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Judge rules against EA’s request to dismiss Activision claims, suit goes to trial

Thursday, 22nd December 2011 16:52 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

California Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle has dismissed EA’s request to dispel Activision’s $400-million contract-interference claim that the company underhandedly appropriated Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella while still under contract with the publisher.

The Los Angeles judge ruled that Activision had provided sufficient evidence against EA in the suit, and ordered the case be moved to trial.

Back in December 2010 , Activision filed an amended complaint to its $400 million lawsuit against West and Zampella for breach of contract, adding in that EA disengaged the duo after making various overtures since 2009.

Activision claims West and Zampella hired industry firm Creative Artists Agency to seek other employment while still under contract, and were even secretly flown via private jet to San Francisco to attend a barbecue held at EA CEO John Riccietello’s home during August 2009.

The firm also alleges EA had plans in place to finance and co-own a studio from West, Zampella and other employees who left Infinity Ward – a studio the publisher purchased in 2003.

West and Zampella previously filed a $36 million lawsuit against Activision, alleging they were terminated before royalty payments on Modern Warfare 2 could be paid. In June, a court judge ruled that the IW founders had provided sufficient evidence to support their case against Activision, therefore the case will be going to trial.

Via Yahoo Finance.

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3 Comments

  1. TheBlackHole

    I’m sorry, but don’t people usually look for work while still in their current job?

    I don’t know anyone who resigns and THEN starts looking.

    Ridiculous.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    @1

    Doesn’t work that way with in the industry infact the company can give you a severance package with a contract stating you can’t work within the industry for upwards of a year. They pay you for that year but still they can do it.

    You also sign a contract when you get hired stating you will not look or work for another company while you are with that company.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    If that turns out to be true, they have a pretty terrible case.

    Personally I don’t think there was much doubt that they were already headed to EA. Some suggested that hiring the representation was purely to place them in a better position going forward in negotiations, but I don’t see how they could make a deal with EA so soon after if there hadn’t been some groundwork laid. Or why they’d need outside help of that calibre. I’m sure Kotick is scary, but is he scary enough to give up 15% for someone to help you deal?

    Then again, who knows. Ricitiello would probably do anything to get them onboard.

    #3 3 years ago

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