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Treyarch’s Black Ops II marks the first outing of a main series Call of Duty into the 21st century, but with that could it also bring a potential lawsuit? When the monolithic (yet so far unseen) Jason West, et al. vs. Activision Publishing, Inc. case was first lain out, a specific clause stated that Call of Duty titles set after Vietnam would be exclusive to Infinity Ward. In documents released by Westpella and gathered by Game Informer, one particular excerpt of Infinity Ward's MOU, dated March 13th 2008, reads:

The highlighted exert clearly states that the original developer of both the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare IPs owns the development rights to all post-Vietnam games, which would encompass anything from the 1980s (say, Operation Desert Storm, right through to the year 6384, a timespan Black Ops II's setting falls in.

The problem here is that Black Ops II has already been announced, teased and looks to be almost complete; by this stage of the development cycle it would be far too late, and costly, for Activision to order Treyarch to overhaul the game. Treyarch and Infinity Ward haven't always had the best relationship (Vanderhaar was seen openly bagging on Modern Warfare 3 at launch over Twitter), so odds are Activision, and by extension Treyarch, may end up having to pay royalties to Infinity Ward.

Of course, this is just an extension to the intricate spiderweb that is the Jason West, et al. vs. Activision Publishing, Inc. case, so it still remains to be seen what may happen.

More information can be seen in the links below.


  1. Game Informer - Could Black Ops II's Setting Land Activision In Legal Trouble?
  2. Gamedynamo - Are Treyarch and Activision bypassing Infinity Ward with Black Ops II's futuristic setting?

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ADDENDUM: Normal rules are in effect kids. IW vs. 3arc flamewars and baiting will be removed on sight. 9G3sis0.pngRaven's wing Talk21:47, May 8, 2012 (UTC)

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