Activision targets EA in $400 million lawsuit

Dec 22, 2010

(AP) -- Activision Blizzard Inc., the video game maker behind the smash-hit shooter "Call of Duty: Black Ops," on Tuesday added a new target in its lawsuit against two former executives: rival Electronic Arts Inc. Activision also put a price tag on its claim for the first time, seeking $400 million.

The amended complaint filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court is the latest salvo in a legal shootout that began when Jason West and Vince Zampella sued for $36 million in March, claiming Activision fired them to avoid paying royalties for their work on the "Call of Duty" franchise.

Activision, owned by France's Vivendi SA, claims EA lured the men away, starting as early as July 2009, despite their having two years left on their contract, in part by using talent agency Creative Artists Agency as an intermediary. It alleges EA dispatched a private jet to Southern California to shuttle West and Zampella to a secret meeting at the home of EA's chief executive John Riccitiello near San Francisco in August 2009.

The two later formed Respawn Entertainment, hiring about 40 employees away from Activision. Respawn said in April it will create games exclusively for release by EA.

In the complaint, Activision alleges that EA intentionally interfered with contracts, engaged in unfair competition and aided and abetted breaches of fiduciary duty by the executives.

EA, which is based in Redwood City, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

West and Zampella did not directly work on the "Black Ops" , which Activision said Tuesday had exceeded $1 billion in . The men's unit at Activision, Infinity Ward, works on roughly every other game in the "Call of Duty" franchise with Activision subsidiary Treyarch.

Shares of Activision, which is based in Santa Monica, rose 10 cents to $12.33 in after-hours trading on Tuesday, after closing up 2 cents at $12.23. shares were unchanged in extended trading after closing up 8 cents at $15.93.

Explore further: BofA to refund Apple Pay customers charged twice

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fired Activision execs in games deal with rival EA

Apr 12, 2010

(AP) -- Two studio executives recently fired by Activision and accused of inappropriately meeting with a rival company said Monday that they will create games to be distributed exclusively by one such competitor, Electronic ...

Former studio heads sue Activision after firing

Mar 05, 2010

(AP) -- Two game studio heads fired by Activision this week are suing the video game publisher, saying it let them go to avoid paying hefty royalties from the popular "Call of Duty."

Infinity Ward execs leave Activision

Mar 02, 2010

(AP) -- Activision Blizzard Inc. said Tuesday that Jason West and Vince Zampella, executives at "Call of Duty" developer Infinity Ward, are no longer with the company.

Activision countersues 'Modern Warfare' execs

Apr 09, 2010

(AP) -- Two former studio heads overseeing last year's blockbuster video game "Modern Warfare 2" were fired for insubordination and trying to poach key employees from Activision, the gaming giant alleged ...

Activision in legal battle with game developers

Apr 29, 2010

Activision has a fight on its hands as developers behind "Modern Warfare" accuse the videogame publisher of holding them "hostage" to complete a new installment of the blockbuster franchise.

Recommended for you

Comcast wins more Internet customers, ad sales up

2 hours ago

Comcast Corp.'s third-quarter net income jumped 50 percent in the third quarter, helped by a one-time tax settlement, growth in Internet subscribers and fewer defectors from its cable service.

Netflix to stream new online TV series, 'Bloodline'

2 hours ago

Fresh from commercial and critical success with hit shows "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black," Netflix on Thursday announced a new online series, "Bloodline," set for release in March.

Yahoo CEO defends strategy in face of criticism

10 hours ago

Signaling her reign has reached a pivotal juncture, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is trying to convince restless shareholders that the long-struggling Internet company is heading in the right direction.

Sk Hynix logs all-time high Q3 earnings

11 hours ago

SK Hynix, the world's second-largest memory chip maker, reported Thursday a record high quarterly net profit for the three months to September on strong sales and currency earnings.

User comments : 0