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Zampella/West-Acti lawsuit goes to trial in May 2012

Friday, 9th September 2011 23:16 GMT By Johnny Cullen

A Los Angeles judge has finally set a date as to when the lawsuit between Jason West & Vince Zampella against Activision can begin. The run-in to E3 2012 just got a whole lot more interesting.

Jason West and Vince Zampella

The pair had formed Infinity Ward in 2002 with Grant Collier after leaving Medal of Honor: Allied Assault developer 2015 Inc.

Eight years after creating the studio, West and Zampella are fired by Activision for what it calls “insubordination.

A majority of Infinity Ward staff have since gone on to help form Respawn Entertainment with West and Zampella. Its first game will be with EA Partners.

Infinity Ward itself is currently working on Modern Warfare 3 in collaboration with upstart studio Sledgehammer Games.

Its now been confirmed that the case will begin from Monday, May 7, 2012. The ex-Infinity Ward heads, now leading Respawn Entertainment, are suing the publisher over unpaid royalties from the development of Modern Warfare 2

Months after MW2′s release, Activision fired West and Zampella in early March 2010 for what it claimed was “insubordination.” The pair fired back with the suit, aiming to claim $125 million in royalties and rights to the Modern Warfare IP.

It was soon countered by Activision, days before the announcement of Respawn’s formation, with the former claiming for $400 million of damages from West, Zampella and EA, who were claimed to “hijack” the duo from Infinity Ward via Creative Artists Agency.

“I’m really looking forward to having our day in Court,” Zampella told Forbes.

Respawn are currently working on its first game that will be published through EA Partners, with the IP to be owned by the studio.

“We have new and exciting creativity and development going on at Respawn, to be announced in the future,” added West.

If there’s one pre-E3 event you watch next year, it’s gonna have to be this. Lock the mountains and grab popcorn.

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8 Comments

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  1. Johnny Cullen

    *stocks up on food, Doritos and popcorn*

    This will be all kinds of amazing for us newsie types.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. undeadwolfy

    @1 Agreed. Will be keeping a close eye on this one.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. neon6

    activision is going to drag this out as long as they can until those guys either give up or settle

    #3 3 years ago
  4. xino

    man i hope they win!

    these publishers think they can do whatever the fark they want!

    I mean filing for million dollar for royalties is fine, but filing for claim to own MW IP is way too much, something Publishers will fight for.

    The whole purpose of publisher is to MAKE money with IP. MW is a money maker and to give that up is gonna be a big fight.
    Zamp & West can have their £1million but to claim the money maker MW IP has their own is basically like claiming £1m at an ice cream store and them claiming the right for the ingredients!

    #4 3 years ago
  5. The_Red

    They WILL settle before any real verdict ever becomes possible. Both sides have their share of dirt (Though I’m still rooting for Zap/West).

    #5 3 years ago
  6. GrimRita

    If they win, this will certainly change the face of developing games and hopefully bring an end to the nasty tactics used by the larger publishers who think they rule the world…

    And, if they win the rights to the IP – will this be the end of Activision, who will only have Blizzard/WoW for large revenues?

    #6 3 years ago
  7. NightCrawler1970

    Acti, start counting the money lmao!!! ya’ll gonna bleed like a stuff pig!!

    Im for Zampella/West, acti threading them like shit, than boot them out, without pay, than later bribe the leftover DEV, but they said Shuffle up ya arss with the bonus, im gone and join Zampella/West…

    Then bribe again for the other leftover, if you stay ya’ll will get a bonus…

    I hope that Acti going down big time….

    #7 3 years ago
  8. TD_Monstrous69

    I had once said that if Activision were “smart”, they’d settle this outside of court. Now it looks like the same thing that got them to the top (greed and Modern Warfare) is the same thing that could potentially sink them.

    #8 3 years ago