News

Activision's contract interference suit against EA moves forward
Posted: 23.12.2011 04:49 by Comments: 4
California Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle has turned down Electronic Arts' motion to dismiss a $400M contract-interference suit brought against the company by Activision. The judge ruled that Activision had provided sufficient evidence that EA had broken the law in courting Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella while they were still under contract to Activision.

Activision's had submitted court filings accusing Electronic Arts of illegally luring West and Zampella to join them, chiefly because the Call of Duty series had thoroughly trounced EA's Medal of Honor series. Ironically, West and Zampella were among 22 developers who had helped develop the Medal of Honor: Allied Assault with 2015, Inc. for Electronic Arts and later left in frustration, joining Activision to create Call of Duty.

Activision's $400M suit was a counter-suit to West and Zampella's original lawsuit against the company for $36M. The Infinity Ward founders claimed that Activision had fired them to avoid paying them royalties on the then-record setting multiplatform shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Activision counter-claimed, “EA dangled before West and Zampella a lucrative deal that incentivized them to terminate their Activision contracts prematurely, either by quitting or by behaving so badly that Activision had no choice but to fire them, which, of course, is exactly what happened.”

According to the judge, Electronic Arts' claim that it was legal for West and Zampella to explore new employment opportunities was invalid, since the duo had more than two years left on their contract with Activision.

Activision was understandably pleased with the judges' motion to move the suit forward. “We’re pleased with the ruling and look forward to proving our case at trial,” stated Steven Marenberg, a lawyer for Activision.
Source: Bloomberg

Comments

By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Dec 23, 2011
herodotus
Back and fro go West and Zampella like commodities rather than the innovators behind today's military FPS's and the talents they possess. Grubby it all might sound, but is pretty usual in business. A shame these two pioneers have to be dragged through the quagmire.
By SiyaenSokol (SI Elite) on Dec 23, 2011
SiyaenSokol
I agree, it is a shame. It is plainly a shame that something like this needs to happen, but then again EA does enjoy looking for trouble.
By djole381 (SI Elite) on Dec 23, 2011
djole381
Welcome to the American legal system XD