April 13, 2010

Fired Activision Employees In Talks With EA

On Monday, two studio executives that were fired by Activision and accused of inappropriately meeting with a rival company said that they would create games to be distributed exclusively by Electronic Arts Inc., according to the Associated Press (AP).

Jason West and Vince Zampella have formed Respawn Entertainment, a development studio, and its games will be published and distributed by EA. West and Zampella will own the intellectual property they create. 

The two sued Activision Blizzard Inc. for over $36 million in March, saying that Activision fired them to avoid paying hefty royalties for their work on the "Call of Duty" franchise.

The latest Call of Duty title has brought in over $1 billion in sales after breaking entertainment industry records at its launch last fall.

Activision filed a countersuit against West and Zampella last week claiming they were fired for good cause for insubordination and for attempts to poach key employees from the company.  Activision said that the two met with a key gaming rival, which violates their employment contract.

The lawsuit states that the rival flew both to Northern California, where Electronic Arts is based.

Robert M. Schwartz, West and Zampella's attorney, said on Friday the countersuit's claims are "false and outrageous."

Financial terms of the deal with EA were not disclosed.


On the Net: