EA beats Dillinger in Godfather case

Judge refuses offer.

EA has won its court case against the estate of bank robber and gangster John Dillinger.

EA was sued for calling a Thompson submachine gun clone "The Dillinger". The Dillinger estate claimed ownership of the name and said EA hadn't asked permission - meanie.

The Dillinger estate wanted the courts to retroactively grant 1996's right-to-publicity for Dillinger's name and possessions.

But the judge, Jane Magnus-Stinson of US District Court in Southern Indiana, said no. She ruled that the statute does not apply to personalities who died before it became law.

Furthermore, the association of Dillinger with the Thompson submachine gun she said came about because of popular culture. EA naming a similar gun "The Dillinger", then, was free speech, and that's covered by the First Amendment.

EA made two Godfather games, but neither was great. Eurogamer's Godfather review turned up 6/10. Eurogamer's Godfather 2 review turned up 4/10.

So it was unsurprising when, in 2009, EA said there won't be any more games based on The Godfather IP.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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