West and Zampella add fraud charges to Activision suit

Jason West and Vince Zampella have added two counts of fraud to their complaint against Activision, GameSpot reports. The initial complaint was filed in March 2010, citing lost wages and royalties from their wildly popular Modern Warfare games after being fired from Infinity Ward.

The amended complaint alleges that Activision entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the pair, which was meant to secure their employment as the company prepared to merge with Vivendi. The claim states that the MOU was particularly important in securing the Vivendi deal, which gave West and Zampella bargaining power. It also laid out creative control, plus bonuses based on income from eligible games like Modern Warfare 2.

Activision included a stipulation that the increased control and bonuses were based on continued employment, which reportedly made West and Zampella skeptical. Bobby Kotick allegedly replied: "Don't worry about it. It's impossible for you guys to get fired." The pair claim that assurances like that convinced them not to push for different wording in the contract. Now they allege that Activision never intended to honor the contract.

"While paying lip-service to West's and Zampella's creative authority, in 2008 and thereafter, Activision began secret development of Modern Warfare and Call of Duty games and related products, and undertook other conduct in relation to these two videogame franchises that, under the MOU, required prior approval from West and Zampella," the complaint reads. "Activision did not inform West or Zampella of such plans or seek their input or approval for them. Indeed, while breaching the creative authority provisions of the MOU, Activision continued to pay lip-service to them, in an attempt to mask its secret development efforts."