The lights are on
It seems that the drama surrounding Infinity Ward from earlier in the week is not over at all. Infinity Ward's ex-president Jason West and ex-CEO Vince Zampella, who were confirmed by Activision to have "left the company," are now filing a lawsuit against their former employer for "breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good
faith and fair dealing, wrong termination in violation of public
policy, and declaratory relief."
Details of the lawsuit posted on PR Newswire indicate that West and Zampella's contracts were terminated apparently just weeks before they were to receive a huge royalty payment from Activision, presumably for the stellar sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Their attorney, Robert Schwartz, provided this info:
"Activision has refused to honor the terms of its agreements and is
intentionally flouting the fundamental public policy of this State (California) that employers must pay their employees what they have rightfully earned. Instead of thanking, lauding, or just plain paying Jason and Vince for
giving Activision the most successful entertainment product ever
offered to the public, last month Activision hired lawyers to conduct a
pretextual 'investigation' into unstated and unsubstantiated charges of
'insubordination' and 'breach of fiduciary duty,' which then became the
grounds for their termination on Monday, March 1st."
In other words, West and Zampella seem to be alleging that those accusations of "breaches of contract and insubordination" that popped up in an SEC filing Monday were made up by Activision as an excuse to fire the duo and avoid paying them royalties. It's easy to imagine there was more than just financial reasons behind Activision's decision, but this paints an incredibly shady picture of Activision if true.
Jason West provided his own statement on the events: "We were shocked by Activision's decision to terminate our contract. We poured our heart and soul into that company, building
not only a world class development studio, but assembling a team we've
been proud to work with for nearly a decade. We think the work we've
done speaks for itself."
Grab some popcorn and get prepared for a bumpy ride, everyone. It's going to be interesting watching where this lawsuit goes. Also remember that Activision's SEC filing mentioned that they expected this decision to "involve...litigation." Does that mean they plan to sue West and Zampella as well, or were they expecting to be sued from the start?
i think we all saw this coming activision will kill the call of duty franshise
I'm not exactly a fan of IW, but the way Activision has been acting lately recalls memories of the dark days when EA bought the moon. Hopefully we won't have another one of those, but the way things are working out, I'm afraid it might be too late.
As the kids say: S**t just got real.
I hope they get the money they deserve
activision is slowly becoming EA
*** must not have posted this soon enough to get credit for finding it :/. Either way though, /popcorn.
I seriously hate Activision. I have never really been impressed with their business sense and plan, but this puts it over the top if it is true, which wouldn't surprise me. How sad, I wasn't impressed with IW either, but Activision should support their developers better, or they will loose a huge cash cow. IW's following is almost as big as COD, and I am not sure if the many IW fans out there will take this well at all.
The initial indication seemed to be that those guys possibly spoke to an outside company about publishing games. If that is true, Activision has no one but themselves to blame for pushing a good developer to the point where they feel they cannot put out the best product possible.
I don't know who is right or wrong in this situation because I do not know all the facts, but if anything, I hope these guys win.
i hope activision gets what it has coming to it, karma's gonna be a b*tch
"this paints an incredibly shady picture of Activision if true."
You mean there wasn't already a shady picture painted of Activision?
I think it's gonna be a sequence of suits and countersuits the likes of which the gaming industry has never seen. Enough outrageous (but somehow true) details should come out to prompt Gamespy to update their "25 Dumbest Moments in Gaming" to include this debacle (especially if it results in the decline of the Call of Duty franchise).
@Demon Ragnarok: Well...maybe one or two.
Activision is going to crumble i am not a fan of IW but still Activision is shady and we will have to see what happens from here either way the death of some of their franchises are coming.
I'm not a fan of COD really, but oh how I hate Kotick. I hope for the best for Zampesomething and West.
i feel bad for them. thats so immature of activision.
i want those two to win whatever happens here, just to stick it to Kotick and his dickery ways.
OMGSH Activision should get off its high horse and be nice for a change.
So many lawsuits in the gaming world these days. It helps remind me that its a business and not just a bunch of us gamers piled in a room pretending to run one while they make games and get paid (or not in quite a few cases it seems) to do so. That's not a joke, I just seriously thought that making games was....well, a game lol. It definitely sucks that its a corporate structure now, but any multimillion dollar enterprise almost is forced to take on such a structure in some way. I say shame on them for dealing such a low blow to these two gents, but it is shrewd business in the short term. Although it would be best to just pay them and keep the peons happy. "Be happy in your work" right?