West and Zampella Declare War Against Activision
Written Thursday, March 04, 2010 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Ex-Infinity Ward studio heads, Jason West and Vince Zampella have filed a lawsuit against Activision for substantial unreceived royalties that were due to be paid weeks before they were fired on March 1st.
"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," said their attorney Robert Schwartz.
"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," Schwartz added.
West and Zampella expressed their shock at having their contracts with Activision terminated, with West stating, "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."
Zampella echoed West's sentiments, saying, "After all we have given to Activision, we shouldn't have to sue to get paid."
Infinity Ward is still working on forthcoming DLC for Modern Warfare 2, while West and Zampella are seeking to regain control over the Modern Warfare brand.
"The suit was filed to vindicate the rights of West and Zampella to be paid the compensation they have earned, as well as the contractual rights Activision granted to West and Zampella to control Modern Warfare-branded games."
Newly-formed Activision studio Sledgehammer was yesterday announced as the developer on a new Call of Duty title - an action-adventure game, while Infinity Ward is apparently still "central to Call of Duty's future."
Expect to hear more on this as the plot continues to unfold.