Activision Successfully Adds EA To $400 Million Infinity Ward Case
Written Thursday, March 17, 2011 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Activision has successfully added EA to its $400 million lawsuit against former Infinity Ward heads, Jason West and Vince Zampella, having targeted the publisher for allegedly holding secret meetings with the pair back in August 2009. The LA Times reports that Northern California Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle has dismissed all but one of EA's motions to be dismissed from being added to the suit, which means that the trial will now go ahead in May.
EA's alleged pursuit of confidential information from West and Zampella was cited by Judge Berle as the reason for denying the publisher's motion to dismiss, despite arguments reportedly put forward during the hearing by EA lawyer Robert Klieger that Activision had not produced any evidence of this pursuit for information, labelling the claim a "conclusionary allegation."
"Activision’s attempt to drag others into the suit is subterfuge," EA spokesperson Jeff Brown told GameSpot. "This has always been a simple case of two artists trying to get paid for their work. We’re confident that the jury will side with Jason and Vince and order Activision to pay them the hundreds of millions they are owed."
The ongoing feud between EA, Activision, West and Zampella has been raging since March 2010, with the former Infinity Ward heads filing a lawsuit against Activision over unpaid royalties. 40 ex-Infinity Ward staff have since amended these very complaints against Activision, adding half a dozen new claims against the pubisher, which even include indirect fraud for promising "enhanced bonuses" that were allegedly never delivered upon completion of Modern Warfare 2's development as promised. All 40 ex-IW employees are now seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
A copy of the complaint claims that as part of "Activision's intense determination" to close a huge merger with Vivendi Blizzard in early 2008, "Activision greatly increased the value and attractiveness of the bonuses, royalties, and creative authority promises it made to West, Zampella, and the plaintiffs."
The complaint continues: "But Activision had no intention of actually honouring the very favourable promises it made, including but not limited to the promises to pay plaintiffs enhanced bonus payments."
The trial of Activision vs. EA, West and Zampella will commence in May.