Modern Warfare trial to begin May 7

Activision's day in court with ex-Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella scheduled for next year, to last about five weeks.

The drama surrounding Activision's high-profile firings of Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella has largely died down, and soon the legal wrangling will also come to a head. West and Zampella's legal representation at LA-based legal firm O'Melveny & Myers have confirmed that opening arguments in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit will begin May 7. The case is expected to last about five weeks.

The fate of the Modern Warfare brand will be decided next year.

Initially filed shortly after the duo was fired in March 2010, the suit seeks to claim royalty payments that West and Zampella believe Activision owes them following the highly successful launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In April, West and Zampella amended the suit to add fraud charges against the publisher.

"We're extremely pleased to have a firm trial date and the opportunity to let a jury decide Jason and Vince's claims that Activision cheated them and 40 other Infinity Ward team members out of the millions of dollars they earned for creating the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare mega-franchises," an O'Melveny & Myers representative told GameSpot. "Activision has taken a lot of cheap, false shots at Vince and Jason and has tried to delay the case and drive up their cost of enforcing the promises Activision reneged on. But come May 7, 2012, Activision will have nowhere to hide."

Activision had not responded to a request for comment on the matter as of press time.

However, beyond the performance-based payout and any other court-awarded monetary damages, West and Zampella are also seeking to gain co-ownership of the Modern Warfare brand. If successful in court, West and Zampella would have the right to create and release both old and new installments in the Modern Warfare franchise.

Activision, of course, is not taking these allegations lying down. In March, the Call of Duty publisher succeeded in adding Electronic Arts to its $400 million breach-of-contract countersuit against West and Zampella. That suit stems from the duo's formation of a new studio, Respawn Entertainment, under the auspices of EA, poaching many former Infinity Ward developers in the process.

Written By

Want the latest news about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Discussion

127 comments
Tetratrance_CK
Tetratrance_CK

@bigcrusha I would not worry about it If MW3 is a success that will just be added to the tab Activision already owes Infinity Ward. Yes I am sad for IW but at the same time always remember a verbal contract is worth the paper it is printed on.

kyleweeeeeeeeee
kyleweeeeeeeeee

Wait...so I'm lost, can someone tell me who made MW3? Were these guys involved, or is this lawsuit focused on MW and MW2?

lilflex1
lilflex1

for those thinking this was a beta mw3s release dates in november while this says may 7 of next year

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

West and Zampella aren't BSing, there's a reason why after they left, 40 IW staff left too. They took a stand. Not only did Activision rob their franchise, they also robbed the very creators of their royalties and denied the bonuses of all the employees. I'm not buying MW3, yet people are going to waltz into the store, buy a copy of MW3, pay for elite and have smiles on their faces. It irritates me at just how ignorant consumers are. What if you were any of these IW employees? Somebody PLEASE help me understand, help me find logic in this madness because I'm seriously irritated with this blatant exploitation. Why do we allow ourselves to be sheeped while this injustice unfolds right in front of us? WHY PEOPLE WHY???!!

DLobotomist
DLobotomist

The 12 Juries can start a 6v6 TDM when they are taking breaks, as for the trial I hope West and Zampella wins....

XxCRAFTYxX
XxCRAFTYxX

I hope the employees win but lets face it Activision has enough dough to buy their lawyers lawyers, lawyers.....they are a billion dollar franchise machine even without COD they got Blizzards entire game library to whore out (see Diablo 3's pay to win model auction house) they arnt going anywhere....shame all that money cant buy them morality.....it's worse that game developers as respected as Blizzard chose to associate with them so when we buy games we end up supporting them.....if respected companies like Bioware or Blizzard didnt get in bed with guys like Activision or EA I would never support their bullish.....

yahoo1979
yahoo1979

Ego and greedy of CEO return!!

rasjr1305
rasjr1305

Lets settle this with a quake 3 match.

rasjr1305
rasjr1305

Lets settle this with a quake 3 match.

BuBsay
BuBsay

Bobby Kotick being a jackass, acting like a child, cheating people out of their money, and destroying an entire series/group of developers all to earn himself a few more million? ... How the hell are people surprised by this? That sums up the entirety of Kotick's career. Honestly, I don't hate Activision, they have some fantastic designers there and really stood for something back in the late 80's and early 90's. Kotick on the other hand... I think it's telling that one of the first suggestions to pop up when you google him is "Bobby Kotick is evil"

DekaRyan46
DekaRyan46

Activision You Dirty Sunovab*tch!

C4nnon
C4nnon

R.I.P MW rest of the series can SUCK IT for letting STEAM Control IT! stupid isolated hackers don't have a life!

conkerton
conkerton

When the trial starts I would throw my random 'nade at the Activision Attorney's spawn point. Hitting the judge would be useless unless he went sniper class setup.

berzerk0912
berzerk0912

This is the real Modern Warfare in court. I hope Bobby loses this one.

Trident001
Trident001

I hope jason and Vince win this.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

In a courtroom battle... Phoenix Wright will beat Cpt Price hands down.

wamsy102938
wamsy102938

why!!!! thought you guys where friends.

jlm2k5
jlm2k5

At this point the idea of the COD being innovative and a trail blazer is VERY laughable but if Respawn actually succeeds in getting the rights to MW (however little that possibility is) it might be the best thing that has happened to the franchise in recent memory

ralrs
ralrs

This is a perfect example of a Modern Warfare

theshonen8899
theshonen8899

@wars45 How come every time I try to read an anti-Battlefield 3 comment it's always a grammatic nightmare?

wars45
wars45

ea are just as bad milk evey game need for speed 1000 bf3 will be a cod out evey year i havent got 1 ea game

nyran125
nyran125

ahh so thats why Activision are putting out so many DLC's for Black ops..they are trying to pay for the 5 week court case, they are very smart. I really cant see Activision winning this one, the way they handled firing West and Zimpalla is unforgivable , regardless of what Zimpalla and West did with EA. I think the judge and dury will see that Infinity Ward created the game and has every right to its profits with or without the EA garbage. Yeah , my EA game library has dwindled down to Dead space from Sledgehammer Games ( those guys are making Modern Warfare 3 now lol) , Madden 2006 (lol 2006, thats how stale Madden is), tiger woods 2008, Rugby 2008, Crysis (from Crytec) and Mass effect and FIFA 12...BUT THATS IT. Theres nothing from EA worth owning anymore. Crysis 2? what a joke..Madden? no innovation with physics and gameplay. Tiger woods they just put out a bad version for PC. Theres so many crap EA games now. If 2K owned the NFL license, we wouldnt even be talking about Madden ever again. Id rather play Sims 1 from MAXIS anyday than Sims 3 and Simcity 4 owns the new simcity societes EA garbage. NBA 2K11 is way better than any EA sports title. As far as BF3 goes, i see it as a BF2/BAd company 2 remake with Crysis 2 graphics with ZERO innovation. same old team deathmatch with tickets and respawns over a large map and i BET theres crap ungettable spawn points again like BF2, that i HATED so much in BF2 and made the game last longer than it should. BF1942, at least when you got all flags the round ran out super fast. In BF2 even if you had all the flags the round would still last for another hour. Give me counter strike anyday or Search and destroy, over battlefield.

gameking5000
gameking5000

I'm pretty sure that this case will settle like many others.

toonsim2
toonsim2

Activision and EA are just as bad as each other.

toonsim2
toonsim2

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

epilare
epilare

@Poodger Thats excactly why I clicked this as well!!! :) happy birthday in advance, bro

Neophyte555
Neophyte555

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

madg23
madg23

hope activision looses most their money and has to charge $60 for each DLC :)

Legojake94
Legojake94

naw i thought they ment like a multiplayer beta or single player demo :(

cephas90
cephas90

@Psycold I believe Activision affects the quality of game development, so to me seeing this gives me hope that they will be hurt by this. Just look at WoW, the quality and genuine goodness of that game became pure profiteering and stupidity, ruining it. I know, I played vanilla, and I watched it turn to rubbish in Koticks hands. This sort of thing is the background workings that affects what we get at on our dinner plate in the end.

KillerBill316
KillerBill316

EA's next game ---> Battlefield: Modern Warfare. Prepare to be confused, fanboys!

Asemco
Asemco

Modern Warfare: Lawyer Edition

Psycold
Psycold

That is hilariously ironic, how everyone assumed that "trial" meant a trial of the actual game. How naive we are to believe that we would get anything that resembles actual game news out of this whole debacle.

RaptorHunters
RaptorHunters

Make a movie based on that game, the storyline of the game is good, but it sucks as a game. And yes I am a Battlefield fan.

SANDMAN201
SANDMAN201

i thought it was a trial as in a Demo. lol my bad. Anyway I hope Activision loses.

russ_lick
russ_lick

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

max_1111
max_1111

God damn i hope Slacktivision winds up paying through the nose.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@Ice-cube Hahaha dude me too... Then I saw the date and I was like, oh, just another lawsuit, go figure. But seriously, Activision, why not just change the company name to "Lacktivision" because you obviously can't see where this whole "sue, milk, sue, repeat" strategy is taking you.

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

Go to hell Activision with your greedy ways.

jasonzilla11
jasonzilla11

@Ice_Cube Yeah, me too, I was like, "NO WAY!!!" And then I found out it was about stupid lawsuits and stuff. :\

Ice-Cube
Ice-Cube

And i'm thinking this article was in regards to MW3 Beta... Stupid headline..

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

It's about time. Respawn will be triumphant.

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

What would be really cool is if they fought this battle, not in court, but in one big Modern warfare multiplayer deathmatch (like what Notch [the creator of Minecraft] suggested a few weeks back). Somehow, I think West and Zampella's team would stand a better chance there, as I doubt anyone at Activision (the execs, at least) even knows how to play the game, outside of how to sell it. Too bad that'd never happen, but we can dream, at least. Go, Respawn!