Activision: West & Zampella Blocked IW Bonuses!
Only yesterday, we were moaning that we hadn't heard anything from the ongoing lawsuit between Activision and the disgruntled ex-Infinity Ward creatives West and Zampella. However, the full shocking details of Activision's countersuit against EA and the ex-Infinity Ward developers have now emerged. The brief alleges that "emboldened by their secret alliance with Electronic Arts, [West and Zampella] refused to adhere to even the minimal standards of behavior required of any employee or executive." Specifically, they reportedly refused to work with Treyarch and instigated a rivalry between the two studios (which may have just been some friendly competition).
Here's where things really start to get interesting. Activision also accuses West and Zampella of withholding the names of Infinity Ward employees who were due bonuses in order to make them more likely to defect! To avoid any confusion, here's the allegation in full.
In order to make it unlikely that these employees of Activision's Infinity Ward studio would remain with Activision, West and Zampella attempted to block those employees from receiving significant equity grants and/or other compensation, suggesting instead that Activision provide the additional compensation to West and Zampella alone, not to the many valued employees to whom Activision was offering this extra compensation.
Yikes, we're not touching that one. We'd love to get your take on it though! [CVG]
EA, the co-defendant, has responded to the claims; calling them "petty" and a "deliberate misdirection." [CVG]
As always, these are one-sided allegations that need to be digested with a little context and a huge scoop of salt. Looking back through the available evidence and arguments, it does seem possible that West & Zampella were in breach of contract... which still didn't give Activision the right to impose untold misery and withhold bonuses from their hardworking studio. Discuss.
LittleBigPlanet 2 Dated
Hurrah! After bemoaning the delays that pushed LittleBigPlanet 2 back into 2011, we've finally got a date for your calendars. Media Molecule's latest edit-em-up will be hitting the shelves on the 21st of January. A story mode will also be going live on PSN tomorrow that will let us try out a few of Sackboy's nifty new gadgets. [PS Blog]
Why not check out our developer walkthrough?
Zelda: Skyward Sword Is Half Complete
The Wii needs more Zelda. We need more Zelda. The long-awaited Zelda: Skyward Sword was finally unveiled during Nintendo's presser at this year's E3 and slated for an "early 2011" release... but the latest reports suggest that might be a little optimistic.
In an interview with Pocket-Lint, Ninty Guru Shigeru Miyamoto states that Skyward Sword is "over half complete"... which unfortunately means that there's a lot more to do when translated it into devspeak. A playable demo build is up and running- but we reckon that Nintendo will have their work cut out to deliver by "early 2011" - but to be honest, we'll wait as long as we have to.
Apparently Skyward Sword will feature "dense" gameplay with plenty of new mechanics and a storybook graphical style. In the meantime, Matt's super-detailed super-awesome preview should help whet your appetite.