Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Modern Warfare trial to begin May 7

The drama surrounding Activision's high-profile firings of Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella has largely died down, and soon the legal wrangling will also come to a head. West and Zampella's legal representation at LA-based legal firm O'Melveny & Myers have confirmed that opening arguments in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit will begin May 7. The case is expected to last about five weeks.
Initially filed shortly after the duo was fired in March 2010, the suit seeks to claim royalty payments that West and Zampella believe Activision owes them following the highly successful launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In April, West and Zampella amended the suit to add fraud chargesagainst the publisher.
"We're extremely pleased to have a firm trial date and the opportunity to let a jury decide Jason and Vince's claims that Activision cheated them and 40 other Infinity Ward team members out of the millions of dollars they earned for creating the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare mega-franchises," an O'Melveny & Myers representative told GameSpot. "Activision has taken a lot of cheap, false shots at Vince and Jason and has tried to delay the case and drive up their cost of enforcing the promises Activision reneged on. But come May 7, 2012, Activision will have nowhere to hide."
Activision had not responded to a request for comment on the matter as of press time.
However, beyond the performance-based payout and any other court-awarded monetary damages, West and Zampella are also seeking to gain co-ownership of the Modern Warfare brand. If successful in court, West and Zampella would have the right to create and release both old and new installments in the Modern Warfare franchise.
Activision, of course, is not taking these allegations lying down. In March, the Call of Duty publisher succeeded in adding Electronic Arts to its $400 million breach-of-contract countersuit against West and Zampella. That suit stems from the duo's formation of a new studio, Respawn Entertainment, under the auspices of EA, poaching many former Infinity Ward developers in the process.

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