Activision allowed to take EA to trial in $400M lawsuit

Activision wins round one in this legal battle with EA.

By ruling of a California Superior Court judge, Activision has been allowed to continue its lawsuit against Electronic Arts on three of its four claims in a trial that will determine the fate of $400 million.

Judge Elihu Berle agreed that Activision had supplied enough evidence to allow the suit to go to court, though he did not rule on the case’s merits. It is currently set to begin sometime in May.

This is the same suit between the gaming industry’s two biggest publishers that stemmed from Activision’s release of former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella last year.

After the duo were let go, they sued their former employer at a sum of $36 million on the grounds of compensation for work their work on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 that the two were contractually obligated to get but never received. The suit also claimed that West and Zampella deserve to posses the rights to the Modern Warfare name.

Soon afterward a large chunk of Infinity Ward left the studio, with some of them in addition to some still employed at the studio filing a suit of their own for being held "hostage" by Activision due to the company withholding their compensation as it had with Zampella and West.

Activision then counter-sued West and Zampella with the very case that is now going to trial. In December, EA was added under the grounds that the publisher had conspired behind the scenes with the former Activision employees for them to jump ship before they were terminated.

Since the first suit was filed, West and Zampella have formed Respawn Entertainment and went to EA for help in its creation and game distribution. The studio’s first title is expected to be announced sometime this year, but depending on the outcome of the suit, it may never see the light of day.



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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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