter / facebook pages.

Continue reading EA / Bioware announce Dragon Age 2 for PS3/360/PC

Dragon Age: Origins Gamescom Videos!

Nothing like cool clips from the latest hot games. Check out our mini gallery of Dragon Age: Origins videos from Gamescom 2009. Some story on the City of Haven is provided by the folks at BioWare:

Some years ago, a lone traveler paid a visit to a tavern in Denerim, and after imbibing a great quantity of ale related a tale of his travels to the tavern-keeper. The traveler claimed to have stumbled upon a strange village high in the Frostback Mountains. The village was peaceful, he said, and the villagers polite, if a little aloof. They fed him and watered his horse, and then urged him to be on his way. When he lingered too long, suddenly their mood changed. Their faces grew cold and knives appeared, and the traveler was told that what was to happen next “was done in Andraste’s name and for the good of all.” He fled in a panic and could not afterwards retrace his path. The traveler took a room at the tavern and yet never slept there. He disappeared that night and was not heard from again.

Haven:

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Continue reading Dragon Age: Origins Gamescom Videos!

The Beatles: Rock Band – 19 new tracks

The Beatles are blowing up with more info for Rock Band fans this week, 19 new tracks on the upcoming themed game arrive with matching venues for the tracks.

* “Boys” / Cavern Club
* “A Hard Day’s Night” / Ed Sullivan Theater
* “I’m Looking Through You” / Shea Stadium
* “If I Needed Someone” / Shea Stadium
* “Ticket to Ride” / Shea Stadium
* “Drive My Car” / Budokan
* “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “Getting Better” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “Good Morning” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “Hello, Goodbye” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “Hey Bulldog” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “Dear Prudence” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “Helter Skelter” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “Something” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “Come Together” / Abbey Road Dreamscape
* “Don’t Let Me Down” / Rooftop Concert
* “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” / Rooftop Concert
* “I Me Mine” / Rooftop Concert

The game itself is stacking up to be a great experience, people can team up in game for up to 6 players including the three way vocal section of the game. Personally it would have been great to see a full band setup with Lead / Rhythm and Bass as well as drums since that’s how they did it as a band but I guess we’ll have to wait until Harmonix finds a way to make it work. Unfortunately Guitar Hero 5 will be featuring just that which is a bit disappointing.

The game is almost set to launch this September, hopefully we’ll be able to do some impressions on the game when it arrives.

Mass Effect 2 – New Character Reveal

Mass Effect 2 is coming along strong this year, today we get a new character reveal of the Grunt a blood hungry Krogan ready for battle. EA / Bioware drop the full word in this release

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Once players have assembled their squad from amongst the galaxy’s most powerful mystics, geniuses, and convicts, they must lead them on a suicide mission to discover why humans are vanishing from the galaxy. The success of the mission hinges on the squad recruited and their loyalty to the mission. Shepard’s future depends on it.

“The Mass Effect trilogy is an epic saga with consequences that will carry through from chapter to chapter” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, GM and CEO BioWare, VP EA. “Building out a diverse and loyal party is one of the features that makes the Mass Effect series unique. “The characters Commander Shepard recruits are not only pivotal to the storyline but essential to the players overall success.”

The new character revealed in the Mass Effect 2 squad is ‘Grunt’. A violent and unpredictable Krogan fighter, Grunt has never faced true defeat. His unsurpassed physical strength makes him a strong asset to Commander Shepard’s team, if he can be tamed, and if he can be trusted.

Grunt is the second party member to be revealed in the Mass Effect 2 universe following ‘Thane’ a deadly assassin who was first introduced in June. More details about the rest of Shepard’s crew will be revealed in the coming months.

UFC and EA butt heads once again

EA has already taken a few international fighters over to their side of the fence since this issue broke out, today though the company announces they’ve picked up Randy Couture and Jay Hieron as well.

“I have been a part of MMA for over 10 years and I am excited about the global visibility that a game like EA SPORTS MMA will bring to the sport,” said Randy Couture. “Like my fighting career, I look forward to taking on all comers in EA SPORTS MMA.”

Randy Couture, a 6’1”, 220 pound heavyweight, who currently holds a 16-9 record and is a five-time MMA champion. Couture, a living legend in the MMA world, utilizes his wrestling expertise to take down and control opponents before finishing them off with ground and pound strikes. Couture is scheduled to fight at the end of this month against former Pride World Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. In addition, this is not Couture’s first foray into the world of video games, as he was featured in EA’s Command & Conquer™: Red Alert™ 3 as Commander Warren Fuller.

Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron, a high-profile fighter, joins the EA SPORTS MMA roster and will be taking on Jesse Taylor in tonight’s STRIKEFORCE fight on in San Jose, California.

Hieron currently holds a 17-4 record and the Long Island native utilizes his wrestling prowess as his primary fighting style but has become a formidable striker as well. He fights out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and was the last Welterweight Champion of the International Fight League.

EA SPORTS is sponsoring three fighters in the STRIKEFORCE event, including Jay Hieron, Gegard Mousasi, and Renato Sobral.

How the UFC will respond? no one really knows but it is crazy to see things picking up steam after all the initial fire went down about kicking people out of the association.