West and Zampella going after Modern Warfare name

The duo tries to take the MW name.

Jason West and Vince Zampella, the former Infinity Ward heads that are in the midst of a massive lawsuit and countersuit with Activision, have finally made an official legal claim to the Modern Warfare name.

The duo have added two counts of fraud to their complaint against the major publisher. According to the complaints, West and Zampella entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Activision in March 2008 that saw the large gaming company securing the two men’s employment in order to finalize its impending merger with Vivendi Games.

Since they were needed to seal the deal, West and Zampella were in an advantageous position and used it to get what they wanted in the MOU.

According to the complaint, the contract was designed to "address issues of significant concern to West and Zampella, particularly in the area of creative authority over the Modern Warfare games and the creation of a look, feel, and brand for the Modern Warfare games."

This MOU didn’t just mean creative control, but the implementation of the bonus plan that appears to have been the main cause of this entire saga between the two parties.

Being skeptical of the initial deal, the duo claim that they negotiated to where they had the final say over any Modern Warfare games and licensing. However, both the control and bonuses were valid only so long as West and Zampella remained employed at Activision.

The two asked if this meant they would simply be axed in order to circumvent the clause, to which Bobby Kotick allegedly retorted, "Don’t worry about it. It’s impossible for you guys to get fired."

Given how events turned out, West and Zampella now claim that Activision never intended to honor the MOU.

"While paying lip-service to West’s and Zampella’s creative authority, in 2008 and thereafter, Activision began secret development of Modern Warfare and Call of Duty games and related products, and undertook other conduct in relation to these two videogame franchises that, under the MOU, required prior approval from West and Zampella," reads the amended complaint. "Activision did not inform West or Zampella of such plans or seek their input or approval for them. Indeed, while breaching the creative authority provisions of the MOU, Activision continued to pay lip-service to them, in an attempt to mask its secret development efforts."

Through the two counts added to the complaint, West and Zampella are now seeking the rescission of the MOU. If that is allowed, then both Activision and the two men will have co-ownership and share the right to create titles under the Modern Warfare name. West and Zampella will also have the right to produce more Modern Warfare games if the contract is instead voided, according to a lawyer representing both men.



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
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.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.