Activision is counter-suing ex Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella.
Just over month after the fired men filed their lawsuit for wrongful dismissal, unpaid royalties and the right to control “Modern Warfare-branded games”, the publishing giant has struck back with a rather colorful counter-suit.
According to Activision, “West and Zampella morphed from valued, responsible executives into insubordinate and self-serving schemers who attempted to hijack Activision’s assets for their own personal gain and whose actions threatened both the future of the Call of Duty franchise and the future of Activsion’s Infinity Ward studio”.
The company also accuses the men of going “on a secret trip by private jet to Northern California, arranged by their Hollywood agent, to meet with the most senior executives of Activision’s closest competitor.”
Said competitor is believed to be Redwood City-based rival EA; when asked to comment, head of corporate communications Jeff Brown said: “We don’t have the time to comment on the many lawsuits Activision files against its employees and creative partners.”
The Activision suit, which namedrops “Modern Warfare 3” a few times by the way, has also generated a response from Robert Schwartz, West and Zampella’s attorney, who calls Activision’s allegations “false and outrageous”.
“Activision’s inaccurate and misguided allegations lose sight of the reality here,” he says. “None of the false claims of insubordination or breach of duties had any negative affect on Activision — none. Modern Warfare 2 has been the world’s most successful video game. And none of this changes the fact that Jason and Vince would still be at Infinity Ward developing new games except that Activision kicked them out.”
“This is just an Activision tactic to avoid paying Jason and Vince and everyone else at Infinity Ward the millions of dollars they all earned and that Activision owes them.”
Schwartz’s message also declares that West and Zampella “have taken steps to regain control over their creative future and plan to have an announcement very soon.”