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Activision vs EA, West, and Zampella set to last eight more months + New Interview with Mark Rubin

Smuff September 12, 2011 User blog:Smuff

It looks like we'll finally get to see the results of the West, Zampella, EA vs. Activision court case... Well, in eight months we will anyways. According to Joystiq, a judge has set a Los Angeles trial date of May 7, 2012, just one month before E3 2012.

"I’m really looking forward to having our day in Court."
— Vince Zampella, former president of Infinity Ward

For those of us who don't know, Jason West and Vince Zampella seek $125 million in unpaid royalties from the sales of blockbuster game Modern Warfare 2 and wish to reclaim their contractual rights to the Modern Warfare brand. Activision claims that they fired both developers in March 2010 for illegally consorting with EA, and has counter-sued West, Zampella and EA for $400 million, claiming that EA worked through the Creative Artists Agency to “hijack” West and Zampella from Infinity Ward.


Jason West and Vince Zampella, attempting to sue Activision for $125 million in unpayed loyalties, after both being fired by Activision.

Zampella and West collectively formed Respawn Entertainment in 2010 and now have over 60 employees, 40 of which are former employees of Infinity Ward itself. The independent game studio is working on a new franchise for rival publisher Electronic Arts, but unlike the Call of Duty IP, owned by Activision, Respawn solely owns the rights to the IP this time around.

The November 8th release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the first game Call of Duty game developed by Infinity Ward without West and Zampella, is expected to sell 25 million copies and generate over $1.2 billion for Activision, according to Michael Pachter, a somewhat unreliable video game analyst.

So, it looks like we may finally find out the results of this trial, however there still remains the oppertunity for both parties to settle out of court.

On another note, yet another interview with a developer from Infinity Ward has been released. British newspaper The Guardian recently interviewed Modern Warfare 3 producer Mark Rubin about the Call of Duty series. Being quite in-depth, the interview divulges into the game engine's mechanics to Infinity Ward's design ethic.


The full interview can be read on The Guardian's webiste, with links in the image and in the references section.

"There's nothing left in the engine from Quake any more. We've continued to re-write every section. We do a lot of re-writing the tools, re-writing lighting calculations. It doesn't sound very interesting. It's very iterative."
— Rubin


  1. Forbes - Activision Call of Duty Court Confrontation Set for May 7, 2012
  2. Joystiq - Infinity Ward's day in court: May 7, 2012
  3. The Guardian - Modern Warfare 3 interview: 'The hardest part is the stress'

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