Remember that less-than-gentlemanly split between Activision and former Modern Warfare leads Jason West and Vincent Zampella? Well, the lawsuit that West and Zampella filed against Activision in the wake of the messy fallout just moved closer to trial. An L.A. Superior Court Judge has ruled in favor of there being “facts to support allegations” made against Activision. The case now has an excellent chance of overcoming the preliminary stage and — assuming a settlement is not agreed upon — going to trial.
As a refresher, the series creators were canned just prior to the date at which Activision would have been on the hook to hand them astronomically large royalty payments tied to 2009’s Modern Warfare 2. The Duty Duo were quickly snatched up by the rival Electronic Arts, where they formed a new studio to, presumably, work on a CoD competitor. After the developers brought a wrongful termination suit against their former employer, Activision promptly filed a countersuit against EA. The publisher made allegations that West and Zampella had conspired to set up shop under EA’s flag while still under contract with Activision. In a statement that was dripping with bitterness, Bobby Kotick’s publishing house referred to the two as “self-serving schemers who attempted to hijack Activision’s assets for their own personal gain“.
It’s impossible to say who (if anyone) is in the right in this whole sordid affair. The timing of West and Zampella’s dismissal certainly indicates that Activision operated with nefarious intentions. At the same time, the accusations that the development pair were in breach of contract, casts a pale light on both them and their new employer. In any case, with Activision’s suit having previously been found to hold merit, it appears that all three parties will have to rely on the courts to sort this ugliness out.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]
[Images via Joystick Division and Solid US.]