The last time we got any real news in the Activision/Infinity Ward drama that happened back in March, Activision had filed a counter-suit in response to the lawsuit filed by Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella. In the counter-suit, Activision accused West and Zampella of breaking their contract by meeting with "the most senior executives of Activision's closest competitor," almost certainly referencing Electronic Arts without naming them.
Now Activision has come right out and named EA as that competitor, adding them to the lawsuit and seeking compensation from the publisher.
Kotaku got word of this amendment to the counter-suit directly from Activision. They claim that EA secretly attempted to get West and Zampella to leave Infinity Ward in an attempt to sabotage the Call of Duty franchise. The new filing suggests that part of EA's motivation for the move was anger over Dead Space developers Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey leaving EA to form Sledgehammer Games with Activision:
"Unable to compete with Activision and Infinity Ward, and, upon information and belief, enraged by the recent defection of two Electronic Arts executives to Activision (unlike West and Zampella, the executives who left Electronic Arts were not under employment contracts), Electronic Arts was determined to retaliate. Electronic Arts set out to destabilize, disrupt and to attempt to destroy Infinity Ward. Although the precise dates the scheme was conceived and initiated remain somewhat unknown to Activision it was clearly underway no later than July 30, 2009."
Activision's filing contains numerous e-mails between West and Zampella and Hollywood agent Seamus Blackley, including one in which Blackley invited the Infinity Ward founders to "a mean BBQ" on behalf of EA CEO John Riccitiello.
Not enough drama for you? How about the part where the lawsuit calls West and Zampella "small-minded executives almost obsessed by jealousy of other developers and the thought that another Activision game or studio might share their spotlight"? Ouch. The publisher's complaint goes on to accuse West and Zampella of making decisions with the specific intent of hurting fellow Call of Duty developer Treyarch:
"On the same day that Treyarch released a video trailer promoting a follow-on product – a 'map' pack or 'downloadable content' – designed for players of Treyarch's game Call of Duty: World at War, West and Zampella released a marketing video for Modern Warfare 2 with the purpose of hurting Treyarch's and Activision's marketing efforts. Far from being remorseful, West attempted to justify his actions on the ground that Treyarch had insufficiently coordinated with Infinity Ward by stating: 'We released on the same day as you because we had no clue you were releasing anything. We are not happy about it.' The real truth, however, was revealed by a series of text messages between West and an Infinity Ward employee contemporaneous with the video trailers' release. The employee texted West that 'treyarch released their mp dlc video.' West responded: 'Super nice? We release our video? Crush and destroy with our video.' The employee answered: 'We already did. And . . . we already did.' West's following comment: 'Nice.' Thus, West's own words reveal his intentional strategy to 'crush and destroy' his fellow developers at Treyarch."
Activision also accuses West and Zampella of refusing to name employees who were supposed to receive Activision stock grants as bonuses, "thereby depriving their own Infinity Ward employees of additional compensation."
Because of EA's involvement in the alleged scheming, Activision is seeking $400 million in compensation from the rival publisher. Reading the latest rounds of mud-slinging from each side never gets any less exhausting, but this is going to make for an incredible book one day.
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/arch ... de-ea.aspx
Yea. I'm not sure who to believe so I'm taking the wait and see approach.