Activision vs Electronic Arts: $400 million suit regarding Infinity Ward co-founders to proceed

It’s the battle of the big ones. Electronic Arts must defend itself against a $400 million lawsuit by rival publisher Activision Blizzard regarding the hiring of Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, ruled a California Superior Court judge.

Of the four claims in the suit, Judge Elihu Berle dismissed only one. The suit alleges that West and Zampella met with EA representatives while still employed by Activision, which constituted a breach of their contracts.

The suit initially began with the two co-founders suing Activision over allegations that West and Zampella were fired in an attempt to avoid paying them over $36 million in royalties. Activision filed its countersuit against the two game makers and EA in December.

Now that Activision’s $400 million suit against EA has been permitted to move forward, it will go to trial in May.

[Source: [BloombergGamasutra]

Mar 17, 2011

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  • Ninja-Monkey-91 - March 18, 2011 9:40 p.m.

    There are so many ways to look at this (such as Activision dragging EA into it,etc) But let's just concentrate on the most glaring point in this article. West and Zampella are suing because they believe they are owed $36 million. Activision are countering that by draggin EA into the dispute and flinging $400 million at it. Now, I'm no mathematical genius but I'm pretty sure it would've been better (Read: cheaper) business to take the rep hit and give them the money owed no?
  • Sniped50 - March 18, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    Oh man. This really is becoming interesting viewing. Everything that comes out of Activision mouth does sound like utter bull, though. "EA and West/Zampella conspired against us because they would like to see the company THEY helped found go under"? Yeah right. Grow up and wake up, Kotick.
  • Sharkbot - March 18, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    Now watch as West and Zambella cripple EA form the inside and then go back to activision to make CoD games for the next 1000 years x)
  • shotgunalchemist - March 18, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    May could be the most exciting month the video game industry has ever seen. EA vs Activision, it's like Disney suing Warner Brothers or Apple suing Microsoft.
  • ALttP - March 18, 2011 7:29 a.m.

    A lot of people seem to forget that West and Zempalla are not angels themselves.
  • SideOfBeef - March 18, 2011 3:23 a.m.

    Better solution: Activision gets 400 million monopoly dollars, John Ricatello kicks Bobby Kotick in the nuts, they call it even and everyone gets back to publishing games like they're supposed to.
  • frikkingsweet265 - March 18, 2011 1:14 a.m.

    You know you guys CAN stop buying their games ... but you wont. So why concern ourselves with this?
  • Eliath - March 18, 2011 12:04 a.m.

    @CandiedJester Love the Black Isle logo. As to the article... bleh. If Activision didn't pay them what they were owed then I would support the initial suit against Activision. The suit against EA just seems about retribution to me.
  • CandiedJester - March 17, 2011 11:09 p.m.

    @kingdom The judge dismissed the claim that they were talking to EA while under contract with Activision...
  • CandiedJester - March 17, 2011 11:06 p.m.

    @XLGirthMan They sued rightfully. They were fired for little reason, it seems to me. They had good reason to be angry. Activision is just sueing because they are dicks.
  • therawski - March 17, 2011 10:41 p.m.

    Sometimes contracts state that you won't work for a competitor after a few years after your employment, we would have to know what their contracts stated to really know what the case is, confidential information isn't just going to be released, that's why no one knows what's going on except for those directly involved, gamers can have their say of opinion but that's about it.
  • Cleanser247 - March 17, 2011 10:29 p.m.

    It's really too bad everythings so messed up : (
  • kingdom - March 17, 2011 10:08 p.m.

    Do all of you guys going "WTF?! Screw them they can't sue blah blah blah?!! What is going on?!" realize that the Infinity Ward guys started this mess and if what Activision says about being in talks while still a part of Activision is true...they have every right to this case and it would be a breach of in the IF co-founders would be completely in the wrong? Either way neither company has a flawless record nor do I believe either of them prioritizea ANYTHING above profits so personally I don't see the reason for all of this nonsense of trying to claim one is morally superior to the other.
  • corndog501 - March 17, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    I seriously doubt that if Activision went under, so would Blizzard. Blizzard makes over %40 of Activision's near 5 billion dollar revenue. If Blizzard wanted to they could break off and become their own publisher, there's a reason they have a solid gold logo. Activision really has no control what-so-ever over Blizzard, the two are just partners that share revenue and profit. If Bobby Kotick walked into Blizzard and said "Hey guys, we want you guys to work on a new game for the CoD franchise", Blizzard's response would be "Um, hell no, get the hell out of our office and let us make our own games you greedy fuck".
  • NightCrawler_358 - March 17, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    Activision is like the Titanic. Its real pretty at first, with the CODs and the BLOPs, but it'll hit the ice... oh, it'll hit the ice. I just hope they don't take Blizzard with them.
  • XLGirthMan - March 17, 2011 9:43 p.m.

    You all seem to be ignoring the fact that West and Zampella sued Activision first...
  • D0CCON - March 17, 2011 9:38 p.m.

    EA is defending against Activision? I thought EA dropped the first suit against them. And there were 4 suits? I know of the dropped one and if I heard them again, I may remember more of them, but I don't think I've heard all four. One of those had better be EA's and EA had better win it. I think an EA win would be a great wake up slap to Activision and it will get Activision to realize that ship COD is not much different than Titanic. They are both huge and they look indestructible, but sooner or later, the shit is going to hit the fan. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is a horrible idea and I would rather have Activision learn this than have them be destroyed. I don't want Activision to die, I just want them to start making multiple high quality games. Developers like Blizzard and Valve prove you don't need a sequel every year to be successful, if Activision can learn that, they can be great and I hope they can become great.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - March 17, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    You ever get the feeling that Activision and Kotick planned this all from the start to try to kill/cripple EA?
  • Hullonotna - March 17, 2011 9:19 p.m.

    Can Activision just shut up and go into hibernation for the next few decades. They got a huge ego which should be expected because of their history but this is raw stupidity. Why fire the creators of their biggest franchise in the first place? Activision should but out and then spend all that money on making an actual game that isn't COD.
  • BALLSTOTHEWALLET - March 17, 2011 9:14 p.m.

    Cool, I'll be playing Duke Nukem in May. *A better Game*

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