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Activision responds to Infinity Ward lawsuit

Activision responds to Infinity Ward lawsuit

Activision has dismissed the case against them as without merit and remarked that it is disappointed in the team.

Activision has given the first official comment about the lawsuit being brought against the publisher by Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, who were fired recently for "insubordination".

The lawsuit alleges that contracts giving control of any post-Vietnam Call of Duty or Modern Warfare titles to Infinity Ward were being broken and that there was a deliberate plan to fire key Infinity Ward staff before royalty cheques for Modern Warfare 2 could be paid to the pair. The lawsuit seeks $36 million USD in damages, as well as the rights to the Modern Warfare moniker.

Activision alleges meanwhile that West and Zampella, who had been with Infinity Ward for nine years, were being insubordinate and talking to other publishers - namely EA. Infinity Ward itself was formed by a bunch of staff who left EA to avoid getting tied to the Medal of Honour series. The publisher has since announced new plans for the Call of Duty franchise, including new developers and genres.

Activision is disappointed that Mr. Zampella and Mr. West have chosen to file a lawsuit, and believes their claims are meritless,” a statement read.

Over eight years, Activision shareholders provided these executives with the capital they needed to start Infinity Ward, as well as the financial support, resources and creative independence that helped them flourish and achieve enormous professional success and personal wealth.

In return, Activision legitimately expected them to honour their obligations to Activision, just like any other executives who hold positions of trust in the company. While the company showed enormous patience, it firmly believes that its decision was justified based on their course of conduct and actions.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

19 Comments

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Gunsmith 5th March 2010, 14:15 Quote
hearing Activivision utter the word "honor" makes me want to puke. take your shitbox exclusives and **** off already,
mi1ez 5th March 2010, 14:27 Quote
I was going to comment but I think Gunsmith summed it up nicely...
Bazz 5th March 2010, 14:40 Quote
Toys, pram lol
Stewb 5th March 2010, 14:58 Quote
How excactly is failing to pay royalties a case that is "meritless"?
leveller 5th March 2010, 15:12 Quote
Bobby Kotick who we've seen quoted many times. He's got one of those faces ...

http://www.madfanboy.com/site/sites/default/files/users/t1o/bobby-kotick.jpg
tonyd223 5th March 2010, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
Bobby Kotick who we've seen quoted many times. He's got one of those faces ...

http://www.madfanboy.com/site/sites/default/files/users/t1o/bobby-kotick.jpg

LOL'd till I puked - you'd tw@t him, wouldn't you...
_Metal_Guitar_ 5th March 2010, 16:28 Quote
Kind of scary...that pic of Kotic reminds me of Jack Nicholson's Joker.

And a joker he is.
Unknownsock 5th March 2010, 17:20 Quote
The way i see it, Activision don't need these guys anymore because of the current success of the IP, what average joe will know that all this has happened? Im even sure the average joe would'nt even notice if the next COD was bad.
smc8788 5th March 2010, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
Bobby Kotick who we've seen quoted many times. He's got one of those faces ...

/mercy snip

I think I'd rather look at Steve Ballmer's sweaty, bald head :(
Evildead666 5th March 2010, 17:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd223
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
Bobby Kotick who we've seen quoted many times. He's got one of those faces ...

http://www.madfanboy.com/site/sites/default/files/users/t1o/bobby-kotick.jpg

LOL'd till I puked - you'd tw@t him, wouldn't you...

Yup, a right Slappy face, just to wipe that smile off.....;) (and curly hair...LOL)
brave758 5th March 2010, 18:54 Quote
Over eight years, Activision shareholders provided these executives with the capital they needed to start Infinity Ward, as well as the financial support, resources and creative independence that helped them flourish and achieve enormous professional success and personal wealth.

Lol ya and how much profit have you made!
eddtox 5th March 2010, 20:08 Quote
notice how it doesn't address the basic claim that they haven't paid royalties.
SexyHyde 5th March 2010, 21:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock
The way i see it, Activision don't need these guys anymore because of the current success of the IP, what average joe will know that all this has happened? Im even sure the average joe would'nt even notice if the next COD was bad.

i'm sure a nice facebook group would gather a lot of momentum come the next release of COD:whatever and BFBC2 and MOH will impact badly on the next COD release.
karx11erx 6th March 2010, 00:44 Quote
Over eight years, these executives provided Activision shareholders with the talent, creativity and discipline to achieve enormous personal wealth by milking the hell out of the franchise.

Makes more sense to me.

"Insubordination?" Sounds like the Wehrmacht. Sieg Heil, dear leader!
glaeken 6th March 2010, 01:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock
The way i see it, Activision don't need these guys anymore because of the current success of the IP, what average joe will know that all this has happened? Im even sure the average joe would'nt even notice if the next COD was bad.

Ahh, but call of duty is not nearly as successful as Modern Warfare. IW own the rights to develop Modern Warfare games. And if this whole situation doesn't end nicely, you can bet a lot of the IW studio will follow West and Zampella.
bogie170 6th March 2010, 12:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd223
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
Bobby Kotick who we've seen quoted many times. He's got one of those faces ...

http://www.madfanboy.com/site/sites/default/files/users/t1o/bobby-kotick.jpg

LOL'd till I puked - you'd tw@t him, wouldn't you...

Ginger pubes!
bogie170 6th March 2010, 12:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock
The way i see it, Activision don't need these guys anymore because of the current success of the IP, what average joe will know that all this has happened? Im even sure the average joe would'nt even notice if the next COD was bad.

The last COD WAS bad. MW2 sucks, PC gamers were shat on from height. COD franchise will die, and I don't care.
DbD 8th March 2010, 10:32 Quote
This has a silver lining - Jason West and Vince Zampella are bound to start another company, and steal half of activisions MW team when they do. Hopefully they'll funnel all that anger into making an even better game free from the destructive influence of activision.
Dreaming 8th March 2010, 13:05 Quote
I would be interested in an in depth analysis of the situation. From the way I see it:

Infinity Ward were developers who used to work for EA? And so they quit, made their own studio, and got backing from Activision to produce Call of Duty. There is some dispute over royalties paid etc. IW head developers were talking to other publishers possibly to produce their next game with. Presumably sitting in an office paid for by Activision. Activision fired them.

Now they are suing for the royalties? I don't think it's unreasonable for Activision to fire them in they were making plans to move to another publisher, just like if you worked for a company and they found out you were looking for a new job they might fire you for not being 'committed'. This is especially the case where the human element is very precious to the bottom line e.g. in video games development you have a small team of very highly skilled, creative and motivated people. Trying to manage that objectively and fairly is difficult. I like Google's attitude to catering for those kind of people, but obviously not everyone is the same.

As for royalties though, I think it's more unfair that IW haven't been paid despite the huge success of their work for Activision. However, that will come down to what was written in the contract. I can't see Activision signing all this money over to IW development without expecting a huge chunk but also I can't see IW signing all their work over to Activision which is why they moved there in the first place. It really depends what was put in that contract which I don't think any of us have privy to?

Obviously it can be difficult working under a big company like Activision but I think a lot of companies would respond the same if they found out you were potentially going to go to one of their competitors with the skill / ownership (?) behind one of your most successful franchises.

It would be like Ford having one of their best engineers going off and talking to BMW behind their backs, I think they would get escorted out the premises PDQ by security as well. Ultimately remuneration and such will be detailed in the contract.
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