Call Of Duty: Modern Lawfare

Back in March I wrote:

after what they did to the PC version of the Modern Warfare franchise, personally, I hope they sue each other into oblivion

Well, guess what?

Activision sues two fired developers

Activision Blizzard Inc. came out with guns blazing Friday in its legal battle with two former lead developers of Call of Duty, the video game publisher’s multibillion-dollar franchise.

In a lawsuit that read like a dramatic Hollywood script, Activision claimed it fired Jason West and Vincent Zampella in March because the two “morphed from valued, responsible executives into insubordinate and self-serving schemers who attempted to hijack Activision’s assets for their own personal gain.”

The Santa Monica firm accused West and Zampella of violating their employment contracts by meeting with a rival publisher — believed to be Electronic Arts Inc. — and using illicit means to recruit former colleagues to join them in forming a new independent game development studio.

An attorney for the pair called the claims “false and outrageous” and said that Activision itself proposed spinning off West and Zampella’s studio as part of a contract renegotiation last year.

Activision’s suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, counters a complaint that West and Zampella filed against their former employer March 3, two days after being fired as the heads of Infinity Ward, the Encino-based studio purchased by Activision in 2002. Infinity Ward has produced Call of Duty games since the inception of the franchise in 2003.

In their lawsuit, West and Zampella alleged that Activision fired them to avoid paying them royalties they earned from November’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which has generated an estimated $1.3 billion in worldwide revenue.

The lawsuit claims Activision owes the duo at least $36 million in royalties and damages.

Activision responded in its complaint that “West and Zampella’s misdeeds formed an unlawful pattern and practice of conduct that was designed to steal the [Infinity West] studio, which is one of Activision’s most valuable assets — at the expense of Activision and its shareholders and for their own personal financial gain.”

Activision did not specify a dollar amount it would seek but claimed the publisher was entitled to withhold all future payments to West and Zampella to recover past payments “during the period of their disloyalty” and cover compensatory damages.

See also:
UPDATE 1-Activision countersues former executives
Activision countersues ‘Modern Warfare’ execs
Update: Activision files countersuit in ‘Modern Warfare’ case
Activision countersues ex-Infinity Ward execs
Activision: West, Zampella wanted to steal Infinity Ward
Activision goes to court over staff poaching accusations
Activision Countersues West and Zampella, “Call of Duty” Developers
Activision Sues Two Fired Call of Duty Developers
Can We Have Our Dedicated Servers Back Now?

That’s right, sue each other into oblivion you greedy weasel bastards! Screw you the way you screwed PC gamers!

/I’m pretty sure the next party to file legal papers gets to call in helicopter air strikes

Can We Have Our Dedicated Servers Back Now?

This is what they get for ruining my favorite game.

Fired ‘Call of Duty’ developers sue Activision for more than $36 million [Updated]

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has led to legal warfare at Activision.

Jason West and Vince Zampella, the former heads of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare development studio Infinity Ward, who were fired on Monday, have filed a lawsuit against publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. alleging wrongful termination and breach of contract.

The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday, alleges that Santa Monica-based Activision fired the the duo in order to avoid paying them royalties on military shooter Modern Warfare 2, which was released in November and has generated more than $1 billion in retail sales.

“Activision has refused to honor the terms of its agreements with Mssrs. West and Zampella and is intentionally flouting the public policy of this State that employers must pay their employees what they have rightfully earned,” the complaint states. “Instead, Activision has adopted the corporate strategy of forcing Mssrs. West and Zampella to sue for their pay — in the hopes of either getting away with not having to pay them anything or maximizing its leverage to reduce that pay.”

Spokespeople for Santa Monica-based Activision did not respond to requests for comment.

According to the complaint, after Activision acquired Infinity Ward for a total of $5 million in 2003, it signed three-year employment agreements with West and Zampella, co-founders of the Encino-based studio who most recently served as president and chief executive, respectively.

In 2008, after the release of Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the fourth game in the series and a huge hit that has sold more than 13 million units, West and Zampella signed a contract extension through 2011. The complaint says that the extension includes additional royalties and other payments, as well as the right to operate Infinity Ward independently and to have creative control over any Modern Warfare sequels or other Call of Duty games set after the Vietnam War.

See also:
Call of Duty founders sue Activision
Ex-Infinity Ward heads asking for $36 million in suit
Activision Responds to Lawsuit by Former Infinity Ward Execs
The making and unmaking of Infinity Ward
Management Shakeup: Infinity Ward Execs Exit Activision
Activision-Infinity Ward Controversy – Full Report
Insubordination? Infinity Ward cofounder gone from Activision
Former Infinity Ward Heads Sue Activision
Did Activision/Infinity Ward Screw The PC Pooch?

/after what they did to the PC version of the Modern Warfare franchise, personally, I hope they sue each other into oblivion