Ex-Infinity Ward heads sue Activision

Written by Joe Martin

March 4, 2010 | 12:24

Tags: #call-of-duty #jason-west #modern-warfare-2 #mw2 #royalties #vince-zampella

Companies: #activision #activision-blizzard #infinity-ward

Jason West and Vince Zampella, the former bosses of Infinity Ward who were fired by Activision earlier this week, have launched a lawsuit against the publisher over unpaid royalties.

Activision reportedly sent in security to the studios of the Modern Warfare 2 developer and fired both Jason and Vince, who had been with the studio for more than nine years, for "insubordination". That insubordination is rumoured to have involved complaining about how the team had never received any of the royalties that were promised from Modern Warfare 2, as well as approaching other publishers as the situation deteriorated.

"Activision has refused to honour 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 1."

Activision meanwhile has announced the formation of a new department to manage the Call of Duty brand, which will include bringing new studios and making many more games, some of which will focus on "high margin digital content".

The duo's lawsuit alleges breach of contract, violation of public policy and wrongful termination, among others.

"After all we have given to Activision, we shouldn't have to sue to get paid," added Zampella.

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