Home Gaming The Activision-Infinity Ward Saga gets even Messier

The Activision-Infinity Ward Saga gets even Messier

2 min read


You’d expect that – being the leaders of the team that’ve created and nurtured one of the most successful franchises in videogame history – you’d be duly rewarded by your overlords, right? Well, no.

Instead, the millions of dollars of royalties owed were withheld, with said team leaders being sensationally fired for “insubordination.” Would you go down without a fight? Jason West and Vince Zampella aren’t. The former Infinity Ward heads have sued Activision for unpaid royalties and the “contractual rights” to the Call of Duty franchise. Ouch.

“Activision has refused to honor the terms of its agreements and is intentionally flouting the fundamental public policy of this State (California) that employers must pay their employees what they have rightfully earned,” said O’Melveny & Myers LLP attorney Robert Schwartz in a press release.

“Instead of thanking, lauding, or just plain paying Jason and Vince for giving Activision the most successful entertainment product ever offered to the public, last month Activision hired lawyers to conduct a pretextual ‘investigation’ into unstated and unsubstantiated charges of ‘insubordination’ and ‘breach of fiduciary duty,’ which then became the grounds for their termination on Monday, March 1st.”

The no longer bosses of infinity Ward are quite rightly pissed.

“We were shocked by Activision’s decision to terminate our contract,” said West. “We poured our heart and soul into that company, building not only a world class development studio, but assembling a team we’ve been proud to work with for nearly a decade. We think the work we’ve done speaks for itself.”

Zampella added: “After all we have given to Activision, we shouldn’t have to sue to get paid.”

West and Zampella are suing Activision not only for unpaid money, but for control of the Call of Duty brand.

“Modern Warfare 2 is arguably one of the most successful games in history and together with Call of Duty, has generated more than $3 billion in sales for Activision,” said the suit.

“In addition, Activision seized control of the Infinity Ward studio, to which Activision had previously granted creative control over all Modern Warfare-branded games. The suit was filed to vindicate the rights of West and Zampella to be paid the compensation they have earned, as well as the contractual rights Activision granted to West and Zampella to control Modern Warfare-branded games.”

With spats like these there are always 3 sides to the story. Activision’s side, The Infinity Ward duo’s – and the truth. We’ll have to see what the outcome of all this fighting is – but it does paint Activision as quite the malevolent overlord.

See the press release here

Last Updated: March 4, 2010


  1. Milesh Bhana ZA

    March 4, 2010 at 11:37

    I hope they win the rights to the COD franchise. Just because i think it’ll be funneh to see Bobby Kotick cry.


  2. riezo

    March 4, 2010 at 11:39

    I though Infinity ward were the rulers of the free world?

    Surely Vince and that other guy can rally up a few guys and start a new dev company free from the control of Kotick & crew?

    I say stick it to the (wo)man!


  3. Uncle

    March 4, 2010 at 11:40

    Greedy Activision, shame on you.


  4. LazySAGamer

    March 4, 2010 at 11:40

    There just has to be more to this, I can’t believe Activision is simply trying to avoid paying them.

    But right now their PR is letting them down, this doesn’t look good.


    • SlippyMadFrog

      March 4, 2010 at 11:48

      I wonder what exactly this ‘insubordination’ and ‘breach of fiduciary duty,’ includes.


    • Milesh Bhana ZA

      March 4, 2010 at 12:21

      this sounds lot like when Itagki(sp?) resigned just after Ninja Gaiden 2 was released.


  5. uberutang

    March 4, 2010 at 12:56

    Well, I am going to melt my COD MW2 disk tonight in protest.

    Will not play another AV game, untill they reform.

    EA used to be the evil one, Now AV is!


  6. Ladunia

    March 4, 2010 at 16:13

    Go Vince and Jason!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Manchester United Sues Football Manager Over Use of their Name and Fan Mods

Manchester United, that massive global football brand whose fans are as equally annoying a…