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Author Topic: There's a Story Here, Somewhere.  (Read 61798 times)
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #35 on: March 02, 2010, 04:33:19 PM


schild
Administrator
Posts: 55041


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Reply #36 on: March 02, 2010, 04:47:45 PM

yeaaaaa.

100% sure Kotick made the worst decision ever here. Also, do your really not get to comment on HR issues when your stock is about to shit the bed?
Trippy
Administrator
Posts: 20401


Reply #37 on: March 02, 2010, 05:08:05 PM

It's the EA/Medal of Honor fiasco all over again awesome, for real
Dexter
Terracotta Army
Posts: 3


Reply #38 on: March 02, 2010, 05:21:48 PM

Didn't they just get rid of Tony Hawk and most of Guitar Hero like 2 weeks ago?

Radical Entertainment (Prototype, Scarface, Hulk: Ultimate Destruction) - fired over 90 employees (half of the staff),
Luxoflux (True Crime, Kung Fu Panda, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) - shut down,
Neversoft (Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, Spider-Man) - fired over 50 employees,
RedOctane (Guitar Hero and Plastic Instruments) - shut down,
Underground Development (Guitar Hero: Van Halen, BMX XXX, Freestyle BMX, X-Men) - shut down

http://kotaku.com/5469802/prototype-developer-radical-cut-in-half
http://kotaku.com/5469858/activision-takes-axe-to-guitar-heros-neversoft-shuts-down-luxoflux
http://kotaku.com/5470149/activision-shutters-guitar-hero-creators-gh-van-halen-developers

And weren't they resistant against new IPs e.g. laying off stuff like Brutal Legend, Ghostbusters, Wet etc.

What are they supposed to be running on after their Call of Duty goldmine is empty?
LK
Terracotta Army
Posts: 4268


Reply #39 on: March 02, 2010, 05:22:16 PM

Sounds like I got plenty of time to 10th prestige before the next MW hits.

"Then there's the double-barreled shotgun from Doom 2 - no-one within your entire household could be of any doubt that it's been fired because it sounds like God slamming a door on his fingers." - Yahtzee Croshaw
schild
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Reply #40 on: March 02, 2010, 05:23:40 PM

If Kotick shuts down everything except blizzard, he'll get nothing but richer.
Lt.Dan
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Reply #41 on: March 02, 2010, 05:41:51 PM

Gross insubordination = talking to another publisher while still under contract with the current guys....
RUiN 427
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Reply #42 on: March 02, 2010, 05:49:06 PM

My guess is that it was more of a "over our dead bodies" kind of thing.

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sinij
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Reply #43 on: March 02, 2010, 06:02:58 PM

Going for maximum damage, can they insist to be dead bodies?

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
Strazos
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Reply #44 on: March 02, 2010, 08:33:27 PM

Reading some of this stuff just confirms I made the right decision in not giving a shit about Call of Duty.

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Jobu
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Lord Buttrot


Reply #45 on: March 03, 2010, 02:09:55 AM

Ugh, I can't help but feel terrible for the rank and file of that company right now. They must be confused and borderline terrified. No one is going to be posting screenshots of their facebook pages if they get canned.
Xuri
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Reply #46 on: March 03, 2010, 03:39:18 AM

What are they supposed to be running on after their Call of Duty goldmine is empty?
Facebook-games, of course!  awesome, for real

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Azazel
Contributor
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Reply #47 on: March 03, 2010, 04:43:07 AM

Ugh, I can't help but feel terrible for the rank and file of that company right now. They must be confused and borderline terrified. No one is going to be posting screenshots of their facebook pages if they get canned.

Meh, I'm sure most of them will be hired by Zampella and West's new startup developer in a few months time to work on a new console-centric modern black ops FPS shooter IP without dedicated servers or lean.

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UnSub
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Reply #48 on: March 03, 2010, 09:06:58 AM

If IW's West and Zampella are fired for "insubordination", are there some special kind of anti-competitive / incredibly punitive things that Activision can hit them with? Because it's an odd thing to mention specifically.

Might be specific to their contract, of course, but it is odd phrasing imo.

schild
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Reply #49 on: March 03, 2010, 10:21:16 AM

They either found a way to pull their entire contract and strip them of shares and any revenue sharing or the exact opposite. I imagine there's no middle ground there.
Murgos
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Reply #50 on: March 03, 2010, 01:09:48 PM

"Hay guyz, we're responsible for about 1/3rd of your entire income for 2009.  How about you halp us get a little bit more of the action?"

"YOU'RE FIRED!"

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Reply #51 on: March 03, 2010, 09:07:03 PM

With those comments that royalties aren't paid by Activision to studios until the quarter following release, it is very possible that kicking West and Zampella out now sees them get zero dollars from MW2 sales.

If that's the case: epic bastardry.

schild
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Reply #52 on: March 03, 2010, 09:07:50 PM

Quote
it is very possible that kicking West and Zampella out now sees them get zero dollars from MW2 sales.

That's what I've been saying.
Falwell
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Reply #53 on: March 03, 2010, 11:55:24 PM

With those comments that royalties aren't paid by Activision to studios until the quarter following release, it is very possible that kicking West and Zampella out now sees them get zero dollars from MW2 sales.

If that's the case: epic bastardry.

That's the story Zampella and West are going with it appears.
LK
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Reply #54 on: March 04, 2010, 01:23:25 AM

That is going to get real ugly if they win. Activision without Call of Duty? Wow.

I hope they don't settle.

"Then there's the double-barreled shotgun from Doom 2 - no-one within your entire household could be of any doubt that it's been fired because it sounds like God slamming a door on his fingers." - Yahtzee Croshaw
taolurker
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Reply #55 on: March 04, 2010, 07:17:43 AM

That is going to get real ugly if they win. Activision without Call of Duty? Wow.

I hope they don't settle.

I believe IW would only be going after the MW part of CoD, or maybe only their share of royalties, tech and assets. Activision already has a different dev (Treyarch) working on CoD in a different scope.

I also think IW would want to retain ownership of the FPS IP they were designing under contract, because them being removed the way they were would be Activision taking that over as well.

IW not getting royalties is something that we want Activision to get sued about and lose, otherwise no developer will feel comfortable about getting paid for their work.

What I really want to know is what the claims of "insubordination" and "breach of contract" actually are, and if they will hold up in court.

I think it only just started to get messy.


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01101010
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You call it an accident. I call it justice.


Reply #56 on: March 04, 2010, 07:28:57 AM

Wow. The more I read this prime time soap opera, the more I am invested. Nice to see corporate greed playing out here, and so transparent thus far. Its very awe inspiring, make truck loads of money off someone's project and then turn around and find any loophole to get out of paying him/her for their project? Fantastic!

What I can see happening is they settle for less than what they could have got because of some dumb ass drunk phone call to the wrong person one night. Either way, prepare the mouthwash because this is going to be bitter, no matter the outcome.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
Yegolev
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Reply #57 on: March 04, 2010, 08:11:53 AM

Yea, because rampant insubordination is something worth chasing down when they have the best selling game of the year and their employees like them.

As a card-carrying corporate stooge, believe me when I say that you cannot underestimate the egos of executives.  Public opinion of the brand is a driving force of stock price, and stock price is how executives/directors get paid.

Edit: This whole thing strikes me as a way to get shares of stock back without having to buy them. I'd love to be a fly on the wall, but honestly - you own Infinity Ward? Give them money and let them do their thing.

Or their greed.  Large companies don't just let their business units do what they do best.  First of all, there is always some douchebag on the board that wants to know if they can do anything to improve the stock.  This task falls on executives.  Secondly, even in good times someone on the board will wonder why they are paying those executives so much money and are they really doing anything to earn it.  This leads us to the axiom that leadership is always fucking around with initiatives and manifestos and workforce streamlining and "bestshoring".

The term "bestshore" recently entered my vocabulary, and I don't care for it.  It's like The Simpsons episode where Marge gets into real estate and she is told that the company's motto of "The Right House for the Right Person" means "the house you are selling" and "anyone".

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Sky
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Reply #58 on: March 04, 2010, 08:21:13 AM

Public opinion of the brand is a driving force of stock price, and stock price is how executives/directors get paid.
At the risk of skirting 'that subforum', this is really one of the biggest problems america is facing.

Yegolev
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Reply #59 on: March 04, 2010, 08:37:31 AM

This topic is skirting, if you ask me, so I say it's fair game.

The drama here is possibly due to self-motivated men not being interested in being subsumed into a typical corporate entity.  For me, none of this is shocking.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Murgos
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Reply #60 on: March 04, 2010, 09:16:35 AM

What I really want to know is what the claims of "insubordination" and "breach of contract" actually are, and if they will hold up in court.

What was alluded to in one of the linked articles (I think the gamasutra one) was that IW had as part of their contract that they could develop an independent title for which they would receive most of the profits after they completed COD:MW2.

I think that the insubordination and breach of contract come into play in that IW wanted to exercise that option for their new IP while their name was golden and Activision mgmt told them to do COD:MW3 right the fuck now and IW declined.

If so, then any legal case comes down to who can interpret the timing of what the 'after MW2' part of the contract really meant and whether they were obligated to put future development for Activision ahead of their own interests.  That this also allows Activision to attempt to refuse payment to the IW executives is probably just the reason for the quickness of the action rather than the reason for the action itself.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
LK
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Reply #61 on: March 04, 2010, 11:41:00 AM

Continuing a trend...


"Then there's the double-barreled shotgun from Doom 2 - no-one within your entire household could be of any doubt that it's been fired because it sounds like God slamming a door on his fingers." - Yahtzee Croshaw
taolurker
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Reply #62 on: March 04, 2010, 12:08:16 PM



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Jobu
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Reply #63 on: March 04, 2010, 01:00:50 PM


This thing is riveting! And terrifying!

I hope they don't settle, so that we can keep getting all the gory details from public court records.

What are the odds of this leaking out into the normal media? Like news on CNN or the New York Times? There's a lot of executive anger out there, this could play right into that pretty easily I think. Suddenly Kotick is having to deal with being grouped into the same categories as Wall Street executives... I bet he wouldn't like that, or the attention it brings to his company.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 01:16:39 PM by Jobu »
LK
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Reply #64 on: March 04, 2010, 01:40:55 PM

Gee-zus Christ.

Fuck.

These are some pretty bad allegations. If it weren't for West and Zampella maintaining creative control of post-Vietnam Call of Duty titles, Activision could just pay them off and snatch up the CoD brand. This probably explains why Treyarch's CoD is in Vietnam. West and Zampella had the keys.

"Then there's the double-barreled shotgun from Doom 2 - no-one within your entire household could be of any doubt that it's been fired because it sounds like God slamming a door on his fingers." - Yahtzee Croshaw
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #65 on: March 04, 2010, 02:15:55 PM

This is pretty amazing, what's the chances of Activision getting away with it?
Rendakor
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Reply #66 on: March 04, 2010, 02:57:56 PM

Link is tl;dr, and I also don't speak lawyer. Anyone care to give a summary of the allegations?

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Velorath
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Reply #67 on: March 04, 2010, 02:58:57 PM

Activision's response:

Quote
Activision has now issued their first public statement about the lawsuit filed yesterday by the former heads of Infinity Ward, CTO Jason West and president Vince Zampella. The statement is below:

"Activision is disappointed that Mr. Zampella and Mr. West have chosen to file a lawsuit, and believes their claims are meritless," said an Activision spokesperson. "Over eight years, Activision shareholders provided these executives with the capital they needed to start Infinity Ward, as well as the financial support, resources and creative independence that helped them flourish and achieve enormous professional success and personal wealth."

"In return," the statement continues, "Activision legitimately expected them to honor their obligations to Activision, just like any other executive who holds a position of trust in the company. While the company showed enormous patience, it firmly believes that its decision was justified based on their course of conduct and actions." Activision remains committed to the Call of Duty franchise, which it owns, and will continue to produce exciting and innovative games for its millions of fans."

This comes on the heels of news that Activision is currently seeking internal documents linking West and Zampella to Electronic Arts and the possible creation of a studio outside of Activision.


And here is the EA stuff that article mentions.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 03:01:18 PM by Velorath »
Margalis
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Reply #68 on: March 05, 2010, 12:39:36 AM

Link is tl;dr, and I also don't speak lawyer. Anyone care to give a summary of the allegations?

Honestly the court filing is pretty useless without the attached material. From reading just the filing itself there's no way of telling what the agreements were or who owns what. The status of Infinity Ward as an entity is very unclear.

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IainC
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Reply #69 on: March 05, 2010, 03:18:56 AM

That filing reads more like a press release for the media and gamers rather than a legal document for lawyers to argue over.

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