Fraud charges added to Activision vs. EA suit

4 Apr 2011  by   Paul Younger
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Yet another turn in the lawsuit and counterlawsuit between Activision, EA and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, as the latter duo add fraud charges to their original complaint against the publisher.
As you may recall, Activision got approval last month to progress with a $400 mil USD suit against the two developers, plus fellow publisher EA (alleged to be a ‘co-conspirator’ in luring the pair away from Infinity Ward – Activision’s studio.)
This was a counter-claim against West and Zampella’s original filing of a suit for $36 mil USD in damages, weeks after they were fired from Infinity Ward last year.
Now, the duo have added fraud charges to the lawsuit. According to GameSpot, the amended complaint now reads: “While paying lip-service to West’s and Zampella’s creative authority, in 2008 and thereafter, Activision began secret development of Modern Warfare and Call of Duty games and related products, and undertook other conduct in relation to these two videogame franchises that, under the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding], required prior approval from West and Zampella.”
It continues: “Activision did not inform West or Zampella of such plans or seek their input or approval for them. Indeed, while breaching the creative authority provisions of the MOU, Activision continued to pay lip-service to them, in an attempt to mask its secret development efforts.”
The MOU stated that West and Zampella’s bonuses were dependant upon their continued employment by Activision. It was also, the suit alleges, crucial in helping to secure the merger between Activision and Vivendi in 2008.
The trail is due to begin in May.

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