Former Infinity Ward Heads Add Fraud to Activision Lawsuit Charges

Former Infinity Ward Heads Add Fraud to Activision Lawsuit Charges

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Activision offered the former Infinity Ward bosses more autonomy in exchange for their continued employment, but allegedly had no intention of holding up its end of the bargain.

Jason West and Vince Zampella, the former heads of Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward, have updated their complaint against their former employer, Activision. Along with the allegations of breach of contract and unpaid royalties, the pair is adding a count of fraud to the suit, saying that Activision was less than honest with them during its merger with Vivendi.

This new charge says that Activision entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with West and Zampella in 2008 in order to secure their continued employment for a further three years. The MOU granted Infinity Ward a certain degree of autonomy over the Modern Warfare brand, on the condition that the two men remained employed. "To protect its interest in consummating its merger with Vivendi Games," the complaint reads. "Activision needed to do everything it could to keep West and Zampella content with their responsibilities and compensation at Infinity Ward. This gave West and Zampella considerable bargaining power in their negotiations with Activision."

According to the complaint, the pair was skeptical about the autonomy hinging on the continued employment - wondering whether Activision would simply fire them to regain control over the brand - but apparently, Bobby Kotick himself has assured them that it would be impossible for the pair to be fired. Because of this assurance, the pair signed the contract without pushing for a more solid commitment from Activision. Now, West and Zampella allege that Activision never had any intention of honoring the contract, and in fact undertook secret development of Call of Duty projects that it should have consulted Infinity Ward on, as per the terms of the MOU.

"Activision did not inform West or Zampella of such plans or seek their input or approval for them," the complaint said. "Indeed, while breaching the creative authority provisions of the MOU, Activision continued to pay lip-service to them, in an attempt to mask its secret development efforts."

A lawyer representing the pair told GameSpot that as well as damages, West and Zampella wanted to get a recession of the MOU, which would mean that they would co-own the Modern Warfare brand. This would allow them to create new games in the franchise, and release their own copies of existing games.

This isn't the first alteration of the lawsuits between Activision and West and Zampella. In January, Activision was successful in adding EA to its complaint against the pair, saying that the rival publisher colluded with them to delay the release of a map pack for Modern Warfare 2 so that it didn't get in the way of the launch of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. EA tried to have the charges against it dismissed, but last month a judge ruled that there was enough evidence for the suit to go ahead. It's hard to predict who's going to win this case, but it's not going to be over quickly.

Source: GameSpot

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Whenever something about this case is posted, this comes to mind.

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Stop with the finger pointing and childish accusations and get on with this case.

Hmm...Another big name gaming company trying to horde money.
I for one am tired and I mean really tired of these huge companies whom produce Millions, if not billions of dollars a year and think they're better than us.

I'm not for hackers, but I know what their purpose is. What's the purpose of me saying this? Simple: Every hacker, from the Sony incident to the Blizzard Starcraft II incident, to this crap for Evony. Each hacker is being attacked and bullied around by the companies big shot lawyers and being charged for tens of thousands, if not million of dollars which we all know they don't have to pay them.

For me, I'm tired of people and companies trying to sue sue sue in the United States. I think their needs to be a cap, based on the individual(s) who are being sued; based on their actual income.

In this case, Activision has a huge amount of income. So I hope West and Zampella get everything they ask for in their complaints. I think it is time these companies start respecting their agreements and start respecting their current & past employee's and us the gamers.

lesson 1 the shouldw have learn is: if its on paper you are right.

main thing is modern warfare 3 is gone take more time or never exict at all.

this makes me sad

http://cdn01.wallpapersonweb.com/media/thumbs/1/10/93704.jpg

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/4/12/

This sums up the case so far.

Some poor sod of a judge has to sort out all this name-calling and actually resolve all this. I can't imagine how, given the mounds of paper and minutiae all the folks involved in it have piled on to make their arguments somehow the most persuasive.

I just want my Call of Duty back.

InfiniteJacuzzi:
I just want my Call of Duty back.

Maybe we can get EA & Activision to co-produce a game. They can call it Call of Suity. It will be a coop shooter starring West & Zampella. They go back and forth between the two evil factions and ultimately pick which of them to side with... EA or Activision. You can storm buildings and shoot programmers, secretaries, and board members. It will spark media outrage, and the final boss can be Bobby Kotick.

I smell a hit here.

The.Bard:

InfiniteJacuzzi:
I just want my Call of Duty back.

Maybe we can get EA & Activision to co-produce a game. They can call it Call of Suity. It will be a coop shooter starring West & Zampella. They go back and forth between the two evil factions and ultimately pick which of them to side with... EA or Activision. You can storm buildings and shoot programmers, secretaries, and board members. It will spark media outrage, and the final boss can be Bobby Kotick.

I smell a hit here.

That actually sounds like quite a brilliant idea

Logan Westbrook:
the pair was skeptical about the autonomy hinging on the continued employment - wondering whether Activision would simply fire them to regain control over the brand - but apparently, Bobby Kotick himself has assured them that it would be impossible for the pair to be fired. Because of this assurance, the pair signed the contract without pushing for a more solid commitment from Activision.

Well, that was bloody stupid, wasn't it?! Especially if nothing like that was in their contracts, and/or they didn't demand such a clause in their contracts, if nothing like that pre-existed... Hindsight's a bitch though, right?

When is this cluster**** getting into a court? My guess is on the 12th of never.

Soveru:

The.Bard:

InfiniteJacuzzi:
I just want my Call of Duty back.

Maybe we can get EA & Activision to co-produce a game. They can call it Call of Suity. It will be a coop shooter starring West & Zampella. They go back and forth between the two evil factions and ultimately pick which of them to side with... EA or Activision. You can storm buildings and shoot programmers, secretaries, and board members. It will spark media outrage, and the final boss can be Bobby Kotick.

I smell a hit here.

That actually sounds like quite a brilliant idea

Seconded. But you'd only get to fight/defeat Kotick after it's revealed that EA and Activision were secretly working together all along, in order to cover up some nefarious, potentially world-destroying eeeeevil deeds(!!)

The.Bard:

InfiniteJacuzzi:
I just want my Call of Duty back.

Maybe we can get EA & Activision to co-produce a game. They can call it Call of Suity. It will be a coop shooter starring West & Zampella. They go back and forth between the two evil factions and ultimately pick which of them to side with... EA or Activision. You can storm buildings and shoot programmers, secretaries, and board members. It will spark media outrage, and the final boss can be Bobby Kotick.

I smell a hit here.

You sir, are a genius. SOMEBODY MAKE THIS!

When will they realize that money isn't everything? Sure, you have to turn a profit, but don't let that get in the way of good game making!

And if for no other reason, that is why bad company 2 was a better game than call of duty 6.

"Impossible for the pair to be fired"?
Gupta's law of creative anomalies: If it sounds too good to be true it always is.

IckleMissMayhem:

Logan Westbrook:
the pair was skeptical about the autonomy hinging on the continued employment - wondering whether Activision would simply fire them to regain control over the brand - but apparently, Bobby Kotick himself has assured them that it would be impossible for the pair to be fired. Because of this assurance, the pair signed the contract without pushing for a more solid commitment from Activision.

Well, that was bloody stupid, wasn't it?! Especially if nothing like that was in their contracts, and/or they didn't demand such a clause in their contracts, if nothing like that pre-existed... Hindsight's a bitch though, right?

When is this cluster**** getting into a court? My guess is on the 12th of never.

Soveru:

The.Bard:

Maybe we can get EA & Activision to co-produce a game. They can call it Call of Suity. It will be a coop shooter starring West & Zampella. They go back and forth between the two evil factions and ultimately pick which of them to side with... EA or Activision. You can storm buildings and shoot programmers, secretaries, and board members. It will spark media outrage, and the final boss can be Bobby Kotick.

I smell a hit here.

That actually sounds like quite a brilliant idea

Seconded. But you'd only get to fight/defeat Kotick after it's revealed that EA and Activision were secretly working together all along, in order to cover up some nefarious, potentially world-destroying eeeeevil deeds(!!)

... Involving the Russians somehow.

TacticalAssassin1:
When will they realize that money isn't everything?

To greedy corporate rich guys, money IS everything. It's like they need it in order to BREATHE. For some reason, the more money you make, the more you want of it.

Which is kinda BS. I mean, if you have 3 ferraris, do you really need a 4th one?

aegix drakan:

TacticalAssassin1:
When will they realize that money isn't everything?

To greedy corporate rich guys, money IS everything. It's like they need it in order to BREATHE. For some reason, the more money you make, the more you want of it.

Which is kinda BS. I mean, if you have 3 ferraris, do you really need a 4th one?

yeah I know, it's sad.
I think when they have four ferraris, they should mix it up a bit and get an Audi instead.
Audi being customer service.

aegix drakan:

TacticalAssassin1:
When will they realize that money isn't everything?

To greedy corporate rich guys, money IS everything. It's like they need it in order to BREATHE. For some reason, the more money you make, the more you want of it.

Which is kinda BS. I mean, if you have 3 ferraris, do you really need a 4th one?

Profit, in an already established/stable society, by its very nature is representative of inefficient exchange. Without room for social growth, profit simply means that someone is getting screwed in the deal. Otherwise, the scales would be balanced: Cost to produce = cost to purchase.

So why do we tolerate it? A couple of reasons:

1) The pursuit of profit motivates people into working (or working harder). Attainment of great profit is difficult by legitimate/legal means, so if you do actually find yourself in that position, you would probably do anything to maintain it.

2) Markets expand and contract. The relative (in/)efficiency of society needs a flexible system for pricing. Greed is an unfortunate, but natural side-effect of a free market (its an innate flaw of our species, brought on by the fear of the future).

Each time resources trade hands with all companies profiting (even if marginally) work is still accomplished. It is accomplished inefficiently, but at least it gets done.

Greed as a purely motivational tool is effective, and thoroughly addictive.

Good God, when will this be over?!

Enough of this paper-pushing, they should have a street fight.

As long as the release of mw3 isnt postponed b/c of this lawsuit, Im fine with them bickering all they want. It's when it begins to negatively affect the games they make is when it gets sad.

Hopefully they will put Kotick in the witness stand and have him subjected to some hard cross examination and it will show him to be the lieing calculating greedy prick he is.

If they share the brand, we can get a new Call of Duty every 6 months rather then every year!!!

egh I dont really care anymore. All first person shooters are starting to blur together anyway.

IckleMissMayhem:

Logan Westbrook:
the pair was skeptical about the autonomy hinging on the continued employment - wondering whether Activision would simply fire them to regain control over the brand - but apparently, Bobby Kotick himself has assured them that it would be impossible for the pair to be fired. Because of this assurance, the pair signed the contract without pushing for a more solid commitment from Activision.

Well, that was bloody stupid, wasn't it?! Especially if nothing like that was in their contracts, and/or they didn't demand such a clause in their contracts, if nothing like that pre-existed... Hindsight's a bitch though, right?

When is this cluster**** getting into a court? My guess is on the 12th of never.

Soveru:

The.Bard:

Maybe we can get EA & Activision to co-produce a game. They can call it Call of Suity. It will be a coop shooter starring West & Zampella. They go back and forth between the two evil factions and ultimately pick which of them to side with... EA or Activision. You can storm buildings and shoot programmers, secretaries, and board members. It will spark media outrage, and the final boss can be Bobby Kotick.

I smell a hit here.

That actually sounds like quite a brilliant idea

Seconded. But you'd only get to fight/defeat Kotick after it's revealed that EA and Activision were secretly working together all along, in order to cover up some nefarious, potentially world-destroying eeeeevil deeds(!!)

Soooooooooooooo... Deus Ex: Infinity Ward edition? Maybe call it Deus Ex: Infinity War, and it's revealed that EA and Activision are both subsidaries of the Illuminati and it's up to West and Zampella to save the video game industry from the corporate machine?

The front pages of the escapist news points to the downfall of good gaming. Lawsuits out the ass from the big guys, the small guys, individuals, organizations, and pretty much everyone involved with the industry or choosing to be involved with the industry.

 

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