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Post by Dan @ 03:58pm 23/12/10 | 6 Comments
Gaming blog Joystiq is reporting more details on the nasty lawsuits still under way between Activision and Jason West and Vince Zampella, the Ex-executives of Infinity Ward and Call of Duty fame who were fired early this year in a controversial conflict that much of the gaming community viewed as two developers sticking it to the man as they formed a new studio, Respawn Entertainment and signed a publishing deal with Electronic Arts.

There's two sides to every story though and in the latest update, Joystiq explains that Activision have filed a motion to amend their counter-suit, based on new evidence that adds a whole more fuel to the e-drama fire. Activision alleges that "Electronic Arts conspired with two former senior Activision executives, West and Zampella (the "executives") to derail Activision's Call of Duty franchise, disrupt its Infinity Ward development studio, and inflict serious harm on the company." The accusations are supported by supposed evidence that suggests West and Zampella planned to create a new studio, poach developer talent and retain confidential data and trade secrets long before their eventual termination at Infinity Ward.

They also allege that the pair actively sought to sabotage the Call of Duty brand during their final months, presenting email evidence that they deliberately released a trailer for Modern Warfare 2 with the intention of stealing attention away from a DLC launch for Treyarch's Call of Duty: World at War.

The complete legal document can be found over at Joystiq, and if nothing else, suggests that this situation is far from black and white. Ultimately the courts will decide who was really in the wrong, but as gamers, the best we can probably hope for is for is minimal damage to either side so we can continue to see some great titles from both parties.



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Latest Comments
Esotericthief
Posted 05:56pm 23/12/10
Would you say the lack of DLC and/or patches for MW2 was attributed to this big legal tussle? I'm asking because I really didn't feel any love for MW2 from Infinity Ward.

At the time it was the biggest FPS going, which I figured would mean it would have plenty of DLC and such. To my surprise it didn't.
step
Posted 09:16pm 23/12/10
Would you say the lack of DLC and/or patches for MW2 was attributed to this big legal tussle? I'm asking because I really didn't feel any love for MW2 from Infinity Ward.
They did have patches for it. They also had that map pack etc for $15 from memory. And probably a lot more, but didn't bother buying the pos.

What was mentioned above is they released a trailer for MW2 at the time of a DLC launch for CoD WaW, hencing stealing it's limelight.

This all sounds rather circumstantial and if these two tools put anything to paper or email, they aren't the brightest cookies.
Bah
Posted 10:36pm 23/12/10
What was mentioned above is they released a trailer for MW2 at the time of a DLC launch for CoD WaW, hencing stealing it's limelight.
Gee who would have thought you'd get overlap when you release a new game every year and dlc every couple of months, that complaint is really stretching especially when activision was the one making money from both games.
Dan
Posted 10:46pm 23/12/10
that complaint is really stretching especially when activision was the one making money from both games.
Publishers don't want their own products competing too directly though. In fact IIRC Acti's own Singularity had it's release pushed back due to too much internal competition around the original date.

But anyway, yeah, promotional overlap is still always going to happen and it's not always a bad thing, but the accusation here is allegedly backed by text messages of the guys acting pretty malicious and intentional about it. From the Joystiq article:
The unnamed IW employee texted West, "treyarch released their mp dlc video." West responded, "Super nice? We release our video? Crush and destroy with our video." The unnamed employee replied, "We already did. And . . . we already did" to which West concluded, "Nice."
Assuming there's actually any legitimacy to it, really not a good look however you spin it.
Esotericthief
Posted 11:17pm 23/12/10
They did have patches for it. They also had that map pack etc for $15 from memory. And probably a lot more, but didn't bother buying the pos.

Yeah I came to the party a few months late and got the general patch (that you must have to play on Xbox Live) that is just all there updates in one. After that there were no more which surprised me because there were some things that still could have been fixed.

On the DLC front, I was unfortunate enough to get sucked into buying both of them, although I was told that they were not worth it by everyone that I asked. I thought 'how bad could they possibly be?' and bought them for 800 MS points each (usually 1200). If only you could get refunds on Live... I pretty much dislike all but 4 of the 10 new maps and vote to skip the other 6 a lot.

I'd say that text message has got West and Zampella in a bad position.
Mattressi
Posted 10:49am 24/12/10
I think your definition of "best" is flawed. The best outcome would be that Activision loses and somehow dies an excruciating death. Even console players should be able to see that Activision are not healthy for games/gamers.
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