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Activision: West-Zampella/EA deal comes as “no surprise”

Monday, 12th April 2010 17:49 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Infinity Ward

Activision’s just said that today’s announcement of ex-Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella founding new studio Respawn Entertainment, and the deal with EA Partners, comes as “no surprise”.

In a statement issued to VG247 just now, the company said:

“This agreement comes as no surprise to Activision given the myriad of improper activities detailed in the cross-complaint filed on Friday against Jason West and Vince Zampella. We look forward to continuing to work with Infinity Ward’s deep bench of proven talent on exciting new projects.”

Earlier today, West and Zampella announced it had formed the new studio, with EA Partners getting the publishing and distribution rights to its first game. Respawn maintains all control over any intellectual properties it develops.

Zampella said that the founding of the new studio was “a total reset”, adding the move was “daunting and exciting”.

Meanwhile, at the formal reveal for Crysis 2 last week in New York, EA Partners boss David DeMartini told VG247′s Patrick Garratt that Infinity Ward’s creative team had “blown up”, citing the developer of this year’s Call of Duty title Treyarch as the “b-team”.

Earlier on Friday, Activision issued a countersuit over West and Zampella’s lawsuit to the publisher: the pair are suing the firm for $36 million in unpaid royalties for Modern Warfare 2 and full control of the Modern Warfare IP after it fired the two ex-Infinity Ward heads for “insubordination”.

Build those bunkers fast. This isn’t going to be over for a long time to come.

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10 Comments

  1. V_Ben

    “We told you they would! see? vindicated!”

    bit of a back slap to Respawn with that “proven talent” comment.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Suikoden Fan

    treat your workers like shit and of course they’ll leave

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Redh3lix

    Wonder if the delay of MW3 (due to court actions etc) will put it’s release around the same time of Medal of Honour? That would be awesome! EA vs Acti on game sales :)

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Freek

    Save it for the lawsuite Acti, you are making yourself look bad. But then again, that’s probably business as usual at mount Doom.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Razor

    Saw a comment on GI about how it would be funny if Vince and Jason ended up with the rights for MW3.

    That would be amazing!

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Goliath

    @ Razor

    Funny but highly, highly improbable. Even then, without the Call of Duty title it’s just another mediocre shooter. Look at how poorly Modern Warfare 2 tracked when they removed Call of Duty from the title.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. endgame

    i wonder how soon before current IW employees will leave for Respawn. we’ll see where the talent is then. :) but even if they won’t I’m confident that Mr. Zampella and Mr. West will gather a good team and will lead them to success just as they did with IW.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. hitnrun

    Whether they have a winning legal claim or not, West and Zampella won’t get the rights to Modern Warfare. There’s no real grounds they’ve presented for why they should have control of the franchise other than “Activision’s brass are a bunch of dicks,” which, while true, isn’t a compelling argument for claiming an IP.

    The only way I could see it happening is if Activision gave it to them voluntarily in lieu of a cash award…but given that the money in dispute is only 30 million or so, the MW name might be worth hundreds of millions even with a B-team of developers, and even if it was only worth a fiver Kotick is far too drunk on power to give in, it’s exceedingly unlikely.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. abbe

    If you fire people, they get a new job?
    Who knew… :)

    #9 5 years ago
  10. AlmightyDogbert

    One of them should say bobby touched them. Bad touch.

    There, you see saved you on legal fees, with that you would win.

    #10 5 years ago

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