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Judge dismisses one fraud claim in West and Zampella suit

One of the two fraud claims raised against Activision by West and Zampella has been dismissed, as the two prepare for their May 7 court date.


A California State Superior Court judge has dismissed one of the two fraud claims raised by former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, in their suit against Activision. The two alleged that Activision had made commitments that the company executives never intended to honor.

Bloomberg reports that Judge Elihu Berle agreed with Activision that one claim shouldn't be allowed to go forward, but let the claim of promissory fraud stand.

The fraud claim was added to the suit last April. It claimed that Activision entered a Memorandum of Understanding with them, promising creative control, bonuses, and extra income from hit games. When West and Zampella raised eyebrows at the stipulation that these bonuses relied on continued employment, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick allegedly replied: "Don't worry about it. It's impossible for you guys to get fired."

Activision has also raised a counter-suit, claiming the two were in talks with rival publisher EA to set up a new development studio. West and Zampella's suit, with its remaining fraud claim, and Activision's counter-suit, will come to a head when proceedings begin on May 7.

West and Zampella are currently working at their new studio, Respawn Entertainment, and are teasing a project to be published by EA.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 9, 2012 1:30 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Judge dismisses one fraud claim in West and Zampella suit.

    One of the two fraud claims raised against Activision by West and Zampella has been dismissed, as the two prepare for their May 7 court date.

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      March 9, 2012 2:25 PM

      I freaking dislike Blizzard in this (Blizzard is the same as Activision now, I've said that since the merger). I want Blizzard to lose hard on this. Hopefully these guys next games are as awesome as mw1 and 2. 3 was weaksauce compared to the first two.

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        March 9, 2012 2:27 PM

        WTF does Blizzard have to do with this?

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        March 9, 2012 2:43 PM

        It's really not. Activision and Blizzard are entirely seperate companies, both owned by the holding company Activision Blizzard.

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          March 9, 2012 2:55 PM

          Activision Blizzard is the publisher. Activision Blizzard is one since the publishers merged.

          Blizzard Entertainment is a developer.

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            March 9, 2012 3:13 PM

            Dude, no.

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              March 9, 2012 3:24 PM


              Tell me what their name is.

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                March 9, 2012 3:30 PM

                Seriously, I was just starting to troll there with my last post... so I'll stop.

                You guys are correct about what Activision Blizzard is, the name conjured up since the merge of Activision and Vivendi.

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                  March 9, 2012 3:56 PM


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                    March 9, 2012 4:11 PM

                    I didn't do that, friedram did.

                    All I did was point out the name that friedram was referring to.

                    Then I went on to say that the PUBLISHERS merged (not the developers).

                    Meh, whatever... would have been a better and easier to understand conversation in real-time at a bar.

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                March 9, 2012 3:31 PM

                Blizzard publishes their own games. Activision publishes their own games. Activision Blizzard doesn't actively do any publishing, it's all handled through the subsidiaries.

                Third paragraph, citations 9 and 10.

                Or the first line of the big blue text on this page:

                Blizzard Entertainment is its own company with its own leadership, does whatever the fuck it wants, and has nothing to do with the Infinity Ward clusterfuck other than being owned by the same holding company as Activision.

                It's really not that hard to understand.

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                  March 9, 2012 4:04 PM

                  Anyway, now that is settled.

                  As an aside, predating the Acti-Viv merge, I thought this is what originally happened. Originally, Blizzard Entertainment published their own games, then when Vivendi bought them, Vivendi published their games but allowed Blizzard Ent. to exclusively keep their name on the boxes. I thought this was the same for Sierra as well (while they lasted anyway)

                  From what you are saying, that is not the case? Vivendi just distributed their games... did they even do that?

                  I really thought Blizzard would have preferred to hand over publishing duties, so they can concentrate on just being a developer... so kudos to them I guess, for still doing the whole lot.

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        March 9, 2012 2:56 PM


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