State Superior Court judge Elihu Berle has dismissed one of the fraud claims filed against Activision by ex-Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella, but has allowed one claim to stand.
West and Zampella filed a lawsuit against Activision citing “breach of contract” and two counts of fraud which claimed the publisher never intended to honor its contract with the duo in payment bonuses or creative freedom.
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 2011, 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 on May 7.
The bonuses claim has yet to be decided upon, and all remaining claims are scheduled for the trial.
Back in December 2011, judge Berle 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.
He ruled that Activision had provided sufficient evidence against EA and ordered the case be moved to trial.
In December 2010, Activision filed an amended complaint to its $400 million lawsuit against West and Zampella for breach of contract, adding EA disengaged the duo after courting the duo since 2009.
Activision claims West and Zampella hired industry firm Creative Artists Agency to seek other employment while still under contract, and were secretly flown via private jet to San Francisco to attend a barbecue held at EA CEO John Riccietello’s home.
The firm claims 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.