Activision suit against EA moving forward

A California judge has ruled that Activision's counter-suit against Jason West and Vince Zampella can include EA, saying the company provided enough facts to proceed.

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The battle of video game publishing titans has officially been given the green light from a California judge. Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle dismissed one of Activision's claims against Electronic Arts, but let the rest remain, reports Bloomberg. Though Berle didn't comment or rule on the actual claims themselves, he said the company had provided sufficient facts to let the case proceed.

EA had attempted to stop the $400 million contract-interference suit, saying Activision had failed to support its allegations. Judge Berle overruled the objection, pointing to Activision's claim that EA sought confidential information from executives. EA's lawyer, Robert Klieger, argued in his objection that Activision hadn't actually shown that EA was given any confidential information.

Jason West and Vince Zampella opened a suit against Activision over royalties and lost wages after they were cut loose from the company. Then, Activision counter-sued the two claiming they had worked in secret with EA, and in December added EA to the dispute as well. In January, Activision released seemingly incriminating e-mails that implied West and Zampella intentionally held back a Modern Warfare 2 map pack as a favor to EA. EA called the exchange "obviously sarcasm" and "a joke."

With this decision, EA is officially in the boiling pot with West and Zampella, and will have to defend against Activision's allegations in court. If nothing else, it should be an interesting spectacle for gamers and court watchers alike.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 17, 2011 12:15 PM

    Comment on Activision suit against EA moving forward, by Steve Watts.

    • reply
      March 17, 2011 12:19 PM

      someone should make a game based on this story.... lol

    • reply
      March 17, 2011 12:24 PM

      Summary: A California judge has ruled that Activision's counter-suit against Jason West and Vince Zampella can include EA, saying the company provided enough facts to proceed.

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      March 17, 2011 12:29 PM

      Frankly, I've been tired of hearing about this for a while. Activision is just butthurt they lost the team that made their cash cow to EA, probably because they know Treyarch aren't competent enough to compete. Black Ops might of sold a record amount, but it was just off the fanboys buying on name alone. That'll die off when a few more mediocre games come out with the label slapped on it (I'm looking at you Sledgehammer).

      This whole suing/countersuing business is like watching two kids at recess yelling at each other; it's not interesting until someone throws a punch.

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        March 17, 2011 1:05 PM

        I literally laughed out loud reading your post. Fanboys bought Blackops.. really? I guarantee you people who are not "fanboys" have purchased this game and love it.

        I myself am a fan of a majority of online FPS and think Treyarch did an excellent job.. so saying they are not competent is way out of line. It sounds like you are bitter because you've been stepped on a few to many times online. I'm curious Zeris, what is your favorite FPS? and if you mention Battlefield 2 then we both know why you are in here :) you have no room to talk especially insulting Sledgehammer

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          March 17, 2011 1:15 PM

          their lack of competence might be showing with the amount of bugs that came at launch.... i don't recall those problems with MW2...

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            March 18, 2011 5:36 AM

            No it was just filled with people suicide bombing with the javeline glitch. Plus every other server had people trying to nuke boost.

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          March 17, 2011 1:23 PM

          I laughed out loud because he thinks Infinity Ward is the cash cow and not Blizzard.

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            March 17, 2011 1:31 PM

            well, I would guess that revenue per headcount is actually higher at the old Infinity Ward vs Blizzard only because I think Blizzard uses more people per game. But that is a total guess out of my ass.

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            March 17, 2011 1:41 PM

            So Infinity Ward had nothing to do with giving Activision's probably most successful action franchise to them?

            Right, Blizzard's making all their money. That's why they're trying to pump out CoD games twice a year to the masses, yeah? Or did you not pay attention to what they did with Guitar Hero?

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              March 18, 2011 3:01 PM

              Blizzard is definitely their backbone of revenue. Sure Black Ops has sold about 20 million copies worldwide in 5 months ($1.2 billion), but Blizzard pulls in almost $2 billion a year just from WoW subscriptions.

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          March 17, 2011 1:29 PM

          The original Doom is my favorite FPS.

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            March 17, 2011 1:34 PM

            Oh, and I have plenty of room to talk about insulting Sledgehammer, because I kind of just did in my previous post. That's kind of the point of message boards, in case you're new to this internet thing.

            If you enjoyed Black Ops, more power to you. That doesn't mean it wasn't a severely flawed game. They had to patch it three different times on PC just to get performance playable, if that's competence to you, then that's your call.

            I don't really tend to get mad if I don't do well at games, so you're probably going to need to get some better ammunition than that if you're going to try and rage me. I'm just here to fan the flames of CoD fans, apparently (instead of expressing my opinion like everyone else).

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          March 17, 2011 1:37 PM

          BLOPS IS TEH BEST EVAR U JUST SUCK LOLOLO

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          March 17, 2011 7:24 PM

          Internet zombis, dude!

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          March 18, 2011 1:43 AM

          BLOPS was a pile of shit, and I regret buying it.

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      March 17, 2011 12:52 PM

      Activision should grow up and act like a mature business rather than crib and complain and cry to mommy every time someone stands up to them..

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        March 17, 2011 1:17 PM

        if someone stole your income you'd be pissed too... wouldn't you? i'm not behind activision any more than the next person, but i could definately understand this...

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          March 17, 2011 1:24 PM

          EA didn't steal anything at all. They entered into a publishing deal with an exciting new development studio. That is it.

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            March 17, 2011 1:30 PM

            Case closed. Folks, this person has defeated the internet.

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      March 17, 2011 1:03 PM

      On another note I wonder if EA would be willing to license out Frostbite 2.0 to West and Zampella so they can use the engine to make a COD killer. That is if they are going to make a new game in that genre. Attack COD from two sides with BF3, Bad Company 3 (guessing here), and a new Respawn game in 2012.

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        March 17, 2011 1:53 PM

        West and Zampella are imbalanced for Frostbite.

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        March 17, 2011 2:54 PM

        I doubt EA wants Respawn to make a game that directly targets Call of Duty. They have DICE working almost entirely on beating Call of Duty with multiple Battlefield games, plus Danger Close working on the Medal of Honor franchise.

        I also doubt Respawn wants to make a Call of Duty killer, as the reason West and Zampella quit was because Activision wanted them to make another Call of Duty game. They'll probably make a shooter, but something different.

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      March 17, 2011 2:33 PM

      I still hate Activision. This does nothing to change this.

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      March 17, 2011 6:54 PM

      Actvistion, please leave EA alone. Let's peace with EA. If you win over the court, then all gamers would hate you more for a life. EA is very cool company.

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        March 18, 2011 1:46 AM

        Well, if Activision says the truth I support their actions against EA

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        March 22, 2011 3:21 PM

        Right. EA is a cool company now i guess, but i'm still holding a grudge for all the good games they killed in the name of the next madden. if you don't know what im talking about, then rewind 10-12 years.

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      March 17, 2011 7:04 PM

      I still say Activision is going to settle rather than go to trial because they risk losing the Modern Warfare name to West and Zampella and Activision won't take that risk. They still have Call of Duty which is probably more valuable but EA/respawn would be a huge threat if they could slap the name "Modern Warfare" on their games. In the meantime Activision's lawyers will be doing their best to sound and act threatening and get any leverage they can to reduce any settlement. Is the trial date still set for May?

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        March 17, 2011 11:57 PM

        I really don't know. I mean, I think Bobby Kotick's pretty arrogant. His ego may know no bounds. I'm also inclined to think he's trying to send a message to any other employees that may want to leave Activision that to do so will result in massive headaches for anyone who dares. Kinda ironic, really, given that not so long ago Kotick lured away the founders of the EA-owned studio that has given EA a couple of its most compelling titles, including Dead Space.

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      March 17, 2011 7:10 PM

      This is like Giant Douche versus Turd Sandwich.

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      March 17, 2011 7:44 PM

      "This is extremely rich people bickering over additional millions of dollars!" -- Chris Remo, The Idle Thumbs Podcast 6, on the litigation between West/Zampella and Activision

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      March 18, 2011 5:29 AM

      Suck it down, ActiVision.

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      March 18, 2011 10:38 AM

      EA is the devil, and Activision is its lil brother

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        March 18, 2011 10:48 AM

        EA are no longer the Devil, 5 years ago they were. They couldn't do anything right and their decisions were purely based on profits and the games themselves never game into it. They have reformed themselves and i think they're doing a good job now.

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          March 18, 2011 10:59 AM

          I think it's funny that you think EA's decisions are no longer based on expected profit.