July 10, 2010

Activision’s Modern Warfare

Late yesterday Kotaku reported that the Activision/Infinity Ward law suit will finally be heard in court on May 23rd 2011. That will be over one year after the incident happened in which Frank Zampella and Jason West were fired from their postions at the development studio they created. It will also be two weeks be for next years E3 so it will be interesting what Activision  brings to the show next year. Since that fateful day back in March, West and Zampella have moved on an created Respawn Entertainment, which has signed with EA partners, Activsions biggest competitor. Also since then more than 40 employees have also left Infinity Ward either going on to Respawn Entertainment or reaching out to other ventures.

During the investigations remaining employees have said that Activision has kept IW in a “police state”. That’s hardly the type of enviroment to be creative in. The legal matters are broken up into several suits. West and Zampella are suing Activision for 36 million in unpaid royalties, and Activision has a counter suit against that claiming they were insuborant and breach of contract. The former employees have filed suit for 216 million in unpaid royalties. The IW employees tried going to CFO Thomas Tippl and when approched he just stated “get over it”. 216 million is a little hard to get over, especially when you create on of the most successful game franchises and put 2 years of hard work into that product. 

I have bought 2 Activision games this year and feel guilty already for funding a company that is out to destroy creativity and looks solely at the bottom dollar. CEO Bobby Kotick reads the game industry as a spread sheet looking for his next big money maker, which is why I fear for Bungie. I know Bungie needed a large bank roll for their next project but I fear some how Activision will get their hands on the IP and choke it to death just how they did with Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises. In the middle of all of this drama is Treyarch trying to finish Call of Duty: Black Ops, which takes several cues from Modern Warfare 2. We’ll see how this game turns out and how well it is recieved by critics and comsumers alike.


  1. DianaQ - July 12, 2010 7:02 pm

    Thank you for bringing to light what is happening and I also agree that it would be a positive step in the right direction if the IW employees win. It would send a distinctive message to the company. Also, by making the consumer aware of what is happening, better decisions can be made.

  2. ScrotusKilmystr - July 11, 2010 12:31 pm

    It’s a shame that activision has saccumbed to this mentality since they were one of the few companies to survive the same mentality that destroyed the industry back in the 80’s! No one want s to see another ET video game but I fear we are on the brink again of a total crap game overload!

  3. thsoundman - July 11, 2010 10:49 am

    Unfortunatly this is common practice with these “megacompanies” all they care about is making billions not making a “good” products. I really do hope the courts side with the former IW employees this would really put strain on activision. I actually hope it destroys them to be honest.

    The worst part of all of it is that consumers are brainwashed into buying something just because it has “Moderen Warfare” on the tag and anything that is released with that tag will be bought. I really wish consumers would see how these game companies view them. Sadly I fear they never will.

    Eventually greed collapses in on itself and when it does on Activision I will be here smiling. I just feel bad for the employees who are going to get screwed in the process.

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