Industry analyst and legal-eagle Michael Pachter has said Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella have buckley’s chance of getting hold of the Call of Duty rights.
The outspoken Wedbush Morgan analyst, who holds two law degrees, told Industry Gamers the pair have “no prayer of obtaining control of the brand” – which they never actually owned.
“As it happens, they have never claimed that they ‘own’ the brand; instead, they claim that they were granted creative control over the brand under their employment agreement,” he explained.
“These are two completely different things. Their creative control was clearly intended to be in effect only while they were employees, and the day that their employment terminated, their creative control ended”.
Pachter said West and Zampella are confusing the issue by requesting both damages and control of the Call of Duty brand, because their claim on the latter is intrinsically linked to their employment with Activision.
“If they want their old jobs back, they can ask for them, but they didn’t do so,” he clarified.
“Instead, they are blending the two concepts of legal and equitable remedies, asking for damages and asking for control over the Call of Duty brand, but not asking to be reinstated as employees.
“The law just doesn’t allow stuff like that, as it would be unreasonable to require Activision to grant control over its valuable property to unrelated third parties.”
West and Zampella are embroiled in an ongoing suit against Activision for unpaid Modern Warfare 2-related bonuses. Activision has countered with a suit claiming EA and the two former Infinity Ward heads co-operated against the publisher in breach of contract.