The civil litigation war between Activision and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella have reached a new level, as Activision has filed a counter-suit to West and Zampella’s initial lawsuit. Activision is claiming the duo, “morphed from valued, responsible executives into insubordinate and self-serving schemers who attempted to hijack Activision’s assets for their own personal gain.” A very substantial claim, to say the least.
The suit was filed this morning by Activision, a month after West and Zampella filed their initial suit. A total of 23 pages containing some very stern (at least, legally) words from Activision:
“West and Zampella’s misdeeds formed an unlawful pattern and practice of conduct that was designed to steal the [Infinity Ward] studio, which is one of Activision’s most valuable assets — at the expense of Activision and its shareholders and for their own personal financial gain.
…[West and Zampella wanted to] prevent Activision from awarding additional compensation to [Infinity Ward] team members as a reward for the success of [Infinity Ward]-developed games, in order to make these employees easier to poach when West and Zampella executed their plans to leave the company and set up their own company.”
And remember when Activision was looking for those internal documents for information pertaining to West and Zampella talking to other video game publishers, including Actvision’s rival, Electronic Arts? It looks like the two ended up taking a “secret trip” up to Northern California where they met with, “the most senior executives of Activision’s closest competitor.” While not named outright, it could be said that West and Zampella met with Electronic Arts, as they are based out of Redwood City.
West and Zampella have not yet heard of the lawsuit as of the writing and have declined to comment on the matter entirely. When asked for comment, spokesman for EA, Jeff Brown said:
“We don’t have the time to comment on the many lawsuits Activision files against its employees and creative partners.”
The situation, if not already ugly and grim, has taken a rather messy turn to say the least. For you legal heads, the documents have been made publicly available and be found online at IGN, below are a few pages from the counter-suit for your perusal.