CA Judge Approves Activision's Case Against EA & Ex-Infinity Ward Heads

Judge Rules EA Must Defend Against Activision

Things have been rather quiet lately on the Activision vs Jason West and Vincent Zampella front, so any news on how the court proceedings are going is appreciated.

Unfortunately, this news isn't about any kind of resolution, but rather that Activision's counter suit against West, Zampella, and competitor EA has been approved to go forward by California Superior Court Judge, Elihu Berle.

Activision's counter suit claims that EA heads had met with West and Zampella during their time at Infinity Ward in attempt to hijack them from Activision. EA has called the claims an attempt by Activision to misdirect the lawsuit because Activision doesn't have a credible case against its former employees.

Since being relieved of their duties at Infinity Ward, West and Zampella have moved on to form Respawn Entertainment, a new game development company which signed an exclusive publishing deal with EA through the EA Partners program. While no news of development on any games has been announced from Respawn yet, a showing at this year's E3 may be in order. A bold move considering the allegations Activision is making against West and Zampella.

Date Set for Infinity Ward Activision Suit

EA Spokesman, Jeff Brown, spoke out against Activision and its suit against EA implying that the case has very little to do with EA and defiantly claims that Activision will lose this court battle.

"This has always been a simple case of two artists trying to get paid for their work. We’re confident that the jury will side with Jason and Vince and order Activision to pay them the hundreds of millions they are owed."

This of course refers to the original case that West and Zampella filed against Activision claiming that they had been fired so that Activision wouldn't have to pay them millions of dollars in royalties for their work on the then record breaking title Modern Warfare 2.

While EA was being forced to defend itself further against Activision, the case West, Zampella and 38 former Infinity Ward developers have against Activision has been expanded to include six new allegations - two of which allege fraud. Activision is being accused of not paying "enhanced royalties" it promised key employees of Infinity Ward in 2008 - in exchange for a promise that they would remain with the company until work on Modern Warfare 2 was completed. According to the lawsuit, the promises of West, Zampella, and other key Infinity Ward members were crucial to Activision completing its merger with Vivendi's Blizzard Entertainment.

Activision has yet to comment on the ruling against EA or the new claims being made against them.

Source: Bloomberg, LA Times (via Joystiq)

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