EA, Activision going to court over Zampella, West

The two biggest publishers do battle.

The long-standing legal battle between the two biggest publishers in the industry, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard, is finally going to court over $400-million-contract-interference claims around the alleged poaching of former Activision employees Jason West and Vince Zampella by EA.

California Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle has ruled not to throw out claims made by EA to dismiss the case, stating that Activision had provided enough evidence to the bring it before a jury. This entire situation came about back in March 2010, when West and Zampella, the creators of Call of Duty, were fired from Activision for “insubordination” and “breach of fiduciary duty.”

The duo made a new studio title Respawn Entertainment, signed with EA so their games could be published and distributed, and filed a lawsuit against Activision for breach of contract and withholding royalties. In response, Activision issued a counter-suit against West and Zampella for intending to leave the company for EA and “steal” the Infinity Ward staff after talking with the rival while still employed. At the end of 2010, Activision finally added EA itself onto the suit.

“We’re pleased with the ruling and look forward to proving our case at trial,” said Activision’s lawyer, Steven Marenberg, after the hearing.

In addition to West and Zampella, 40 other current and former Infinity Ward employees joined the original suit last year, which itself is still going through the California Superior Court.



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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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