I kind of miss the days where EA was the most evil publisher in the gaming industry, they never did anything this bad. After the shocking event of IW’s Jason West and Vince Zampella being fired, they have fired back. The former studio heads have filed a lawsuit against for held wages and bonuses.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP attorney Robert Schwartz, who will be representing West and Zampella, released a statement regarding lawsuit and the specifics on the grounds for the suit.
Activision has refused to honor the terms of its agreements and is intentionally flouting the fundamental public policy of this State (California) that employers must pay their employees what they have rightfully earned. Instead of thanking, lauding, or just plain paying Jason and Vince for giving Activision the most successful entertainment product ever offered to the public, last month Activision hired lawyers to conduct a pretextual ‘investigation’ into unstated and unsubstantiated charges of ‘insubordination’ and ‘breach of fiduciary duty,’ which then became the grounds for their termination on Monday, March 1st.
So Activision is being cheap by trying to stretch out what they made from Modern Warfare 2 by cutting vital assets to it’s development. I’d say Activision is insane, but I would think this would be evident after they increased the staff of the studio behind Tony Hawk Ride. Well along with looking for the bonus they didn’t receive, the two are looking for something almost more valuable than the $36 million they’re asking for, Modern Warfare.
West and Zampella are also looking to win the rights to the Modern Warfare franchise. This would not only allow them to develop further titles without Activision, but also keep Activision from making any games of their own in the series. I’m not sure if this covers the Call of Duty series in general, but at this point the Modern Warfare brand has become more powerful than the series it’s a part of.
How is Activision reacting? They’re saying the lawsuit is meritless and, running around searching for documents to support their act of firing the studio heads. They contend that West and Zampella were communicating with Activision’s competitors, which include EA, regarding the future of the future of the FPS series, which led to the firing.
I don’t quite have all of the facts, but Activision hasn’t been one for being so transparent and developer or consumer friendly. They attempted to keep Brutal Legends from being developed, and the CEO, Robert Kotick(the gaming industry’s satan), has repeatedly made it clear that he’s interested in money, not entertaining by wanting prices of games to go even higher. I can only hope West and Zampella win the suit, make Activision bleed a little.
Also, something I noted looking for pictures of Robert Kotick on Google Search. He seems to have 2 expressions. Nothing, and the evil smile. The latter is far more common. He is really creepy.