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Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella

Kotaku has more on the drama surrounding the departure of Vince Zampella and Jason West from Infinity Ward and Activision, saying Activision is planning on adding Electronic Arts to their lawsuit against West and Zampella. They quote a legal filing from Activision claiming EA attempted to foment insurrection in one of the Call of Duty developers: "Activision is informed and believes that the negotiations between Electronic Arts and West and Zampella were structured with the design and the expectation that West and Zampella would "spin out" from Activision and would take significant numbers of key Infinity Ward employees with them to set up their own independent company so that Electronic Arts could make another run at competing with Activision. Electronic Arts would finance the illicitly-created start-up in exchange for an ownership interest or exclusive distribution rights to the content created by their new company, which would produce video games for Electronic Arts instead of Activision." They follow this up with a comment from the attorney representing West and Zampella: "Activision's filing is a pathetic mash-up of false and reckless assertions, designed only to delay the march to justice for Jason West and Vince Zampella. But what else would you expect from a company that doesn't let the truth get in its way."

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24. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 19:46 m0deth
 
Anyone else here remember when Activision actually had talent, and made games?

Now I have trouble NOT coughing up lung butter onto the ground at the mere mention of their name, right along with EA.
 
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23. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 19:30 Overon
 
Season's greetings and happy holidays, we are suing.  
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22. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 16:40 Hellcinder
 
Wow. First Activision wont publish Brutal Legend, then when Tim Schafer takes it to EA to publish Activision trys to cock block the game. Now Activision fires Iward employees for insubordination and is suing EA for taking them on? You can say that EA is the victim in this case, but its still like saying Darth kodicks ego was hurt cause Darth Maul had a double header saber and he didn't get to steal that idea first so hes suing them.

/wah
 
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21. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 15:56 Flatline
 
Creston wrote on Dec 22, 2010, 14:33:
Yosemite Sam wrote on Dec 22, 2010, 13:41:
So um I dont understand, is it now illegal in the US to entice employees to your company with promises of better pay or working conditions? Are you not allowed to choose where you work, I just dont see how Activision has a case here.

I assume that IW had some kind of non-compete clause in their contract that prohibited contact with other publishers while they were in the employ of Activision. That's fairly standard in high-tech jobs.

Creston

Speaking from personal experience, non-compete clauses are *really* hard to enforce legally. If the employer screws up in even the most minor way, the non-compete clause goes out the window.

My employers many years ago put in a non-compete clause for something ridiculous like 10 years after I worked for them, ensuring that I couldn't work in the industry at all in a new work contract they then declared "sign or you're fired". Which turned out to be legally problematic for various reasons that I won't get into. Then they violated my contract in a few other ways, and fired all their employees anyway to hire them back at less than minimum wage as a private contractor. We all walked.

When my old clients sought me out, I got threatened with a lawsuit. I spent 100 bucks on a lawyer, who laughed, said that I had nothing to worry about because there was enough dubious behavior on my employer's part to negate the non-competition clause, wrote a letter, and that was the last I heard of it.
 
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20. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 15:02 wtf_man
 
I don't get why Call of Duty is so popular... I mean the last demo I played... so much shit was going on, that it seemed like you needed to be a meth addict to get through the level, and that it could practically cause seizures for people without epilepsy.

Don't get me wrong... I love action... but this was ridiculous... not a pleasant experience, at all.
 
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19. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 14:51 AngryMax
 
Anyone else get a smile when EA bleeds talent and dollars?  
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18. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 14:36 SimplyMonk
 
Warskull wrote on Dec 22, 2010, 14:21:
Treyarch was the other guy, completely replacable.

Treyarch was "Hey look! Zombie Mode!"
 
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17. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 14:33 Creston
 
Yosemite Sam wrote on Dec 22, 2010, 13:41:
So um I dont understand, is it now illegal in the US to entice employees to your company with promises of better pay or working conditions? Are you not allowed to choose where you work, I just dont see how Activision has a case here.

I assume that IW had some kind of non-compete clause in their contract that prohibited contact with other publishers while they were in the employ of Activision. That's fairly standard in high-tech jobs.

Creston
 
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16. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 14:21 Warskull
 
Tumbler wrote on Dec 22, 2010, 12:33:
Anyone know what the bonus situation is with Treyarch? Are they paying bonuses there? Have they in the past? I'd be curious to know if they will try and screw that studio out of bonus's in some way...I would think not considering that is their only studio that has put out top notch games in that franchise now...but I wouldn't be surprised if they end up going through similar BS in the next month or 2.

The claim that EA somehow conspired to hire out most of that studio is laughable. I assume you have some evidence of this? Or you're just mad how everything turned out and want to bitch and moan?

I doubt Treyarch gets bonuses. Infinity Ward was the star, Treyarch was the other guy, completely replacable.
 
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15. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 13:41 Yosemite Sam
 
So um I dont understand, is it now illegal in the US to entice employees to your company with promises of better pay or working conditions? Are you not allowed to choose where you work, I just dont see how Activision has a case here.  
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14. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 13:28 Cutter
 
So EA could have an ownership interest? Yeah, right. West and Zam are golden boys now. Why on earth would they give anyone a controlling interest in what they do?
 
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13. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 12:33 Tumbler
 
Anyone know what the bonus situation is with Treyarch? Are they paying bonuses there? Have they in the past? I'd be curious to know if they will try and screw that studio out of bonus's in some way...I would think not considering that is their only studio that has put out top notch games in that franchise now...but I wouldn't be surprised if they end up going through similar BS in the next month or 2.

The claim that EA somehow conspired to hire out most of that studio is laughable. I assume you have some evidence of this? Or you're just mad how everything turned out and want to bitch and moan?
 
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12. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 12:27 Dev
 
If that story is true, then EA failed then, because all those employees formed their own company without getting owned by EA as far as I can tell.

BTW, I agree with the comment below that activision should have been taking care of their employees perhaps by paying the royalties and bonuses that they PROMISED them.
 
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11. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 11:34 killer_roach
 
Funny that Activision is conveniently ignoring the fact that they poached Zampella and West from EA in the first place...  
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10. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 11:15 Creston
 
kxmode wrote on Dec 22, 2010, 11:05:
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Dec 22, 2010, 10:48:
one of the most successful franchises of all time and they put it all at risk because they didn't want to pay appropriate bonuses to the developers responsible for it.

In one word we call that "greed".

Sadly, they got amply rewarded for it, as Black Ops sold even more than MW2 did, AND so far they haven't paid a single fucking dime for MW2. I hope this lawsuit tears Cocktick a new asshole. In his head.

Creston
 
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9. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 11:05 Kxmode
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Dec 22, 2010, 10:48:
one of the most successful franchises of all time and they put it all at risk because they didn't want to pay appropriate bonuses to the developers responsible for it.

In one word we call that "greed".
 
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8. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 10:48 theyarecomingforyou
 
I really don't have any sympathy for Activision. Call Of Duty was, and still is, one of the most successful franchises of all time and they put it all at risk because they didn't want to pay appropriate bonuses to the developers responsible for it. EA shouldn't have been able to tempt them away because Activision should have been looking after their most successful team.  
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7. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 10:48 Verno
 
Prez wrote on Dec 22, 2010, 10:29:
Is it wrong to cheer for EA? I hope not, because I am.

Never thought I'd see the day either
 
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6. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 10:37 Eldaron Imotholin
 
*yawn*

Just produce those games and shut up. T_T
 
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5. Re: Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella Dec 22, 2010, 10:29 Prez
 
Is it wrong to cheer for EA? I hope not, because I am.  
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