'Call of Duty' Lawsuit: Fired Gamers Head to Trial

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on June 27, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The "Call of Duty" lawsuit is proceeding, now that a judge has ruled that game developers Jason West and Vincent Zampella have enough facts on their side to support their claims that they were defrauded by Activision.

West and Zampella are co-founders of Infinity Ward, one of the heads behind the military-themed video game. "Call of Duty" is one of Acitivision's most successful video game franchises, raking in more than $1 billion in sales over its history, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

West and Zampella are often credited for the games' success. They were terminated by Activision after an internal investigation by the company, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

According to the investigation, the two were fired for breaches of contract, insubordination and violations of company policy, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Members of rival game company Electronic Arts tried to convince West and Zampella to quit the company while they were still under contract with Activision - or at least so says the findings of the company investigation.

In response, Activision successfully brought in Electronic Arts as a codefendant in a countersuit, alleging tortious interference, unfair competition, and breaches of fiduciary duty, seeking $400 million in damages.

West and Zampella, however, have a different story. They claim that Activision promised them control over "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare," and increased income of over $50 million for Infinity Ward. The promises were made so that they would sign a new contract after "Modern Warfare" was released, reports USA Today.

They claim that Activision actually intended to fire both of them before any their promises could come to fruition.

Tortious interference is a claim that is often brought when one party alleges that another purposefully forces or induces someone to break a contract. The key here is that the interference with the contract must be intentional and improper - in this case, for a suit against Electronic Arts to succeed, it must be shown that Electronic Arts intentionally tried to get West and Zampella to break their contract.

For now, the "Call of Duty" lawsuit still rages on between Jason West, Vince Zampella, Activision, and Electronic Arts. Somewhere down the line, mistakes were made - at least by one of the parties. And now, a court will have to sort it all out.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard