Call Of Duty Lawsuit Begins May 23 In Los Angeles
It’s a good thing that the Call of Duty series is one of the biggest game series of all time. All that insane money the series generates allows Activision to do things like Call of Duty XP. And settle expensive lawsuits, like the one they’ll be enjoying next May, filed by Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella. West & Zampella contend that Activision committed fraud by firing them before making good on substantial royalties owed to them from their work on Call of Duty and Modern Warfare.
So do they have a case? Maybe, but this gets really complicated. West and Zampella were unceremoniously fired by (Infinity Ward’s parent company) Activision in March of 2010, due to alleged insubordination and breach of contract. Not to be cowed, West and Zampella filed the just-scheduled lawsuit, seeking to force Activision to submit allegedly unpaid royalties and forfeit ownership of the Modern Warfare series (though not the Call of Duty series overall.)
In the course of trial preparation, details emerged that the duo were in unspecified talks with EA. This was further confirmed when West and Zampella created a new company, Respawn Entertainment, seeking funding from… Electronic Arts. Zounds! Then again, it appears that Infinity Ward’s talks with EA were inspired by the way Activision treated their employees. After West and Zampella’s firings, nearly half of the remaining Infinity Ward employees resigned. Soon after, they formed the Infinity Ward Employee Group and filed a lawsuit demanding upwards of 125 million in damages for unpaid bonuses and for having witheld compensation during the development of Modern Warfare 3. That trial is currently scheduled for May 23, 2012.
We can’t claim to know the ultimate outcome, but based on the information revealed so far it does begin to look like Activision subjected their employees to the kind of environment that made Rockstar notorious. As always, we’ll be sticking to this like glue and letting you know as soon as new information drops. In the meantime, if you like Modern Warfare, best prepare yourself for the possibility that MW3 will be the last entry.