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Former Infinity Ward execs go after partial Modern Warfare rights

Infinity Ward founders Vince Zampella and Jason West, who have been embroiled in a public dispute with Activision since being sacked last year, are seeking partial rights to the Modern Warfare franchise. If they succeed, they may gain the right to release new games in the series, presumably through their new studio, Respawn Entertainment, and its publishing deal with EA.

The duo sued Activision shortly after being fired. Activision counter-sued, and recently added Electronic Arts - which it alleges conspired with the execs - to the case. Zampella and West have nowfired back, adding fraud charges to their original lawsuit in an attempt to annul their contracts. They now allege that they were skeptical about a section of their contracts which indicated that creative control over the Call of Duty franchise required their employment with Activision, but that they were assured that termination was "impossible."

According to the duo, Activision boss Bobby Kotick told them, "Don’t worry about it. It’s impossible for you guys to get fired." It was that statement, they say, that kept them from pressing for better contracts.

Who's right, who's wrong? Who the hell knows? What concerns me, someone more interested in games than legal buffoonery, is that (unless I'm misreading them, and they simply want to stick it to the man) Zampella and West apparently want to continue making CoD games. Sure, there's an assload of money in it, but what of being reborn from the ashes with new IP? Activision's set to run the franchise into the ground as it is. Le sigh.

[Source: GameSpot]

Apr 4, 2011

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer