Legal bid to pull Modern Warfare from Activision

Legal bid to pull Modern Warfare from Activision

By Rob Crossley

April 4th 2011 at 1:36PM

West and Zampella could co-own the franchise if they win lawsuit, lawyer claims

Activision would lose partial ownership of the Modern Warfare IP if it fails in its legal battle with former employees, reports suggest.

The California publisher is deep in a bitter lawsuit involving a group of former Infinity Ward employees, led by ousted studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West, as well as Rival publisher EA.

Now a lawyer representing West and Zampella has claimed Activision would co-own the Modern Warfare IP if it lost the upcoming court case.

The legal representative, who wasn’t named, told Gamespot that West and Zampella are seeking to invalidate a contract the pair had made with Activision.

“If granted, Activision would co-own the Modern Warfare brand with Vince and Zampella, which would give the two the right to release their own copies of the game,” the Gamespot report read.

[TIMELINE: The Infinity Ward / Activision / EA lawsuit]

The lawyer was also paraphrased as claiming a voided contract “would also give West and Zampella the right to create new games in the Modern Warfare franchise”.

West and Zampella have demanded “in excess of $36 million” from Activision in punitive damages, having been dismissed from the Infinity Ward studio in March 2010. They have been accused of “insubordination”.

Activision recently succeeded in throwing rival publisher Electronic Arts into own counter suit against West and Zampella.

The publisher is suing EA for an extraordinary $400 million, following accusations that the accused had deceitfully tried to hire Zampella and West while they were working for Activision.

Last week West and Zampella added two counts of fraud to their original complaint. The pair claim to have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Activision, but do not believe Activision intended to keep them working at the company.

The pair say they signed a Memorandum of Understanding “under the assumption that they would operate as an independent studio” – something which they believe had not been honoured.

A trial is due to take place later in the year.