Activision vs West, Zampella and EA lawsuit gets go-ahead

Judge rules that $400 million contract-interference case will go forward

A California Superior Court judge has given the go ahead to an Activision lawsuit brought against EA over the publisher's hiring of Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella.


Filed in December 2010, Activision's $400 million contract-interference suit is based on allegation that the Medal of Honor publisher had been attempting to lure the Call of Duty creators away from its rival from as early as July 2009.

Without ruling on the merits of the case, judge Elihu Berle said Activision had provided sufficient facts in its complaint for the case to proceed, Bloomberg reports. It has been provisionally scheduled for May.

While EA was added to Activision's complaint late last year, its dispute with West and Zampella stretches back to March, when the former Infinity Ward bosses sued their ex-employee for alleged unfair dismissal. The pair claimed their contracts were terminated weeks before substantial Modern Warfare 2 royalty payments were due to be made.

Activision counter-sued the developers, arguing that they had been secretly negotiating a deal with EA. The pair subsequently formed new studio Respawn Entertainment and agreed a publishing deal with EA.

38 current and former Infinity Ward employees also sued Activision last year over alleged unpaid bonuses and royalties for Modern Warfare 2, and their complaint has been consolidated with West's, Zampella's and EA's case against Activision.

[ SOURCE: Bloomberg ]