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Activision seeking $400 million in damages from West, Zampella, and EA as Black Ops exceeds $1 billion in sales

Wednesday, 22 December 2010 03:54 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

zamwest

Activision has put a hefty $400 million price tag on the amount of damages it’s seeking from not only Jason West and Vince Zampella for breach of contract, but EA as well for supposedly luring the duo away from the company.

According to the Associated Press and an amended complaint filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, Activision has added EA to its lawsuit against the ex-Infinity Ward founders, claiming EA of luring the duo away, and for courting the men as early as July 2009.

The complaint states Activision believes EA “intentionally interfered with contracts, engaged in unfair competition and aided and abetted breaches of fiduciary duty by the executives”.

In July last year, West and Zampella still had two years left on their contracts with Activision, and that EA, through talent agency Creative Artists, dispatched a private jet to carry them to a secret meeting at the home of CEO John Riccitiello during August 2009, according to Activision’s complaint.

As is well known by now, West and Zampella are also suing Activison to the tune of $36 million which they claim was part of unpaid bonuses being withheld by the firm. They went on to sign with EA and formed Respawn Entertainment, subsequently hiring 40 employees away from Activision.

In other news, Activision said today in a press release sales of Black Ops, the latest Call of Duty title by Treyarch, had exceeded $1 billion in global sales.

UPDATE: Joystiq has the court docs up if you would like to read over them.

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88 Comments

  1. Stephany Nunneley

    Technically, I am on vacation, but the news never sleeps and nethier do I.

    Pretend you didn’t see me.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. hitnrun

    (Don’t worry, Steph. We Americans understand. Long vacations aren’t in our blood ;) But of all the things to set off a compulsive relapse…)

    Don’t pay too much heed to the $400 million number. The US civil tort system is kind of like Reverse Poker. You start with the highest number you can possibly write down on the paper without giggling and try to settle for something over zero.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    @2 Exactly! $400 million could easily turn into $400 dollars in the blink of an eye :D

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DarkElfa

    Activision is right, they deserve all that money and more. They deserve your money and my money and all the money ever made in the world ever.

    EVER BITCHES!

    /s

    #4 4 years ago
  5. back_up

    Ea sucks

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Johnny Cullen

    I really would like to be a fly on the wall with Zampella & West/Activision/EA, just to see what the fuck happened.

    Needless to say, it’s shit like this which makes me love my job.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. G1GAHURTZ

    This morning I decided that Black Ops was the best CoD yet.

    I never thought I’d like a Treyarch CoD, but that’s not the case.

    But lets face it. I think the only game that can break CoD’s dominance is one made with these two guys in charge.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Razor

    Can you sue another company for luring talent away?

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Mike

    Isn’t there a bloody recession or something?

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Broncanus

    I’ve been reading various comments threads about this story and the new information revealed. It seems to me that there’s a pretty clear cut case that these guys were not acting properly and thought they could get away with it. Yet somehow, the comments threads are still full of people laying into Activision about this. They stole documents, tried to sabotage colleagues’ games… what a joke.

    The Internet never ceases to amaze me with its blinkered approach to pretty much everything.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. G1GAHURTZ

    Yeah, sure…

    You must be one of the only people in the entire world to have all of the absolute facts about this case to be able to back up those “clear cut” claims.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Detale

    I get the feeling that this is one of those situations where nobody involved is innocent.

    It’ll probably all get settled behind closed doors and we’ll never really know what happened anyway.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Gekidami

    Reading what Joystiq posted of the court docs Acti have everything they need to backup their claims. This dosnt bold well for EA/West, Zampella.

    Going off that i have to side with Acti, West & Zampella come off as being complete dicks who deserved to get fired and sued.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. KrazyKraut

    BO breaks records again….and then they are still greedy as fucking hell. Of course EA damaged their possible profits…if EA hadnt lured the two dudes away…COD:BO would sell like 2 Billion Dollars.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Crysis

    Let’s just face facts, all 3 parties are guilty.
    I can understand the hatred over ActiVision, mainly for releasing a sub-par CoD every year & the overpriced DLC & for the fact that their boss is an outspoken Pretentious douche, but most of what he says is out of context & misleading.
    Let’s rememeber that EA also releases yearly games from their franchises, just look @ their whole sports division & the NFS series, but if it works, it works.
    @8, They were under contact, so yes, all 3 parties were doing unethical actions.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. mojo

    “doing unethical actions.”
    well, thats the purpose of capitalism.
    so noone should be suprised by this, realy.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. AHA-Lambda

    wow IF what activision says is true than that means kotick is the good guy here?

    WAT???!! =O

    #17 4 years ago
  18. YoungZer0

    Yeah, good luck with that.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Broncanus

    @11 Of course not. Presuming you don’t either. I do however have access to court filed documents…

    It just strikes me as naive that the gaming community instantly rallies around these two characters and clearly takes their side.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. OlderGamer

    I don’t like any of them.

    So much focus is placed on Online MP FPS that so many other generes get left in the dark. I am really sorry to sound like an old guy, but enough already. These things are just mirror images of each other. Clones with slight settings and gameplay tweaks to differentiate from one another.

    You know what I want?

    I want a couch co-op, internet co-op, AAA RPG. Something that can do what Champions of Norath did, but on an epic scale. Something with amazing depth and longevity that says, “yes, I am worth every penny and more”.

    I want generes that don’t get any attention. I want new games. New ideas. I just bought Kinect for the wife, I want a triple AAA game for that from a top teir talented studio, I want to see what the gadget can really do. I want things that get shelfed because everyone is trying to be king of OMPFPS.

    Sorry for the rant, but I don’t care about these guys.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Crysis

    @20, MS stated that they’re not going to do any 1st party AAA games for Kinect in the near future, i don’t have the link, but it seems that noone, even MS, has the balls to create a high quality kinect game.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. OlderGamer

    I was very much against Kinect or Move from the get go.

    Seemed a complete waste of time to me.

    Then my wife demod one at walmart. Then we walked out of the store with an early Xmass gift. She loves the thing. I am impressed with what it can do, just not the games it has to offer.

    I also own a Move, but am not impressed with it. It is a Wii with better tracking. Been there done that.

    But Kinect has real potiental to be something truly different and unique. And if the industry allows something like this to fail due to lack of trying that is sad.

    I just feel like so much focus is placed on the same ole generes that we are left drowning in a sea of metoos. Stale, flat games that never stray from the tried and tested formula that we have come to expect.

    I am not saying Kinect is revolution. It is more of a breath of fresh air.

    And I am not promoting Motion Games over traditional ones. I just keep gaming, waiting and hoping for something to come along and really grab me. It has been a long long time. I think i would have to go back to the Dreamcast to find a line up of exciting game sthat felt fresh, exciting, and were fun to play.

    It is prolly just part of getting older. You have no idea how many times I go to the game store and get asked if I am buying this or that game for the grandkids(not joking).

    I just try and keep looking for something I would enjoy, and the shelf is filled with CoD and the countless wanna bes.

    Thank goodness for Steam and XBLA/PSN/Wii Ware. And I hope I say the samething about Kinect down the road when better games come out for it.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. guapo

    @ 15 sub-par COD. BWAHAHAHA!! The millions of people, MILLIONS who play this game daily beg to differ. I’m not saying cod is the most innovative gaming experience but sub-par it is most certainly not. @ Oldergamer mp is the way of the future, we should all get used to it because it’s not going anywhere. Especially the fps mp games. After seeing the cod numbers it would be foolish to NOT expect other devs to try and cash in. The thing about genres that don’t get any attention is that they also don’t make any money! These corporations are all about their bottom line.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. OlderGamer

    While that maybe true, I would like to remind you that this generation the Wii has outsold the xb360 and the PS3. And while big name games like CoD sitting on big name shelves like Gamestop are high profile and draw most of the game media attention, Cell Phone apps, ipod apps, Casual Game sites from yahoo to facebook to others, sell just as much or more then said big name stores.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Callum

    Can’t wait to finish collegeand start making some indie games personally. I admire the big names for the technology they produce, but in terms of design there really is little flare or risk. With something like the Iphone or Windows Phone 7 a group of people like me and my friends from college can get together and make a game we all really want to make.

    Heres to hoping we can re-produce the success of angry birds or super meat boy! lol :)

    Oh, and with regards to the thread, they are all money grabbing wankers. Merry Christmas.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. guapo

    @ 24 I would say that the success of those (not denying their quality) android/iphone/facebook games is largely due to accessibility (and low price point). As far as facebook type games go, people spend insane amounts of time on those sites, and these micro-transaction based games are really an ingenious way of making revenue. As basic as they are I guess they are addicting. However, i don’t really think I would ever consider playing something like Farmville. I’m not much of a facebook guy but my wife is.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. G1GAHURTZ

    @ OG:

    RE: ‘A breath of fresh air’

    When I get bored of CoD (it happened at least once before… …I think) I play some demos from XBL to see what else I might like to buy.

    Then I realise that none of them interest me as much as winning games of Free For All over and over again, so I go back to CoD.

    Sometimes I spend time on XBLA Tetris Splash or Bomberman LIVE, but neither of those could really be called new or innovative, I suppose.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. OlderGamer

    Best of luck to you and your endevours Callum, I always enjoy a good indie game.

    And Fair enough G1GA, I used to spend a plan crazy amount of time playing(and placing top 25 on the world wide leaderboards, mind you) in Mechassult(xbox one). I loved that game, the first one not the second – hated the second. I used to be a “chicken Mech”, and end up top of scoreboard and zero deaths. One of the best online action game experiences I have ever played – well that and a good BattleGrounds(ret pally) in WoW.

    Tinker around with Pinball FX2 next time you put the CoD controler down for a break. See if you can top Frosty, M. O’Conner, or myself in score. Might be more fun then you think.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Crysis

    @guapo, CoD is a very mediocre shooter with gamepay so simple that a 5 year old could actually play & know what to do, it has very little added onto it each year & imo, should have been released as Add on content but also with a standalone retail release similar to what R* did with RDR with Undead Nightmare & GTAIV with Liberty City Stories, but ofc not, they would rather sell it as a seperate game & leech much more money from us.

    Also it’s foolish to even try to compare quantity with quality as you did, millions of people use Windows, millions of people buy LG products, but Windows is outdated, superseded by the free to use Linux & LG products are laughably inferior to pretty much everyone else, but because of how many they sell they are good? I think not…

    I know i come of as a douche, knocking a popular game, but i just don’t see the value in it.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. joshua nash

    its nice to know that activision will never stop being the world biggest money whores, they will also try to find away to make/get money even though they’re rolling in it, bathing in it, sleeping in it, etc.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. hitnrun

    @23: Millions of people playing online would disagree because there’s nothing else to play. COD is barely on par with PC shooters 10, 12 years ago. But the way of the AAA industry — as you point out with MP in general — is not to find the next big thing but to maximize profit for the last big thing. The game market has been multiplying over and over and all those new players are willing to buy the ancient MP arcadey shooter again.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Len

    @21 What about Children Of Eden then…?

    Oops, not 1st party, damn and dbl damn. Still the only thing that interests me that has been shown so far for Kinect.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. Gekidami

    @30
    Because having alot of money means that your employees are allow to go rogue and try to take something they dont own with them (the MW IP) despite being under contract, and are allowed to leak documents to another company, right?

    Gotta love peoples reasoning; Acti make alot of money, therefore they are evil and have no rights.
    Could you tell me how much you have in the bank right now? I just want to establish you’re degree of evilness.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Hunam

    The fact that you think you can just take IP like that is rather… silly, Geki. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle, but I doubt that they tried to steal IP, it’s impossible to do. It’s not like you have a printed piece of paper you can hijack and hold to ransom.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Gekidami

    lol Where did i say they tried to steal the IP secretly? They tried to win it in a law suit, obviously.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Crysis

    @34, West & Zampella claim they own the Modern Warfare IP, which is kind of ridiculous.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. Megatron

    EA response :
    “This is a PR play filled with pettiness and deliberate misdirection. Activision wants to hide the fact that they have no credible response to the claim of two artists who were fired and now just want to get paid for their work.”

    #37 4 years ago
  38. stretch215

    @ 29 if there is a better online mp experience why is nobody playing that? So millions of consumers are blind sheep and you are the All-knowing god of gaming ? Get off your high horse.#23 didn’t say cod was the best out there he simply said cod was not sub-par. I agree and so does the majority. You are completely overruled. Have a nice day, I’m about to whip some ass in bfbc2: Vietnam. Which is awesome by the way….

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Crysis

    “So millions of consumers are blind sheep” That was actually my point, yes they are, just look at Apple products, most notably the iPod shuffle, a VERY basic MP3 player selling up to 5 times the price of a generic brand with smaller storage space.
    Back to my point, I am not saying CoD is completely shit, but it’s highly overrated & most people only buy it because their friends have it, if it wasn’t for countless friends of yours playing the MP, who on here would have actually bought the damn game? To any FPS fan, i would reccomend Joint Ops, yes it’s a little dated, but it’s still a superior game when you compare it with CoD Blops, MoH & BF Bad Company, but unfortunately games like this don’t fare too well against big name games so there’s less & less of these great games & all the moneys being put into AAA titles, yearly rehashes & smaller casual/social games, not terribly much inbetween these days.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. Michael O’Connor

    @38 There is, and they are.

    It’s called Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. OlderGamer

    @40

    Amen.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Nonamegamer

    @40 yes it is with bonus map and campaign in one dlc package

    #42 4 years ago
  43. OlderGamer

    And yes ^^Thats my oldest ;)

    #43 4 years ago
  44. Gekidami

    @42
    What bonus campaign is this then?

    #44 4 years ago
  45. Michael O’Connor

    @44 I assume he’s referring to the Vietnam expansion.

    #45 4 years ago
  46. Gekidami

    ^ …Is there a bonus campaign in that? Not from what i’ve heard.

    #46 4 years ago
  47. DarkElfa

    EVER BITCHES!

    #47 4 years ago
  48. stretch215

    @40 did you not read the last sentence of my comment? I’m actually a little better in bfbc2 than I am in cod. But i’ll kick your ass in either :) bring it on. @ crysis – glad that you know you’re an arrogant elitist…. gotta be worth somethin’ right? Ass.

    #48 4 years ago
  49. OlderGamer

    Easy fellas, if we need to we can settle this on the battlefield!! ;)

    And yes, my son just said he was talking about the expac Vietnam.

    I wasn’t kidding we enjoy a good round of BFBC2 if anyone wants to add us.

    #49 4 years ago
  50. JUSTICAR

    EA wants monopoly? suck it, go and play fairly damn it!!!

    #50 4 years ago
  51. Crysis

    @48 I am far from an “arrogant elitist”, i know my opinion isn’t the law, I’m just saying that I personally feel CoD is incredibly overrated & most people only buy it because their mates own it, i don’t know a single person who bought a CoD game since Modern Warfare because of the games true quality but instead, just as an online arcade stylized shooter, which it exels at, but IN MY OPINION, doesn’t warrant a new full priced game every year.

    #51 4 years ago
  52. G1GAHURTZ

    “I’m just saying that I personally feel CoD is incredibly overrated & most people only buy it because their mates own it”

    Wow, you must be really popular if you know “most” of the 14 or so million CoD players in the world…

    The people that you’re referring to are not “blind sheep”, rather, it’s you who simply doesn’t understand the appeal that a particular product has in the eyes of others.

    Some people, such as yourself, are so convinced that others only buy CoD ‘because their friends all bought it’, but I’ve never once seen anyone on this blog ask a CoD fan why they like/bought the game.

    …You must be some sort of mind reader then, eh?

    In any case, I’m almost certain that any such quesion is almost never going to be met with any response along the lines of ‘…duuuh… coz all ov my mates playz it, bruv!’, so I’m inclined to believe that you’re just jumping to naive conclusions.

    Why do people buy (and continually play) CoD? Because there are elements of it’s gameplay that they enjoy, which you apparently don’t find appealing.

    Why do people buy an iPod Shuffle? Who knows… Maybe they’re happy with the simplicity and functionality of iTunes and know about Apples reputation for good build quality.

    Don’t be so naive so as to think that everyone who doesn’t agree with your opinion is doing so without reason. Or for as simplistic a reason as following the crowd.

    I’ve been playing CoD almost exclusively since I first tried the CoD4 beta. Before that, I bought CoD3 and played it a handful of times. After CoD4, I bought WaW and really didn’t like the MP, so I didn’t play it. After that, I bought MW2 and played it loads, because I enjoyed it. Now I have BO and I’m playing it a lot, because I think it’s the best CoD so far by a long way.

    If I and the other 14 or so million (iirc) regular CoD players out there found a game with gameplay, a levelling up system, a stat system, a party/matchmaking system, customisation, visuals and audio, that we geniunely thought was better than what CoD offers, we would drop CoD in an instant and play that game.

    Just like I dropped GRAW for Gears, just like I dropped Gears for R6 Vegas, just like I dropped R6 Vegas for CoD4, likewise CoD4 for MW2 and likewise, MW2 for BO.

    #52 4 years ago
  53. Crysis

    @GHZ, ok, so what you’re telling me is that your m8s playing CoD has no influence on your decision? I just don’t know anyone who bought CoD that isn’t a sheep to popular trends, they all believe that it’s the best shooter out there but in the end, the multiplayer feels very arcadey, you spawn, then you have 2 choices, run around like a headless chicken or camp in a corner (yipee for being desperate enough to win that you stand still the whole game), same goes to Halo, & Resistance, but atleast they both have interesting stories behind them, nothing wrong with arcade shooters, i too often enjoy playing mindlessly from time to time, just not CoD where everybody becomes abusive if you get a minus kill ratio, might enjoy CoD if they introduced full environmental destruction, but til then, it’s lacking in too many MP features for me, hell i have more fun with zombies in CoD…

    #53 4 years ago
  54. G1GAHURTZ

    Interestingly enough, almost all of the people that I play with regularly, I met online.

    I actually very rarely play with any of my IRL friends. Even the ones that I’ve known for over a decade either simply don’t play CoD or we’re simply hardly ever online at the same time.

    I first got interested in CoD4 because of the beta that I was honestly sceptical about before I tried it. Before that, only one or two people on my FL had either CoD2 or CoD3.

    Before that I played R6 Vegas and FIFA while people on my FL were playing Halo 2 and PES.

    On top of that. The vast majority of the games that I play are Free For All, which is all vs all, rather than a team game with other people, anyway.

    As for there only being two ways to play CoD, then this isn’t the case by any means. But that’s a completely different discussion.

    Also, if you have a personal issue with CoD because some people talked trash about you in a team game, then it’s not really anything to do with the quality of the game.

    I must admit that sometimes I’ve had a go at some people on my team who end the game 1 and 12 or something. Especially when we end up losing by two or three kills. Again though, this could happen in almost any team game in almost any genre.

    #54 4 years ago
  55. Michael O’Connor

    “Having a go” at anyone in a video game, unless you’re playing professionally, is pretty damn sad.

    When my friends and I lose in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (we’re currently sitting on a win / lose ratio of 4 to 1) we shrug it off and move on to the next match.

    It helps that we all know each other in real life. It’s very easy for a lot of people to treat others like shit when you don’t have to see their faces.

    #55 4 years ago
  56. Crysis

    I only get angry when my team8 acts spiteful, such as team killing, if it’s their skill at the game, i can shrug that off, but the one thing i hate above all is those who take it too seriously, it’s just a game after all.

    #56 4 years ago
  57. Michael O’Connor

    That’s why I almost exclusively play games online only with people I know.

    #57 4 years ago
  58. G1GAHURTZ

    I’ve only ever done it a few times. The first time I remember ‘losing my rag’ was with someone who just wouldn’t leave after four or five rounds, even though he kept going negative by a large amount. He was basically causing us to lose when we very likely would have won without him.

    That’s basically sabotaging someone else’s game through your ‘n00bishness’. No-one pays £200+ for a console, £40 for a game and £35-40 a month for cable broadband just to have to put up with people who see no problem with ruining your days gaming.

    It’s like playing a single player campaign where someone keeps walking into your room/house, plugging a controller into port 2 and making you lose a boss battle when the boss is down to 1% energy.

    He defended himself well enough though, and gave as good as he got. Anyway, whatever i said to him seemed to work, as he played much better after that.

    Besides, this is the main reason why I mostly play Free For All when my clan isn’t online. I don’t like the idea of going 30-6, but still ending up on the losing team because someone doesn’t care how many times he dies.

    I don’t plug my headset in, mute anyone as soon as I hear a noise, and focus on winning.

    #58 4 years ago
  59. Hunam

    I just get angry when I join a match playing Firing Range or the terrible Nuke Town, because I know every moron in the game is going to vote to play those maps over and over.

    #59 4 years ago
  60. OlderGamer

    In my experience OMP shooters bring out the worst in people. And often offer some of the worst gaming experiences to be had. The games themselves are fine, down right enjoyable even.

    But people do tend to rage over them.

    I have found myself so uptight after a few matches that I have had to walk away. I have high blood pressure, and playing long stretches of something that can be so down right frustrating is not a good thing.

    And here is the secret factors that no one can control:

    That one or two players(and avoid like the plague games that promote clans vs gen. public) that are godly and shouldn’t be matched up in your same game. Skillwise.

    And the fact, I don’t care what anyone says, the fact that the majority of OMP shooters are crawling, even overrun with, kids. Weather they have no skill, no sense of tactics at all. Or if they just gott home from a long day at school being bullied(or bullying) and are looking to give out abit of their angst to a game full of strangers.

    Not a CoD vs BFBC2 thing – but I enjoy games that don’t make winning(or even kill/death ratios) the focal point of enjoyment. In BFBC2, so long as I play well, someone else isn’t going to ruin my game. Our team could lose badly, but I personialy never feel dominated after the experience. Heck the more they get shot, the more chances I have to revive em(playing as a medic).

    But ultimatly the OMP shooter games are driven and motivated by a very competitive nature. And a lot of folks will end up taking that personialy. And I feel that playing these games long term does imapct a gamers behavior. Not to mention it greatly impacts the way that gamer looks at other games. Things that they used to enjoy now not only take a back seat to, but often don’t get any play time due to their OMP Shooter of their choice.

    Ask G1GA how many other games he plays, how often, and if it was always that way? Not picking on G1GA, fo course, just an example we can all relate to. I can see the samething with my sons and their friends.

    #60 4 years ago
  61. Crysis

    @OG, i get those same feelings, but before i react, i remember that it’s just a game & i calm right down, does it truley matter if i lose in a video game? ofc not, but i would have liked to win, but losing has no effect what so ever than a virtual statistic.

    #61 4 years ago
  62. G1GAHURTZ

    You’re right OG, people do rage over OMFPS’s, probably more than other game types.

    I think that the reason for this is mostly down to the fact that all things being equal, they are supposed to be a true test of skill and ability.

    The problem is that things are almost never, ever equal.

    The way that latency has such a huge effect (on ALL OMFPS’s, bar none!) causes people, who are rightly confident in their ability, to be hit with an overwhelming sense of frustrating injustice on a regular basis.

    For example, almost every single one of a person’s senses tells them that they shot someone else first, but they still end up dying.

    This in itself is enough to make someone shout at the TV/monitor in annoyance, but that’s not the only problem.

    A bigger cause of anger is when one team plays another team, but latency has such a big effect that it becomes unfair.

    So you end up with one team feeling frustrated and annoyed because they’re losing heavily to another team that isn’t even very good.

    In turn, that frustration ends up spilling over into the lobbys and random gamers playing on their own end up in the crossfire.

    It’s interesting though, because I got into StarCraft 2 for a while and even though it’s an online game, it’s almost a completely different culture.

    Players will start games with ‘Hi GL HF’ and end with ‘GG’. Win or lose.

    There’s hardly ever any trash talk, and even when there is, all abusive language is blocked from text messages.

    Of course, latency doesn’t play anywhere near as big a role in RTS’s as it does in twicth shooters, but there is a definite culture difference between the two. After all, I’m pretty sure that it’s (among other age groups) kids of the same age playing CoD as are playing SC2.

    As for what games I play, well tbh, I’ve usually always been someone who plays a game until I get bored of it.

    It’s difficult to get bored of CoD, because almost every game is different, against different players with different skill levels, in different game types with different weapons, etc.

    However, the game that I’ve been playing most recently is Tetris Splash on XBLA. I played SC2 on PC for a while. Other than that, just FIFA on the odd occasion or TDU/MC:LA if I feel like going for a virtual cruise.

    I’m waiting for TDU2 at the moment, but most other games just don’t offer me what CoD does.

    #62 4 years ago
  63. TheWulf

    I don’t know whether this is just an old fart thing, but I agree with OldGamer. I’m a bit tired of games that exist on naught but brutal competition myself. I’m generally a much more calm person in games, and I can’t get myself worked up into some fuming rage of righteous glory that these kids can. In fact, in most competitive FPS games, people find my calmness absolutely infuriating. They want me to be angry, they want me to hate them, but I just can’t do it. The years tend to take any angst out of a person, usually the first 20 years.

    This is why when it comes to online multiplayer games I’m putting a lot of hope into Guild Wars 2. There’s one thing they really seem to have down pat: The very notion that it’s just a game. It’s something we’re doing for fun. We’re grown ups, and we should all be able to enjoy ourselves and get along without needing to compare our dick size every few seconds. And getting angry over those who have the largest dick, or those who simply couldn’t care less about such things.

    Even the game mechanics seem to be leaning toward that, with the public events and all trying to equal the playing ground. And really, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that. If the not-so-humble FPS took a page out o that book, I think that the online multiplayer world would be a better place.

    But that’s just my opinion, no need for anyone to bust a headvein over it.

    #63 4 years ago
  64. Lahanas

    I respect CoD’s popularity, but at the same time I cant understand completely why it is more popular than Battlefield, when its clearly the worse game.

    #64 4 years ago
  65. OlderGamer

    You have no idea how much I am looking forward to Guild Wars 2. I mean REALLY looking forward to it. That and Diablo III.

    And I agree with ya G1GA so many things factor into if a match is fair or unfair. Lag, prolly, being the biggest. Esp where pin point acuracy is needed.

    Oh well live and let live I guess. Just games, have to keep that in mind sometimes.

    “It’s difficult to get bored of CoD, because almost every game is different, against different players with different skill levels, in different game types with different weapons, etc.”

    Exactly. Be it CoD or Battlefield or Halo. This has to be the main reason these games are so compeling. Plus the shear value. One game(even with DLC) = near limitless hours of entertainment. Vs one game(still likly to have dlc), one and done = played once = not worth the price. Hard to agrue the draw of OMP shooters.

    I just want a new MechAssult(console, not a PC Mech Warrior “Sim”).

    #65 4 years ago
  66. stretch215

    @64 that is your opinion and obviously the majority disagrees. I love both games but I must say that I don’t get nearly as frustrated playing bfbc2 as I do playing cod. But I play cod more….go figure.

    #66 4 years ago
  67. elronathon

    Am I the only one who finds it genuinely fascinating how different generations being forced together has created unexpected inter-gamer conflicts?

    as kids we had rules (we invented) for whatever game we played, now however, etiquette is stretched by age and culture barriers.

    There will always be shoddy games, with imperfect balancing, narrow focus or a fanboy culture. The difference between games and music, or cinema however, is that different generations of audience are far more likely to clash.

    #67 4 years ago
  68. OrbitMonkey

    God I’m one of the worst online ragers & I’m 30 odd. Thing is I’m not a rare exception, the most shit I get/hear is from guys around the same age. People always moan about kids/teens, but I don’t hear them. Just us men behaving badly :)

    #68 4 years ago
  69. TheWulf

    I’ll amend what I said to the first 30 or 40 years taking all of that angst and hate out of us, then? Or maybe it’s just a person to person thing. I’m what most of the competitive community would call a ‘carebear’ myself. I like co-op play, doing things for fun, and I even like competitive games but where the emphasis is on fun rather than outright competition.

    That’s actually why I’m rather fond of Plain Sight for the PC. I keep going back to that as it’s a genuine little bit of joy. The thing with Plain Sight is that it evens the playing field by allowing for so many elements which could turn the tide of a battle at damn near any moment. That actually makes it a lot more fun, because people don’t play it so seriously then, folks just play it to be nuts. BABO kind of has the same feel to it as a competitive game. The Ship is also another little competitive gem that doesn’t rely on out and out brutality in competition, it’s far more subtle. It’s sort of like the grown up brother of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.

    Those are a few games I’d love to see staffed by more players, but the reason I think they don’t have much of an audience is that they aren’t really competitive enough, and most online players who do the multiplayer thing are absolutely brutal with competition, and that’s what they look for. That’s actually why I’m a bit worried about Guild Wars 2, despite desperately wanting that to be a success.

    #69 4 years ago
  70. DSB

    I love how some people think it’s deranged to like Call of Duty, but somehow not to say that every single one of the people who do are all brainwashed adolescents who don’t know a television advert when they see one. That’s sound reasoning, right there.

    Anyway, Activision would need some seriously solid evidence to prove what they’re claiming in this case, and I don’t see how they would come up with it. If all they have is a contract saying that Zampella and West have to behave themselves within a certain margin, this one’s going right down the drain.

    I don’t think there’s any chance in hell for a settlement, either way. This is Mortal Kombat.

    #70 4 years ago
  71. osric90

    Boring.

    #71 4 years ago
  72. Michael O’Connor

    Good post, Wulf.

    Myself, I love the competitive element of gaming. I consider all the best games to be those of depth and skill. Bayonetta, Street Fighter, etc.

    I’ve never liked Carebear gaming to be honest. I don’t think people who play bad should get a leg up, at least not in the multiplayer environment. That’s one reason I dislike Call of Duty’s multiplayer – the “everyone wins, even the losers” approach to levelling. Its dumb and brainless.

    That said, I still don’t understand why people rage. It’s a game. If you’re getting angry over losing in a video game, you seriously need to reassess your own priorities.

    #72 4 years ago
  73. Crysis

    @72, I don’t think the leveling up system is quite fair in many fps, i mean a pro could have just started a game & get beaten by an average guy simply because he has the better weapon, so what chance does an average guy like myself have when i start playing while everyone has been playing for ages & have better weapons? I think i prefer halo’s approach to this where all upgrades are purely cosmetic, just my opinion…

    #73 4 years ago
  74. G1GAHURTZ

    I seriously doubt that there’s a single gamer on the face of the earth that hasn’t wanted to throw their controller through the screen at one stage or other. (Without doing it, obviously.)

    The nature of gaming is that it delivers extreme highs and extreme lows. That’s what makes it so compelling. It’s the extreme lows of failing/losing repeatedly (while learning) that makes finally winning so much more psychologically rewarding.

    Every gamer gets angry at some stage when they game.

    Different people express their anger/disappointment/joy in different ways, but eliciting such emotions from the user is part of the basic game design that the top devs all try to achieve.

    Anyone who claims that they are immune to getting angry at a range of loss causing gaming annoyances, such as (but not limited to) bad/unfair AI, game breaking bugs, save wiping crashes, online cheaters/glitchers/hackers or simply bad game design in general must be either lying or suffering from apathy.

    Besides, I find it difficult to believe that someone who spends so much of their time arguing with other members of the forum (like tea) with such vigour (and large amounts of foul language), suddenly becomes the pinnacle of stoicism as soon as they pick up a game pad.

    Very unlikely indeed…

    #74 4 years ago
  75. G1GAHURTZ

    “so what chance does an average guy like myself have when i start playing while everyone has been playing for ages & have better weapons?”

    There are two responses to this.

    The first is game specific, so as you didn’t mention any games by name, I can’t really comment. Some games do give long term players an unfair advantage, but there are others that are (even though, maybe it’s not so obvious) well balanced.

    The second is the general answer, which is that you’re not supposed to do well.

    When you start a new game, some devs might make the assumption that you (the user) expect to fail repeatedly as part of the learning process and that you will have no problem with this.

    So getting shot repeatedly by someone of the top rank with the uber-weapon will theoretically encourage you to continue getting your proverbial butt kicked until you’ve played the game long enough to get the same weapon and finally give dish out some steel toe-cap treatment of your own.

    In any case, the real pro’s are the ones who can take the standard weapons with the standard options and still beat other players who are using the best set up.

    Just look on Youtube and you’ll see the pro gamers running around in FPS’s using set-ups like knife or pistol only and finishing games with no deaths.

    #75 4 years ago
  76. Crysis

    “So getting shot repeatedly by someone of the top rank with the uber-weapon will theoretically encourage you to continue getting your proverbial butt kicked until you’ve played the game long enough to get the same weapon and finally give dish out some steel toe-cap treatment of your own.”
    I get the opposite feeling, i feel why bother? I give up, I’ve got better things to do than play 100′s of hours of catch up, as i said, I’m an average player, so on a fair battlefield i’ll normally place in the top half.
    It’s frustrating playing a game & getting beaten by 12 year olds only because they have the better weapon from countless hours of playing, oh the bragging, i can’t take the kids’ bragging.
    Games such as CoD have the worst online environments, from a horrible match up of immature kids & adults who take the game too seriously, which means i have to have everybody muted but then i can’t talk tactically with the occasional friendly player, i may as well play with bots in that case…

    #76 4 years ago
  77. OlderGamer

    ^^Agreed

    One of the reasons that games go for an easier entry level is to ease new to the game players into the frey. Otherwise new players will have a hard time getting their feet wet and I believe by enlarge, be turned off from playing the game.

    We say this in EA sports games a couple of years back, they have been trying to make the games friendlier to new players. Look an xb360 controler has, what, 16 buttons? And to do things in games it take more then just nimble fingers, it takes an understanding of what does what and in what combinations. I think this defines the reasons behind the wii/Move/Kinect.

    And to a lesser degree, why CoDs gameplay to some feels water downed/pick up and play/arcady. And I think it works, look at the wide range of players across the demographic lines. Samething with Halo too tbh. Pick up N play.

    But by enlarge those games still suffer from noobs getting dominated. Todays noob = tomorrow repeat customer. So it is an issue I think we can see some games adressing.

    But getting killed over and over doesn’t encourage most gamers to keep playing IMO.

    #77 4 years ago
  78. G1GAHURTZ

    I get the opposite feeling, i feel why bother? I give up, I’ve got better things to do than play 100’s of hours of catch up, as i said, I’m an average player, so on a fair battlefield i’ll normally place in the top half.

    I think this is a very interesting subject when it comes to game design.

    It’s also a big proof that not everyone enjoys the same gameplay mechanics. This is another reason why I say that it’s possible to judge a game based on sales combined with hours played (which is basically ‘voting with your feet’). Because some people will loathe one game design choice, but others will find it difficult to put the game down.

    What we’ve been talking about here is a typical RPG levelling up system. Take a look at any RPG, or Zelda in particular, and the user will usually start of with one heart for energy and an easily broken wooden shield. In the first few levels, the user will typically get repeatedly killed by the most basic of enemies, because they don’t even have so much as a sword.

    By the end of the game, the user has about 14 hearts for energy, some sort of master sword, a level 2 boomerang, etc, etc and those initial enemies can be taken out with ease.

    Obviously, there are players who really enjoy this type of system, and there are almost certainly others who will get bored during the first few levels.

    Some people like it, some people hate it.

    To me, this also seems to be the same when it comes to most OMFPS levelling up systems.

    Take a look at a (best selling) game like Football Manager as a quick example, and you will see this complete difference in preference very clearly.

    Some players only ever play in the low divisions, with the worst teams who have the least money. They enjoy the difficulty and the challenge. They enjoy getting promoted after losing almost every game in the first half of the season because their defence was so bad. Then, when they get promoted and move up one or two leagues, they think the game is too easy, get bored of winning all the time and start again.

    Some other players could never enjoy playing like that. All they want to do is pick the best team with the most money and keep winning game after game after game. As soon as they start losing, they get bored and start again.

    Naturally, you’re going to get a similar difference in preferences in almost every game. It’s only a small range of genres such as management sims that can afford to cater for the wide difference in preferences, so other games are left having to go either one way or the other.

    It’s a game design choice made by the developer that I’m not sure it’s correct to say is necessarily a good or bad design choice.

    Do you make the player struggle for rewards, or do you make all rewards meaningless, thus making the entire levelling up system worthless?

    So far, based on sales and hours played, it seems as though most gamers enjoy struggling for rewards.

    _______________________________________

    On the subject of CoD:

    On the one hand, you have people saying that anyone can play CoD and do well, because it’s so shallow that no skill is required. Yet on the other hand you have people saying that an average player can’t do well at the game because the other players have spent hundreds of hours unlocking all of the best stuff.

    It’s not possible for both to be the case. Either the game is shallow and everyone can do well, or the game is deep and it takes skill and ability to get to the higher levels.

    (side note: Getting to the highest level of each prestige can take anywhere between ~18 hours to ~50 hours depending on good you are.)

    Whatever the case, when it comes to CoD in particular, you’ll find that the weapons that most people moan about (M16, UMP45, etc) are available to everyone at level 1. Even the biggest killstreak rewards are unlocked after just a few levels.

    My view is that for an average player, it’s easy to blame the fact that you’re not doing well on someone else having a weapon/ability that you haven’t unlocked. In order to do so, however, you need to conveniently forget the fact that the best players can win most games with just a pistol or a knife.

    See here for a perfect example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuICJzG87y0

    Why? Because an FPS isn’t just about what weapon you have. It’s about thinking one step ahead of your opponent at all times.

    If it’s possible to win with nothing other than a knife, you can guarantee that the same can be done with any of the level 1 weapons.

    #78 4 years ago
  79. Crysis

    @GHZ, i love RPG elements in gaming, but i don’t think it should have a large place in an ultra competetive gaming environment where it does affect the outcome, cosmetic differences are fine, but in a game like CoD, i like to run & gun my way around but the unlockable weapons make a huge difference & often changes the outcome of my assualt, knowing that i normally wouild have won if he had a lower level weapon irritates me just as much as lag/frame drops at inconveniant times.

    #79 4 years ago
  80. OlderGamer

    Some good points G1GA.

    #80 4 years ago
  81. freedoms_stain

    @Crysis, I feel your pain man, but there are some things you can do to even the odds a bit when you’re a noob.

    In CoD you can pick up the weapons of dead guys, make a habit of picking up better weapons whenever you can. I agree with you, even just a red dot sight can make a massive difference, particularly at range.

    There’s also a death streak perk that allows you to steal your killers class. This is less useful to noobs tbh, unless you understand what the perks you’re getting do, you can’t really make the best use of it, more useful for prestigers making their way back up the ranks.

    Similarly in Bad Company 2 you can lift the kits off corpses, which can put you on a more level pegging.

    #81 4 years ago
  82. TraceableX

    Over-rated game is over-rated.

    Junk. I don’t want to dirt my PC and PS3 with this game.

    #82 4 years ago
  83. stretch215

    I’m going to point out the giant elephant in the room. If you are getting beat that bad then maybe you should try a different game or different genre. In every cod the guns are pretty well balanced (with a few exceptions). But no gun is the “uber-gun” that you’re going to destroy everyone with. Every time I prestige I have a little trouble until I unlock create-a-class. Then it’s open season on EVERYBODY. Level 50 or not, cod is not about “who’s the highest level”, if you know what you’re doing you can kill anyone.

    #83 4 years ago
  84. G1GAHURTZ

    Oldie but a goodie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0wXR3vfM28

    #84 4 years ago
  85. Michael O’Connor

    “Different people express their anger/disappointment/joy in different ways, but eliciting such emotions from the user is part of the basic game design that the top devs all try to achieve.”

    That’s funny, I never cussed out people’s mother or called them derogatory names when I lost a game of football or pool or any other number of sports offline.

    But this is somehow acceptable when you’re starting into a TV screen? Really? Okay then. *rolls his eyes*

    “Besides, I find it difficult to believe that someone who spends so much of their time arguing with other members of the forum (like tea) with such vigour (and large amounts of foul language), suddenly becomes the pinnacle of stoicism as soon as they pick up a game pad.”

    You can believe whatever the damn hell you want to, buddy. It doesn’t change the fact that you’re wrong. You’re not even remotely close to what I’m feeling or how I’m reacting 99% of the time.

    I’m sure you would love to believe I’m sitting at the other end of the computer, veins popping out of my neck and tears running down my cheek as I’m (presumably) venomously attacking someone, but your observations of my behaviour couldn’t be further from the truth.

    I sit there, make an observation on something he posts, and make my own observation in response. Nothing more, nothing less. Just because the words and language are aggressive doesn’t mean the way its being said is.

    If someone is “a fucking moron”, that’s those are the adequate words to use. For some reason, I doubt you were raised in Saint Mary’s School for Good Verbal Etiquette yourself, so please, spare me the hypocrisy.

    I’d say there’s maybe been one occasion where his attitude made me angry, and that’s simply because his general attitude is one I find sad and deplorable. It wouldn’t matter who it was, if they were acting the way he does.

    Someone’s way of treating people and their rather disgusting moral viewpoint is pretty damn far removed from playing a video game online with strangers. You’re comparing chalk to cheese.

    “Very unlikely indeed…”

    Only if you’re ridiculously simple minded.

    #85 4 years ago
  86. G1GAHURTZ

    That’s funny, I never cussed out people’s mother or called them derogatory names when I lost a game of football or pool or any other number of sports offline.

    But this is somehow acceptable when you’re starting into a TV screen? Really? Okay then. *rolls his eyes*

    Please quote me where I said that doing these things that you’ve specifically mentioned here were “acceptable”.

    Don’t try and invent statements that were never said.

    It’s not very adult.

    If you jumped to incorrect conclusions based on the simple words “had a go”, then maybe that’s just you judging people by your own standards. Perhaps asking for clarification would have been more productive.

    I’m sure you would love to believe I’m sitting at the other end of the computer, veins popping out of my neck and tears running down my cheek as I’m (presumably) venomously attacking someone, but your observations of my behaviour couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Tbh, I’d prefer it if you’d just stop.

    I think that your opinions on gaming are much more interesting to read than petty insults about how much money a person may or may not have, for example.

    In any case, a person’s physical demeanour has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on how angry they are or how much offence they can cause when it comes to the things that they say (and type). When a person is angry, it’s possible to express it by causing others grief and upset with nothing more than a few simple breaths of laughter, so what about someone who spends their time locked in long winded, foul mouthed exchanges?

    I’m not telling you that I think that you fly into uncontrolled tantrums, rather, I’m simply pointing out that you have proven yourself to be capable of reacting to others by attacking people that you’ve never met over some text on the internet (as have I). Whether you were leaning back in your chair or jumping up and down spitting feathers isn’t the point.

    Because of this blatant fact, I could never take your self righteous tone regarding reassessing priorities*, seriously.

    *Now that is hypocrisy.

    #86 4 years ago
  87. Michael O’Connor

    “Please quote me where I said that doing these things that you’ve specifically mentioned here were “acceptable”.”

    Reminder to self: Exaggeration and sarcasm never works online with, even when it’s made pretty blatantly obvious to someone.

    #87 4 years ago
  88. OrbitMonkey

    @83 completely agree. The times I hear people moaning that somethings OP & should be nerfed. I swear they won’t be happy till we’re all running around with just one gun.

    #88 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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