Fall of Duty

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

UPDATE: 2:27 PM: Activision has confirmed the settlement, saying that the terms are strictly confidential.

In a statement sent to the press, Activision dropped a bit of a clue as to the amount of the settlement:

"The company does not believe that the incremental one-time charges related to the settlement will result in a material impact on its GAAP or non-GAAP earnings per share outlook for the current quarter or the calendar year, due to stronger-than-expected operating performance in the current quarter.

Original Story: There will be no trial in the Activision Vs. West and Zampella case. According to a tweet from journalist Mike McWherton, the case has been resolved.

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Modern Warfare 2 GamesCom 2009 Co-Op Preview

Update: Activision and Electronic Arts have settled their legal differences in this case, which means that EA will not be a part of the West and Zampella lawsuit. The West vs. Activision suit is not settled. Apologies for the confusing headline earlier. 

Activision and EA has announced the case between Activision and EA over the creators of Modern Warfare 2 (Jason West and Vince Zampella) has settled. The companies said at a hearing today in California state court in Los Angeles that they will file a settlement agreement in court. The terms of the coming settlement were not disclosed. The lawsuit between West and Zampella and other former Infinity Ward employees vs. Activision is still going forward.

In a brief, joint statement, the companies said: "Activision and EA have agreed to put this matter behind them."

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle today denied Activision's motion to postpone the case for an additional thirty days. The trial will begin as scheduled on May 29.

Activision said in a May 9 regulatory filing that the damages claim of West and Zampella, the creators of Modern Warfare 2,  has increased to more than $1 billion, from the $36 million the two sought in unpaid royalties when they first sued two years ago.

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Activision: Modern Warfare 2 Could Be Biggest

According to Polygon, Activision has paid ex-Infinity Ward developers in the Infinity Ward Employee Group $42 million, but this is not a settlement of the ongoing employment lawsuit between Infinity Ward founders (and Modern Warfare creators) Jason West and Vince Zampella, EA and Activison.

The $42 million payment was offered during the discovery phase of the larger trial. Activision reportedly decided that the gathered evidence didn't implicate the Infinity Ward Employee Group, so a decision was made to pay them what Activision believes they are owed. The $42 million figure includes ten percent interest and is in addition to $22 million already paid for the promised first quarter launch bonus.

The case goes to trial next week, and according to  Bruce Isaacs, attorney for the Infinity Ward Employee Group, the payment is a "cynical attempt to look good before the jury trial."

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Activision Seeking Internal Documents Related To West, Zampella And...Electronic Arts?

A State Superior Court judge ruled on two claims made by Jason West and Vincent Zampella, creators of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, today. It was a split decision: One claim was shot down. They other will go forward.

State Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle sided with Activision and agreed that a "fraudulent-inducement" claim made by West and Zampella, shouldn’t go forward. He let stand a claim for promissory fraud.

For those in the dark on the lawsuit, you can catch up with our Fall of Duty stories, but here's the short version:

A trial on all remaining claims is scheduled for May 7.

Source: Bloomberg

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

The legal fight between Modern Warfare creators Jason West and Vince Zampella against Activision has been given a court date. The sparks will begin to fly on May 7... provided, of course, the parties involved don't come to some sort of settlement before then.

At stake is potentially millions and batwillions of dollars. The parties are fighting over Call of Duty royalties, bonuess and a host of other contentious legal issues. In other words, it's probably going to get ugly; make some popcorn.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Midnight Launch Event -- Tanks, Ghillie Suits, And Energy Drinks

Activision and Bobby Kotick may be headed to trial over Call Of Duty, as a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that there were enough facts supporting the alleged defrauding of ex-Infinity Ward, now Respawn Entertainment developers, Jason West and Vincent Zampella, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

For those in the dark on the lawsuit, you can catch up with our Fall of Duty stories, but here's the short version:

So now with a fair amount of alleged dirt on everyone supported by the Superior Court, it's only going to make further revelations from these various lawsuits all the more interesting. That is, if this ever goes to trial. I can't imagine EA or Activision wanting a lot of the more gory details to ever go public, but considering what's at stake, a settlement's not going to come easy.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter or if you have something you'd like to share, get in touch via E-mail.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

In a complaint filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 creators Jason West and Vince Zampella allege that Activision prepared to fire them while they were developing Modern Warfare 2. The suit contends that the pair's termination after the game's completion was part of Activision's game-plan.

According to the suit, West and Zampella were first promised that it was "impossible" for them to be fired, and that Activision would not release any games "associated with the Modern Warfare brand" or Call of Duty games "set in the post-Vietnam era, near future, or the distant future" without the consent of West and Zampella.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Multiplayer Reveal Hands-On

The "Fall of Duty" lawsuit that pits Electronic Arts and ex-Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella against game publisher Activision will continue, according to California Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle. Berle ruled that Activision provided enough evidence to allow its $400 million lawsuit against EA to go forward.

Activision's suit alleges that Zampella and West conspired with EA to help Battlefield: Bad Company 2 at the expense of Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Jeff Brown, a spokesperson for EA, said that the publisher had never spoken to West and Zampella before their newly formed Respawn Studios signed up with its EA.

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Modern Warfare 2 GamesCom 2009 Co-Op Preview

Emails that were previously redacted from the ex-Infinity Ward and Activison lawsuit allegedly show EA discussing their intentions to delay Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's first map pack until after the release of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Documents from the lawsuit include an email from EA's senior director of global marketing Lincoln Hershberger and was sent to several high ranking members of EA including EA's senior vice president of marketing, EA LA general manager, EA's senior vice president and the executive producer of the Battlefield franchise. The email's subject was "The Fall of IW?"

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Activision has recruited Sledgehammer Games to help Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 meet its November release date, according to the LA Times. Last March the heads of Infinity Ward, Vince Zampella and Jason West, were fired, taking many of IW's talent with them. They started a new company, Respawn Entertainment, leaving what was left of Infinity Ward to develop the annual Call of Duty in time for November. Sources close to the situation say Activision has asked Sledgehammer Games to help finish Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

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Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Map Pack Screens Go Oscar Mike

Another twist in the tortuous case of Infinity Ward (and maybe Electronic Arts) Vs. Activision: According to documents obtained by Kotaku, the legal case is taking a financial toll on Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella.

According to the documents, Activision knew of EA's alleged involvement in the case for half a year, and that the company only waited until December to try to add the company to the case in a try to get the case pushed back further.

Vince and Zampella say they'd like to get the case up and running faster, they'd like EA not named as a party to the matter as they "are paying for this litigation from our own funds" and that to date the cost of the case has "[exceeded] our combined annual salaries."

Worse news for gamers: Zampella and West say that the case could delay ReSpawn, as "any delay of the trial in this lawsuit would increase the financial and non-financial burdens and would continue to distract us from running our business and earning a living."

Source: Kotaku


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

In a statement issued to the L.A. Times, Electronic Arts responded to the claims filed yesterday by Activision in the lawsuit concerning the creators of Modern Warfare, Jason West and Vince Zampella's exodus from Acitivion.

"This is a PR play filled with pettiness and deliberate misdirection. Activision wants to hide the fact that they have no credible response to the claim of two artists who were fired and now just want to get paid for their work."

In the complaint filed yesterday in Los Angeles, Activision said it is looking for $400 million in damages and penalties from EA, West and Zampella. Read the whole complaint here.

Barring any kind of settlement between the parties, the ball is in the court's hands: They're expected to rule on whether EA will be included in the case sometimes in January.

Source: LA Times

Over 1 Million More People Playing Call of Duty: Black Ops On 360 Than PS3

The Activision/ex-Infinity Ward lawsuit is heating up again. Activision has filed an amended cross-complaint in the legal case between Call of Duty publisher Activision and Call of Duty creators (and Infinity Ward co-founders) Jason West and Vince Zampella. In the complaint filed today in Los Angeles by Activision's representative, the company amended their initial counter-claim to add Electronic Arts, asserting that EA "conspired" with West and Zampella to "derail Activision's Call of Duty franchise, disrupt its Infinity Ward development studio, and inflict serious harm on the company." The suit alleges a systematic "pattern of deception" by EA to "hijack Activision's assets for personal greed and corporate gain."

Activision is seeking at least $400 million in damages from EA, West, Zampella and other parties, as well as a declaration that West and Zampella are prohibited from soliciting Activision employees, and an injunction against EA using any Activision confidential information.

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Call of Duty Black Ops

Black Ops glitches exist (see the Floating Apple!), so don't let our cavalcade of Call of Duty features fool you that it's a perfect game. It's not; it's incredibly addictive and a blast to play, but CoD is not without its problems. So for once, instead of highlighting the awesome, I'm going to walk us through some nitpicks and problems in my multiplayer sessions. Whether you agree or disagree, I would certainly welcome your thoughts.

Thankfully, Treyarch has responded with a slew of fixes in the Black Ops title update, some of which should address the issues we've had to date...but the rest is just inherent to human behavior.

1. Nobody Shoots Down The F**king Helicopters

The majority of my classes have a Strela-3 on the back. Why? Because there's nothing worse than a Hind or Huey laying waste to your team, and as the title suggests, NO ONE shoots down helicopters. I've played hundreds of games at this point, and I can count on one 3-fingered hand the number of times a teammate shot down a helicopter or even helped shoot one down.

Is it the same logic that keeps a sniper embedded when the enemy is capping a Domination point not to far away? "Someone else will get it. I need to preserve my K/D." Hey, I don't like getting popped in the back either while I'm trying to shoot down a heli, but I'm doing it for the team. Why does this selfish behavior continue exist in CoD BO? Are you guilty of such a sin? Atone!!

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Electronic ArtsWhen we last spoke to former Infinity Ward leaders Jason West and Vince Zampella, the duo promised a video game that will "make [gamers'] heads explode, and get them completely excited and give them a ton of fun."  

As for what that game will be, and when our heads will explode, we still don't know, Zampella and West aren't the only ones who are expecting greatness, though. EA Partners GM David DeMartini expects big things too.

“We’re highly, highly confident of what they’re end product is going to be,” said DeMartini of Respawn's upcoming game, in an interview with gaming blog VG247. “They’ve told us that when they’ve got something great, they’re going to show us something.”

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