Kotick: Iâ??d be jailed for what West & Zampella did

Kotick: Iâ??d be jailed for what West & Zampella did

By Rob Crossley

September 27th 2010 at 2:45PM

Activision CEO suggests the Infinity Ward founders used the company for personal gain

New light has been shed on the severity of Activison’s allegations against its former employees Jason West and Vince Zampella.

The ongoing lawsuit between the ex Infinity Ward duo and its former employer is being held behind legal tape, but Activision CEO suggests the crime scene is particularly gruesome.

“The frustrating thing about that is, the stuff that these guys did, I would have never expected them to do,” he said.

“We’re a public company, we’ve got ethic obligations, and the things they did were... I would go to jail if I did them.”
 
The allegations, which remain unproven, appear to be based on company subterfuge.

“You can’t use the company and the company’s assets for your own personal benefit, and you can’t use the leverage that you might have for personal benefit – you’re not allowed to do that! And so we didn’t have any choice,” Kotick said in an interview with Edge.

Activision dismissed Infinity Ward founders Zampella and West back in March, leading to a walkout from at least 35 additional staff in support of the sacked duo. A group of Infinity Ward employees allege Activision held royalty pay at ransom.

All accusations are to be determined in court next year.

In any event, Kotick says he’s been personally affected by the matter, due to a former kinship he had with Zampella and West.

“It shook my belief in two specific people, who were my friends,” he said.

“We knew that when we had to fire Jason and Vince we were going to keep we were going to lose a lot of really talented people. That’s one of the really difficult decisions as the CEO of a company, where you step back and say, no good is going to come of this, they’re going to leave and probably have a really hard time being productive or successful ever again, and we’re going to lose some talented people, and there’s nothing we can do about it. There wasn’t.

“It’s one of those things where you get personally disappointed in people you trust and call friends. When you’re betrayed by your friends.”