Emails show eroding relationship between Activision and Infinity Ward heads

By Stephany Nunneley
22 May 2012 16:52 GMT

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.

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