Yesterday it came to light that Infinity Ward founders and studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West had had an altercation with their publisher Activision. The details of the disagreement remain sketchy, but the end result was that the two were dismissed on the grounds of insubordination.
The two seem intent on standing up to the publishing giant, and have filed a lawsuit against Activision citing them for breaching of contract, as well as other related claims.
The lawsuit claims that Activision were supposed to pay West and Zampella “substantial royalty payments”, but fired them before the transactions took place.
“Instead of thanking, lauding, or just plain paying Jason and Vince for giving Activision the most successful entertainment product ever offered to the public,” attorney Robert Schwartz said, “last month Activision hired lawyers to conduct a pretextual ‘investigation’ into unstated and unsubstantiated charges of ‘insubordination’ and ‘breach of fiduciary duty,’ which then became the grounds for their termination on Monday, March 1st.”
Apart from aiming to extract their supposedly due royalty fees, the duo are also intent on reclaiming the Modern Warfare brand, which is now in itself worth millions (billions even, maybe).
The fallout has been met with an unusually positive response from gamers. In the context of the past year of everything Modern Warfare, as well as the growing perception that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is the Joseph Stalin of the video game industry, it is no surprise that gamers are rooting for West and Zampela, both of whom played a critical creative role in designing both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, as well as its sequel Modern Warfare 2 which went on to become the fastest selling piece of entertainment media ever.
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