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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 11:59am 05/04/11 | 7 Comments
It's been a while since we heard anything regarding the lawsuit between ex-Infinity Ward heads, Vince Zampella and Jason West, who were fired from the company and went on to create Respawn Entertainment, working under the EA Partners program.

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.

From Gamespot:
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.

respawn entertainmentactivisionbobby koticklawsuitvince zampellajason westinfinity ward

Latest Comments
Posted 12:23pm 05/4/11
I wish COD would just die already
Posted 12:27pm 05/4/11

Kotick is shuffling about to keep control of the IP so that previous co ownership arrangements with the now started up biz doesn't sllow them having any rights on developing derivative works on that IP

stick it to Bobby I say, jolly good show
Posted 12:35pm 05/4/11
oh come on, my post was simply asking for more info
I didn't know the full back story, I was hoping someone could break it down for me

Posted 12:42pm 05/4/11
I wish COD would just die already

Couldnt agree more,
Can't believe this game became so popular considering its so 2-dimensional.
Posted 12:42am 07/4/11
It's all been down hill after vcod, except for cod4.
Posted 12:51am 07/4/11
The only way CoD as a brand would survive past the next 24 months is if Respawn actually did get to release their own titles.
Acti have muffed it, mishmashing way too many separate dev studios into the works and in turn have burned out (or are at least in the process of) a solid ip.
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