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 Not Going Down Without A Fight!

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PostSubject: Not Going Down Without A Fight!   Thu 04 Mar 2010, 12:43 pm

It looks like the former leadership of Infinity Ward are not going down without a fight. Former Infinity Ward CTO Jason West and president Vince Zampella have officially filed a lawsuit against Activision, according to a press release issued by their law firm, O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

According to the release, West and Zampella were terminated by Activision “weeks” before receiving royalties for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Activision purchased Infinity Ward in 2003.

“We were shocked by Activision’s decision to terminate our contract,” said West. “We poured our heart and soul into that company, building not only a world class development studio, but assembling a team we’ve been proud to work with for nearly a decade. We think the work we’ve done speaks for itself.”

O’Melveny & Myers LLP attorney Robert Schwartz is suing Activision in pursuit of West and Zampella’s right to compensation for the production and sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the contractual rights allegedly granted to the duo to control “Modern Warfare-branded games.” If seems West and Zampell may be fighting for the right to create Modern Warfare games outside Activision or to prevent Activision from creating Modern Warfare-branded games. Until we have more details, it’s difficult to draw a specific conclusion.

Here’s the full passage.

“Modern Warfare 2 is arguably one of the most successful games in history and together with Call of Duty, has generated more than $3 billion in sales for Activision. In addition, Activision seized control of the Infinity Ward studio, to which Activision had previously granted creative control over all Modern Warfare-branded games. The suit was filed to vindicate the rights of West and Zampella to be paid the compensation they have earned, as well as the contractual rights Activision granted to West and Zampella to control Modern Warfare-branded games.”

“Activision has refused to honor the terms of its agreements and is intentionally flouting the fundamental public policy of this State (California) that employers must pay their employees what they have rightfully earned,” said Schwartz in the release. “Instead of thanking, lauding, or just plain paying Jason and Vince for giving Activision the most successful entertainment product ever offered to the public, last month Activision hired lawyers to conduct a pretextual ‘investigation’ into unstated and unsubstantiated charges of ‘insubordination’ and ‘breach of fiduciary duty,’ which then became the grounds for their termination on Monday, March 1st.”

According to the release, the suit is alleging “breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wrong termination in violation of public policy, and declaratory relief.”

The implications of this lawsuit are tremendous and far-reaching. Stay tuned for more.

Source: http://g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/702970/Infinity-Wards-Jason-West-And-Vince-Zampella-File-Lawsuit-Against-Activision-.html
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PostSubject: Re: Not Going Down Without A Fight!   Thu 04 Mar 2010, 6:43 pm

More news:
Now that former Infinity Ward leadership Vince Zampella and Jason West have filed a lawsuit against Activision (those papers were filed yesterday — get the breakdown here) the legal fight is on. I’ve since reviewed an Activision internal legal memo from a source close to the company that details what documents Activision is searching for related to the current litigation with Zampella and West.

Much of what Activision’s looking for is standard for a legal dispute related to, in Activision’s words, “breach of contract” and “insubordination.” Activision also believes they’re legally in the clear.

“The Dispute involves West and Zampella’s management of IW, as well as the development and marketing of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (“MW2“), and potential subsequent games developed by IW,” reads the memo sent internally before the lawsuit was filed. “Activision believes that it has done nothing wrong and intends to vigorously defend any claims asserted by West and Zampella.”

Below are some excerpts from a list of documents that Activision is looking for. Note the last one:

* “Documents regarding past, current or future IW projects, including but not limited to any and all businesses analyses of future projects (e.g. Modern Warfare 3)”
* “Documents regarding any potential ’spin out’ of IW, including but not limited to any communications with IW employees, West or Zampella regarding forming a new studio independent of Activision”
* “Documents regarding West and Zampella’s communications with Activision’s competitors, including but not limited to Electronic Arts”

Modern Warfare 3 likely isn’t in development yet, but it’s not surprising to see that it was already on everyone’s radar. The memo seems to indicate that Activision may have suspected West and Zampella were looking outside the company.

Source: http://g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/702978/Activision-Seeking-Internal-Documents-Related-To-West-Zampella-AndElectronic-Arts-.html
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PostSubject: Re: Not Going Down Without A Fight!   Thu 04 Mar 2010, 6:45 pm

And a little more:

Activision has now issued their first public statement about the lawsuit filed yesterday by the former heads of Infinity Ward, CTO Jason West and president Vince Zampella. The statement is below:

“Activision is disappointed that Mr. Zampella and Mr. West have chosen to file a lawsuit, and believes their claims are meritless,” said an Activision spokesperson. “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,” the statement continues, “Activision legitimately expected them to honor their obligations to Activision, just like any other executive who holds a position 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.” Activision remains committed to the Call of Duty franchise, which it owns, and will continue to produce exciting and innovative games for its millions of fans.”

This comes on the heels of news that Activision is currently seeking internal documents linking West and Zampella to Electronic Arts and the possible creation of a studio outside of Activision.

Source: http://g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/702980/Activision-Responds-To-West-Zampellas-Lawsuit-Company-Disappointed-.html
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PostSubject: Re: Not Going Down Without A Fight!   Thu 04 Mar 2010, 10:03 pm

Wonder when they start their own little company and make awesome PSN FPS shooters.
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PostSubject: Re: Not Going Down Without A Fight!   Fri 05 Mar 2010, 2:35 pm

SOny should buy infinity ward then make Call Of Duty a PS3 exclusive which would prob do the series a lot of good.
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PostSubject: Re: Not Going Down Without A Fight!   Fri 05 Mar 2010, 3:47 pm

Activision isn't going to be selling IW. Having the IW logo on their games sells 'em faster than the CoD title IMO. If West and Zampella joined a Sony studio, or made a new studio that purchased; I could see good things in the future.
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