Activision’s court case with Jason West and Vince Zampella, former employees and now founders of Infinity Ward, has been delayed recently from May 7 to May 29.
After leaving Infinity Ward and Activision to form their new studio Respawn, West and Zampella claimed that Activision owed them $125 million in unpaid royalties. They also hoped to acquire the rights to Modern Warfare.
A counter-suit by Activision has also been in the mix which specifically targets EA, who is set to publish Respawn’s first title. The counter-suit alleges that EA conspired with West and Zampella as well as stole numerous Activision employees, following over forty employees of Infinity Ward leaving with West and Zampella to form Respawn.
Analysis: With Silicon Knights and Epic Games also meeting in court on May 14, it would appear that May is going to be very important on the legal side of the games industry. We’ve previously covered the ongoing events between the two parties, specifically when one of the two fraud claims by West and Zampella was dismissed. The delay by Activision is just another chapter in a rather long, drawn out break up.
The move to delay the meeting comes as no real surprise to me and simply looks like the publisher is stalling for time, watching and waiting for West and Zampella to run out of money. I don’t see this tactic working forever; sooner or later, the two parties will have to meet, and Activision knows this. But in a case that’s this big, where both parties will be greatly affected one way or the other, I’d expect Activision to delay some of the process.
Really at this point, I’m just looking forward to the case actually being over. With the beginning of a resolution at least appearing to be on the horizon, my wishes may be answered sooner rather than later. Either way the case goes, I hope both parties can simply move on from each other and continue working on their respective parts of the gaming business.