Post by Steve Farrelly @ 11:59am 05/04/11 | 7 Comments
A report over at Gamespot puts some interesting information into lawsuit perspective, specifically that if the judge sides with West and Zampella, part of their victory could include co-ownership of the "Modern Warfare" brand after the two added two counts of fraud to their suit against Activision.
In the amended complaint (a copy of which was obtained by GameSpot), West and Zampella allege that in March 2008, Activision entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the two then-Infinity Ward heads. According to the complaint, the MOU sought to secure their continued employment not only for their talent but also as an effort to close its impending merger with Vivendi.Apparently this contract was crafted because West and Zampella were concerned about "creative authority" on the Modern Warfare brand, and Activision needed them on board as part of the Vivendi merger; utilising them as capital to remain a lucrative acquisition to Vivendi-Universal. However, the two remained skeptical of promises of autonomy and of their contract altogether; a stipulation of their creative control over the Modern Warfare brand read that such control was subject to the pair's continued employment, which they questioned. According to the report, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick addressed their fears, telling them "don't worry about it. It's impossible for you guys to get fired".
Their new fraud charges, relating to all of the above, claim the two now believe Activision never intended to keep their promises to them, which is why the contract they eventually signed was worded so thinly.
More from Gamespot:
Speaking to GameSpot, a lawyer representing West and Zampella indicated that in addition to actual and punitive damages, the two are seeking a rescission of the MOU. If granted, Activision would co-own the Modern Warfare brand with Vince and Zampella, which would give the two the right to release their own copies of the game. A voided contract would also give West and Zampella the right to create new games in the Modern Warfare franchise, he said.Pretty interesting stuff. It would be Activision's worst nightmare if the two were granted the right to release their own Modern warfare titles as part of a co-ownership outcome. We'll keep an eye on this lawsuit, so stay tuned for more as it surfaces.