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Activision vs Infinity Ward – The Saga continues

March 4th, 2010 by

The best versus match in Modern Warfare 2 this week is being fought with press releases. Following Activision’s firing of Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella at the start of the week citing “insubordination and “breaches of contract”, the pair have now filed suit against Activision.

They claim the charges were a pretext for Activision to fire them and withhold “substantial royalty payments”. Considering that Modern Warfare 2 made half a billion dollars ($550 million, to be precise) in it’s first five days on sale, that could be a pretty big sum.

Interestingly, they may also be laying claim to the Modern Warfare brand, too. Their lawyers refer to “the contractual rights Activision granted to West and Zampella to control Modern Warfare-branded games”. While Activision own the Call of Duty name, could we eventually see a Modern Warfare game from a different studio and publisher?

9 Responses to “Activision vs Infinity Ward – The Saga continues”
  1. It’s a hell of a move from Activision.
    I think a lot of people are now watching this with a keen interest.
    Has the Call of Duty franchise had its last super successful title with MW2?

  2. avatar Phizzy says:

    Please, millions bought World at War even though it was a crappy excuse for a Call of Duty game developed by stupid stupid Treyarch with their rubbish games and argh

  3. I’m not saying they don’t sell, I just tend to loose interest with constant iterations of the same thing. Guitar Hero being a prime example

  4. avatar Martyn Hackett says:

    Did anyone see the “Don’t Panic, we’re working on 3 more CoD games!” release Activision put out? Never underestimate their ability to run a franchise into the ground. First Tony Hawk, then Guitar Hero, now Call of Duty.

    Ultimate irony would be for the IW guys to go to work on Medal of Honour for EA, came back full circle!

  5. Latest response from Activision –

    “Activision is disappointed that Mr. Zampella and Mr. West have chosen to file a lawsuit, and believes their claims are meritless,” a statement read.

    “Over eight years, Activision shareholders provided these executives with the capital they needed to start Infinity Ward, as well as the financial support, resources and creative independence that helped them flourish and achieve enormous professional success and personal wealth.

    “In return, Activision legitimately expected them to honour their obligations to Activision, just like any other executives who hold positions of trust in the company. While the company showed enormous patience, it firmly believes that its decision was justified based on their course of conduct and actions.”

  6. avatar Phizzy says:

    Matt, you think whether you like games or not is a measure of their ‘success’?

  7. No and I’m sure the next title with the COD branding will sell a ton, but not as much as MW2 did

  8. avatar xeroxeroxero says:

    I don’t think we’ll see another title sell like that for a while now. MW2 was just a perfect storm of marketing, interest, hype, reliance on the previous title etc etc. It’ll move a ton of units, but it’s not going to be the 1 billion plus game Modern Warfare is.

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