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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Summary of the IW vs Activision debacle




1st of March, 2010
"A source close to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 developer just informed me that a "bunch of bouncer-types" just showed up outside of the Infinity Ward offices unannounced. When approached by employees, the non-uniformed "bouncers" were unwilling to disclose why they were there."

"Infinity Ward studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West reportedly met with Activision this morning and have not been seen by Infinity Ward staff members since."

2nd of March, 2010
"Activision announced that Sledgehammer Games, an internal studio founded by former Visceral Games (Dead Space) leadership, will develop the next Call of Duty game, and the publisher confirmed the departure of Infinity Ward founders Vince Zampella and Jason West."

"2010 is expected to be another big year for Call of Duty, with Treyarch developing a new title for fall release, Infinity Ward's downloadable content for Modern Warfare 2 in the works now, and a new Call of Duty title expected to be released in 2011.

In addition, Sledgehammer Games is in development on a Call of Duty title in the action-adventure genre. It's an exciting time and it's the right time to ensure the appropriate resources are there to support Call of Duty's growth."

3rd of March, 2010
"After Activision fired Infinity Ward studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, the pair filed a lawsuit on March 3 against Activision."

"Along with compensation, West and Zampella are also seeking the contractual rights that "Activision granted to" the studio heads to control the Modern Warfare brand."

4th of March, 2010
"Now that former Infinity Ward leadership Vince Zampella and Jason West have filed a lawsuit against Activision the legal fight is on. I've since reviewed an Activision internal legal memo from a source close to the company that details what documents Activision is searching for related to the current litigation with Zampella and West."
  • "Documents regarding past, current or future IW projects, including but not limited to any and all businesses analyses of future projects (e.g. Modern Warfare 3)"
  • "Documents regarding any potential 'spin out' of IW, including but not limited to any communications with IW employees, West or Zampella regarding forming a new studio independent of Activision"
  • "Documents regarding West and Zampella's communications with Activision's competitors, including but not limited to Electronic Arts"

9th of April, 2010
    "Activision Blizzard filed a countersuit Friday morning [9th of April] against ex-Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, painting a picture of two insubordinate employees out to harm parent Activision and its shareholders."

    12th of April, 2010
    "West and Zampella today announced their new studio, Respawn Entertainment, and a publishing agreement with EA Partners."

    27th of April. 2010
    "The ongoing friction between Activision and its internal development studio Infinity Ward has reached new heights, as several dozen current and former Infinity Ward employees have banded together to file suit against Activision, claiming breach of contract and seeking unpaid royalties and bonuses.

    According to documents obtained by G4tv.com blog The Feed, the suit is being collectively filed by the "Infinity Ward Employee Group," comprising 38 developers.

    They allege that Activision violated California labor codes and deliberately withheld deserved payments related to the success of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 "in an attempt to keep the employees hostage so that Activision could reap the benefit of the completion of Modern Warfare 3.""


    28th of April, 2010
    "Activision’s confirmed that CEO and president Mike Griffith has resigned, effective from April 23. The big man will maintain a role as vice-chairman of Activision Blizzard on a 12-month contract."

    1st of May, 2010
    "Two more leads leave Infinity Ward today which is virtually a clean sweep of the team leads."

    "As of May 1st 2010, 37 have been terminated or resigned."

    Ex-Infinity Ward bosses wanted Bungie deal
    Who remains at Infinity Ward?

    Sources:
    Security Appears At Infinity Ward, Studio Heads Missing, Activision Investigating "Insubordination"
    Sledgehammer To Make New Call Of Duty, Activision Reorganizes Franchise
    Court Filings Detail $36 Million Infinity Ward Lawsuit
    Activision Seeking Internal Documents Related To West, Zampella And...Electronic Arts?
    Activision Countersues 'Scheming' Ex-Infinity Ward Heads
    West, Zampella Form Respawn Entertainment, Reveal EA Deal
    Eight More Leave Modern Warfare Developers, Bringing Total To 26
    38 Infinity Ward Employees File Lawsuit Against Activision Over Royalties, Alleges Devs Held "Hostage"
    Mike Griffith quits Activision