The date: 7 May 2012. The players: Activision, EA and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella. The reason: suits and counter-suits relating to the departure of West and Zampella from Infinity Ward, owed royalties and alleged ‘tapping up’ of the duo on the part of EA.
Yes, it’s the lawsuit event of the year, coming before a jury in May of next year.
In case you’ve forgotten the sequence of events relating to these lawsuits (and let’s face it, aside from the lawyers involved, who hasn’t?), here’s what happened.
West and Zampella file a suit against Activision following their March 2010 dismissal from developers Infinity Ward. The suit claims unpaid royalties from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and demands both $36 million USD and the rights to the Call of Duty name.
A month later, Activision files a counter-suit, claiming that West and Zampella were in breach of contract because they took an undercover trip to California to meet with a “close competitor”.
EA is then added to the counter-suit, with Activision claiming that West and Zampella had a private jet ride to the home of John Riccitiello, CEO of EA.
Meanwhile, close to fifty other former Infinity Ward employees join West and Zampella’s original lawsuit against Activision, seeking unpaid royalties.
Now, an LA Superior Court judge has ruled against EA’s motion for ‘summary judgement’ in the case. As a result, the case will go before a jury in May 2012.
“We are eager to get to trial on May 7 to prove Jason and Vince’s case against Activision for firing them without cause and denying them the money they earned,” Robert Schwartz, the attorney representing West and Zampella, was quoted as saying.
Warms your heart with Christmas joy, doesn’t it?
Image taken from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2