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A verdict has been reached in the lawsuit between original Madden programmer Robin Antonick and EA, awarding Antonick more than $11 million in damages. The verdict also opens the door for Antonick to pursue the same claims against EA for games released after 1996, where revenues exceed $3 billion.
Antonick developed the first Madden title in 1988 for MS-DOS, Commodore, and Apple II platforms. In 2011, he sued EA for millions of dollars of unpaid royalties, claiming that the contract he signed with the publisher in 1986 stipulated he should be paid royalties not only for the games he developed, but any derivative works.
After three days of deliberations, a jury in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California found that several EA games published between 1990-1996 were "virtually identical" to Antonick's original version of Madden NFL Football.
Today, social game developer Zynga reported its second quarter 2013 fiscal results, showing that the company is hemorrhaging both money and users.
Zynga’s revenue for the second quarter, which ran from April through June, was $231 million, a 31 percent year-over-year decline, and a 12 percent decline from the previous quarter. Game revenue accounts for $203 million; the rest comes from advertising. Game revenue itself is down 30 percent compared to 2012’s second quarter and down 11 percent compared to last quarter, while advertising revenue is down 33 percent compared to 2012’s second quarter and down 19 percent to last quarter.
The company’s net loss for the quarter was $16 million. Its net loss was $23 million in the second quarter of 2012.
Polarizing Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has shocked the gaming world this morning by announcing that he will lead a new consortium of investors in buying Activision-Blizzard from the current parent in French mega conglomerate Vivendi in a new share purchase transaction currently being valued at $8.2 billion.
"We have partnered with Walt Disney and LucasFilm to develop a whole new generation of Star Wars games for the console as well as for mobile and handheld devices," said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen. "The first game that we're focused on is Battlefront. It's a traditional game that's done extremely well and this will most likely come out around the same time as the Star Wars movies start to come out, probably in the summer of '15.
Blizzard has provided a brief update on Titan, its long-awaited next project. In a call reporting Activision Blizzard’s second quarter 2013 earnings today, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said that Titan is “unlikely to be a subscription-based MMORPG.”
Morhaime noted that Blizzard is currently “in the process of selecting a new direction for the project and re-envisioning what we want the project to be.” He noted that a “commitment to quality has always been at the core of Blizzard’s values” and noted that the team has gone through a similar iterative process in past “genre-defining” games, plus reiterated that there is no projected or announced release date for Titan.