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$400m Activision versus EA lawsuit gets go ahead

Judge upholds three of four complaints as Activision goes after Zampella and West

Activision will be allowed to go ahead with three of its four legal claims against rival Electronic Arts, with up to $400 million at stake over the actions of Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella.

Without ruling on the merits of the case, California Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle agreed that Activision had provided enough evidence for the lawsuit to continue, according to a Bloomberg report. The trial is now provisionally scheduled for May.

Activision accuses EA of helping West and Zampella to breach their contract and that EA received confidential information from the pair.

Activision accuses EA of helping West and Zampella to breach their contract and that EA received confidential information from the pair

The claims were originally filed by Activision as a counter to West and Zampella's own $36 million lawsuit against Activision, which claimed they had been sacked purely to avoid making royalty payments on Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

38 other ex-Infinity Ward employees also added themselves as plaintiffs, accusing Activision of holding them "hostage" by withholding agreed payments until the completion of Modern Warfare 3 (thought to be due for release this year).

EA was added to Activision's lawsuit in December, when Activision accused its publishing rival of unlawful conduct "at the highest levels". EA's attempts to have the suit dismissed on a lack of evidence have so far failed.

Activision though insists that, "Electronic Arts conspired with two former senior Activision executives [West and Zampella] to derail Activision's Call of Duty franchise, disrupt its Infinity Ward development studio, and inflict serious harm on the company."

West and Zempella did subsequently set-up new development studio Respawn Entertainment with the help of EA Partners. The studio has yet to reveal its first game.

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David Jenkins

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