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From Kotick's Unbridled Greed to Bungie's Devotion - News Roundup 5th March 2010

Jonathan Lester
Activision, Bungie, Infinity Ward, Japan, Jason West, lawsuit, PSP, Vince Zampella

PSP Still #1 in Japan

From Kotick's Unbridled Greed to Bungie's Devotion - News Roundup 5th March 2010

The Japanese Market has always been traditionally dominated by Nintendo, but it's great to see the Sony PSP get a solid and sustained foothold in the land of the rising sun (not unlike a tiny Godzilla). According to VG247 and VGChartz, the Sony handheld is currently leading in terms of hardware sales thanks to the release of God Eater, Kingdom Hearts and Monster Hunter- and is currently shifting more units than the Wii. Note, however, that the different models of DS count as separate consoles.

[Don't take our word for it. See the full list at VG247]

It's also interesting to see that DSi XL is selling like hot cakes... or cold sushi? It'll be interesting to see how the incremental upgrade fares on British shores.

Activision's "Unbridled Greed"- New Lawsuit Details

From Kotick's Unbridled Greed to Bungie's Devotion - News Roundup 5th March 2010

Wow, I bet you're getting bored of the constant coverage everyone's giving to the developing Jason West vs Activison snafu. However, I also know that we all love a bit of scandal, so here's the latest news on the lawsuit that the two ousted devs are bringing to bear on Kotick's unpopular publishing behemoth. The entire court document is free to view at IGN, by the way. [via Gamesindustry.biz]

Lawsuit accuses Activison of "Arrogance and Greed"

In no uncertain terms, the legal document accuses Activion of "astonishing arrogance and unbridled greed". Strong words, but they're echoed by millions of gamers worldwide.

Note that the document also sheds new light on the nature of the alleged "Insubordination" carried out by the pair. Apparently,

"Activision forced Infinity Ward's employees to continue producing the games at a breakneck pace under aggressive schedules, and West and Zampella were concerned that Activision was emphasising quantity over quality.

West and Zampella were not eager to extend their employment; especially as they watched their games make Activision billions of dollars, while many Infinity Ward employees were not being provided a fair share."

There are two sides to every story, but it's interesting to see that the two developers may have criticised Activision's aggressive sequel milking policies- and been crushed accordingly.

West and Zampella may retain Power to veto

This is a big one. The terms of the lawsuit may, if successful, grant West and Zampella creative control over the Modern Warfare franchise- even though they won't be employed by Activison! Videogame legal expert Jas Purewal explains:

"This is potentially explosive: West and Zampella are arguing they have contractual creative control over the Modern Warfare brand.

The short-term prognosis at this very early stage does not look good... unless [they] can get rid of the lawsuit quickly, Activision faces lingering legal doubt as to whether West and Zampella retain creative control over Modern Warfare.  And, worst of all, this will mean the industry watching very carefully what it does next and how it relates with developers in the future."

It may even be possible for West and Zampella to secure an injunction against Activision, essentially tying up future MW development until this is sorted out. Activision's legal team will need to work quickly to avoid massive investor panic.

What are your thoughts on the West/Zampella vs Activision situation? Is it fair? Do you care? Have your say in the comments!

Bungie Rewards Halo 2 Faithful

From Kotick's Unbridled Greed to Bungie's Devotion - News Roundup 5th March 2010

Server culls are an unfortunate part of life. It's sad when they happen, but sooner or later every game loses its online support. Usually it's preceded by a simple warning and inglorious deactivation- so it's fantastic to see a developer and publisher reward their veteran fanbase for their faithful service before the big switch off.

Bungie are rewarding the few stalwart players who've invested years of online play into Halo 2 (Microsoft's first true Xbox Live breakout success) with a cavalcade of goodies. They'll each receive 3 free months of Xbox Live gold, 400 Microsoft points and a free Halo Reach Beta Key. No Recon, but hey, I'd take roughly £20 worth of goodies any day. Before you ask, the 'faithful' have already been informed via email- if you don't already know, you're not one of them.

We <3 Bungie. And Bungie <3 us. Which makes us all very happy indeed. [via Kotaku]

Add a comment 1 comment
Bullet  Mar. 5, 2010 at 21:56

Anthing that gets developrs taking there time on a franchise and making it the best it can be rather than a rushed out piece of crap has got to worth there day in court.

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