Following the recent stir between Activision and the management at Infinity Ward, Vince Zampella and Jason West have filed a court document in which they launch some major allegations at their former employer. In the court documents, Zampella and West claim control over the Modern Warfare as well as control over any Call of Duty-instalment set in a post-Vietnam era.
Based on a memorandum of understanding created between Activision and the former CEO and President of Infinity Ward, West and Zampella are owned royalties for the use of the Modern Warfare engine in other games published by Activision, as well as royalties for the success of Modern Warfare 2. Activision is charged with wrongfully discharging both West and Zampella over unsubstantiated allegations of insubordination. West and Zampella argue that Activision is trying to ‘cheat’ them out of their rightful compensation for the success of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and is trying to gain full control over the Call of Duty franchise. The court documents states that Activision owes West and Zampella the sum of at least $36 million USD.
While Activision has not yet officially launched a legal response to the allegations, it has provided a statement in which it declares the suit filed by West and Zampella to be meritless. This statement is included below.
“Activision is disappointed that Mr. Zampella and Mr. West have chosen to file a lawsuit, and believes their claims are meritless. Over eight years, Activision shareholders provided these executives with the capital they needed to start Infinity Ward, as well as the financial support, resources and creative independence that helped them flourish and achieve enormous professional success and personal wealth.
In return, Activision legitimately expected them to honor their obligations to Activision, just like any other executives who hold positions of trust in the company. While the company showed enormous patience, it firmly believes that its decision was justified based on their course of conduct and actions. Activision remains committed to the Call of Duty franchise, which it owns, and will continue to produce exciting and innovative games for its millions of fans.”
While the Call of Duty franchise itself is legally owned by Activision, West and Zampella dispute the rights for the separate Modern Warfare franchise.