Emails show eroding relationship between Activision and Infinity Ward heads

Tuesday, 22nd May 2012 16:52 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Court documents in the Activision Infinity ward suit containing email exchanges between CEO Bobby Kotick, and Activision executives Dave Stohl, Mike Griffith, and Rob Kostich have surfaced, detailing the eroding relationship between the two firms.

The emails, posted on the LA Times, indicate the relationship between Activision and Infinity Ward began to crumble after the developer failed to ready a gameplay demo of Modern Warfare 2 for Microsoft’s 2009 E3 press conference.

“Msft [Microsoft] will go ballistic over this and the deal is seriously risked,” Rob Kostich wrote. Mike Griffith, Activision’s former head of publishing, accused Jason West and Vince Zampella of hanging up on him regarding the demo, to which Kotick replied: “If they really did I would change their locks and lock them out of their building.”

At this point, Griffith suggested Treyarch take over the project, but said the option was “scary given the tight timeline.”

Stohl thought higher ups should “discuss what the plan B is going to look like” as “there could be a ton of risk getting the project done depending on how the team takes it.”

He even predicted the “big, negative PR story” which would come should Activision “kick them out.”

The publisher even had a plan in place to for the top 12 team members in order to “help ensure we retain the team if things blow up at the top.”

A court filing published last week revealed testimony from Activision’s former IT director, Thomas Fenady, who said he was tasked with hacking into West and Zampella’s work emails and PCs in order to “dig up dirt” on the duo. Fenady said he was asked to do this at least eight months prior to the firing of the former Infinity Ward heads.

Thanks, Shacknews.



  1. ManuOtaku

    Very Interesting Info

    #1 3 years ago
  2. endgame

    And there are people out there who still buy Activision titles just so these people can stay in charge and terrorize employees.. The beauty of the human race all around us.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. ManuOtaku

    #2 the world in we live right now lacks of one simple thing, emphaty, that explains it all really.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    When you have investors to appease it makes empathy really hard because you have to employ these type of people in order to make sure a profit is made to appease that large greedy group.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Hunam

    Stock Market/Investment is literally the devil.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight


    Couldn’t agree more when you have a large group of people who are all greedy it creates a devil, a gluttonous always devouring creature.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Hunam

    Exactly, something which turns sane, decent people into amoral dicks because of the pressure of making money at any cost.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DSB

    @3 I don’t know about that. You don’t have to love a company to love their product. Chiquita are directly responsible for the murder of striking workers in South America, but I don’t mind their bananas. Henry Ford was an American Nazi who also had his workers killed, but the Ford Mustang is still a lovely automobile.

    I’d like a world where we cared enough to ensure that people like that failed, but at the end of the day, you want a car to drive and a banana to eat. And when it comes to publishers – Who’s supposed to be the good guys again?

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Sini

    imma gonna hack into kotick laptop and phone, this shit is better than soap operas

    #9 3 years ago
  10. endgame

    @3 and 4 Yup. :( But if I think about it DSB is partially correct as well.

    Hmm. On one side you have some really talented and good people who make incredible games and who need to be rewarded for their work and on the other side you have draconic publishers who don’t give a f**k about their customers. So what do you do!? Heh! I’ve just realized that what is even worst is that only a few intelligent people do ask themselves that question. What do you do? Do you support the developer or do you oppose the publisher?

    #10 3 years ago
  11. ManuOtaku

    #8 I agree DSB, i think thats the way we were raise, and which is also the way the society was created, or at least the main fundamentals of this society, with the mindset of me, myself and I, anything beyond that i dont care, and also the consumserism that drives our lives, i would love to see people that research the products they are buying, using your great examples i could buy a banana for a country that doesnt exploit or kill their workers, thats my duty as a consumer and human being,or dont buy the affrican diamons, at least the ones that come for those countries where peoples arms are being cut off as we write these words, etc, you know i love fighting games but i didnt bought, or neither i will pretend to buy the street x tekken game, for the reasons well know,because i know it will affect me in the future, and most importantly wil affect all of us the gamers as well, but i dont condemned the people who bought it, because i understand thats the way we being raised, which was a very well planed design IMHO.

    #11 3 years ago

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