GamesBeat

Court authorizes jury trial to proceed in Activision lawsuit against Electronic Arts

A Los Angeles court ordered a jury trial to proceed in a lawsuit by Activision Publishing against Electronic Arts. The case involves the poaching of the founders of Infinity Ward, the studio behind the massive Call of Duty franchise.

The case is one of the most heated battles between two major game publishers, and it involves some very high stakes. The Call of Duty games are multibillion-dollar properties that are at the heart of Activision’s business.

Actvision Publishing, a division of Activision Blizzard, sued EA in 2010 for interfering in its business by actively recruiting Jason West and Vince Zampella to leave Infinity Ward and start a new game studio with EA funding.

Activision has claimed $400 million in damages, claiming the departures of West and Zampella led to a gutting of Infinity Ward’s staff and nearly derailed one of the major Call of Duty games. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge, Elihu Berle, denied EA’s motion to dismiss the case based on lack of evidence.

EA has denied the charges and both West and Zampella have sued Activision Blizzard, saying it denied them more than $36 million in royalties that they were due. Activision alleges that EA intentionally interfered with Activision’s employment agreements with the former Call of Duty developers. Activision said it fired West and Zampella for insubordination. The trial is set to begin May 7, 2012.


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we'll share the data with you.

GamesBeat is your source for gaming news and reviews. But it's also home to the best articles from gamers, developers, and other folks outside of the traditional press. Register or log in to join our community of writers. You can even make a few bucks publishing stories here! Learn more.

You are now an esteemed member of the GamesBeat community. That means you can comment on stories or post your own to GB Unfiltered (look for the "New Post" link by mousing over your name in the red bar up top). But first, why don't you fill out your via your ?

About GamesBeat