Date Set For Round 1
It's been all quiet regarding the Infinity Ward vs Activision lawsuit since the new year thanks to lawyers and PR firms closing ranks, but a new ruling from a Californian Judge has now allowed Activision's countersuit against EA to move forward. According to Acti, EA are guilty of multiple charges of contract interference, and we've got the full details of the sorry situation below.
Either way, Infinity Ward aren't going to be getting their bonuses any time soon. This is an entirely different case - and it's EA who will be answering the charges.
As you're probably aware, ex-Infinity Ward creatives Jason West and Vince Zampella filed a suit against Activision after their shock dismissal last year, claiming that Modern Warfare 2 bonuses (valued at $36 million for the pair alone) were illegally witheld from the company. However, Activision were quick to file a countersuit against EA, who allegedly gained confidential information from Infinity Ward heads and caused them to grievously breach their contracts.
After unsuccessfully attempting to mitigate this countersuit on the grounds of financial hardship, EA and Respawn Entertainment will have to answer charges and potentially pay damages of $400 million if the judge rules in their favour. A new ruling has set the court date for May, and it will be very interesting to see what transpires. It's very possible that this suit could be modified into a full-blown injunction against Respawn Entertainment that will stop them releasing a game until the legalities blow over.
EA have accused Activision of failing to provide sufficient (or any) evidence about their involvement in West and Zampella's alleged contract interference, and calls the countersuit "only a conclusionary allegation." [Bloomberg]
We'll keep you posted... and we'd love to get your take on the messy and embarrassing situation.