Unless you’ve been living on Mars with your fingers in your ears screaming “la la la” for the past week, you probably know that Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella are no longer with the company after Activision let them go due to an apparent “breach of contract” and “insubordination.”
Both sides are now set to face a lengthy and costly legal battle over wrongful termination. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has offered his thoughts on how the conflict might sway after reviewing the legal documents. While he doesn’t give a definitive answer, he does think we’ll see the “lawsuit progress to trial or settlement, with some compensation likely awarded.” However, separate claims over the ownership of the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare names might not be as successful, “Separately, we think that West’s and Zampella’s claim for creative control over the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare brands has little merit, and we expect Activision to retain control over the brands.”
Looking past the lawsuit, West and Zampella’s next move could really hit Activision where it hurts. “West’s and Zampella’s departure could be a serious negative for Activision should the pair choose to work for Electronic Arts.” seeing as EA are aggressively pitting themselves against Modern Warfare 2 with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Medal of Honor this year, EA could benefit massively from having two of the key figures from MW2‘s development on board.
“Perhaps more importantly, we understand that West and Zampella were popular among IW employees, and should they work for an Activision competitor (or even set up shop independently), it is likely that they will aggressively recruit former co-workers to join them. Because of their senior roles at IW, they presumably know which employees are the most talented, and are in a position to compete with Activision going forward.”
All eyes on West and Zampella for what they do next then, it’s anyone’s guess at this point.