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Author Topic: There's a Story Here, Somewhere.  (Read 63468 times)
Margalis
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Reply #70 on: March 05, 2010, 04:27:00 AM

Pretty much.

It's basically MW2 made lots of money and we're talented and cool guys - after all we've done for Activision how could they treat us like this?

It sure is awesome that MW2 sold a bajillion copies but I'm not sure how that's at all relevant.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Nazrat
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Posts: 380


Reply #71 on: March 05, 2010, 06:26:13 AM

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

That is the purpose of a good petition.  The first document filed should read like a good story as it is the one that will be quoted by the news sources and will be the first story to the public. 

All that is legally required of the first document filed is to outline the basic legal claims being made and the facts that support those claims. 

If you don't agree with the petitioner in their first document, then they will lose badly in the case as this is their best chance to tell their story.  Every other document will be in response to this one. 

I would love to see the attachments but they will likely have their request for protective order granted for them. 

The petition is strong overall but, you will note that it fails to list the "baseless" facts regarding their behavior.  I am guessing that Activision will be slightly more specific in their answer. 

KallDrexx
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Reply #72 on: March 05, 2010, 07:31:09 AM

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

That doesn't make it invalid though.  IIRC, the legal documents for that Glenn Beck domain case pretty much read the same way, with as much hilarity.
IainC
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Reply #73 on: March 05, 2010, 07:37:38 AM

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

That doesn't make it invalid though.  IIRC, the legal documents for that Glenn Beck domain case pretty much read the same way, with as much hilarity.

I'm not saying that it's invalid, merely that its intended audience is clearly wider than the court.

- And in stranger Iains, even Death may die -

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Murgos
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Reply #74 on: March 05, 2010, 09:30:22 AM

I don't know, I'm obviously not a lawyer but I would think the whole point of this kind of a case is simply, "We made LOTS of money for Activision and they refused to give us any of it and here is why we think they are supposed to."

It's not a criminal trial, I don't think there is some fine point of law under contention here.  It really is as simple as "Mr. Judge we made them 3 Billion and they owe us 36 million, see here is a paper saying they do.  Don't you agree?"

"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
KallDrexx
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Reply #75 on: March 05, 2010, 10:42:51 AM

Law suits are civil matters, not criminal.  So yeah, that's pretty much it with the added "they fired us so they didn't have to pay us" parts.
IainC
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Reply #76 on: March 05, 2010, 11:08:31 AM

It's important because this is news now and gamers/game journalists are paying attention. In 18 months or so when the lawsuits are settled and the verdicts are in, no-one will care as much and most people probably won't even remember who West and Zampella are. What the court decides is true at that point is far less important to popular opinion than the PR salvoes fired off by both sides right now. If one side wins in the court of the media today, the legal case becomes largely irrelevant.

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LK
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Posts: 4268


Reply #77 on: March 05, 2010, 11:34:44 AM

I think people will care if this delays / nixes DLC for MW2. Even patching the game could fall under development of a post-Vietnam Call of Duty depending on the terms of the agreement.

Then again if they're confident they could win, then they'd want MW2 stuff to be produced during the trial period so they can collect royalties?

"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
Murgos
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Reply #78 on: March 05, 2010, 02:57:05 PM

If one side wins in the court of the media today, the legal case becomes largely irrelevant.

I doubt if anyone ever thinks $36m (+ damages) is irrelevant.  Being morally right in the court of public opinion seems to be fairly meaningless in this case.  The only thing that would help them there is if they are actively trying to start a new studio but given that they are potentially legally encumbered at the moment I don't see any one lending them that kind of cash.

Now, if all the media hoopla influences the judge that would be nice for the plaintiffs but it would mean it's a pretty shitty judge.

"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
Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #79 on: March 05, 2010, 05:29:59 PM

I agree with Margalis more on this.  The IW guys need a contract and prove it was not honored.  At least something on paper saying they are formally owed.  Otherwise it's just BS.
Montague
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Reply #80 on: March 05, 2010, 10:55:37 PM

I agree with Margalis more on this.  The IW guys need a contract and prove it was not honored.  At least something on paper saying they are formally owed.  Otherwise it's just BS.

There is a contract, it states so in the complaint.

Lum linked a blog in his Borken Toys post that had an interesting take, saying that the IW guys refused to speak to almost everyone from Activision during development of MW2. Antagonizing your parent company isn't very smart, contract or no.

When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross - Sinclair Lewis.

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amiable
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Reply #81 on: March 09, 2010, 07:13:57 AM

There is a copy of the more interesting parts of the complaint up at Above The Law.  You rarely see complaints drafted in such an informal (and over the top manner).  But it makes for good reading. 

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/03/lawsuit_of_the_day_activision.php
Surlyboi
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eat a bag of dicks


Reply #82 on: March 19, 2010, 10:56:34 AM

OTOH, perhaps they just weren't balanced for lean.

What you did there, I see it.

As for your assessment of executives, Schild, it's closer to 99%.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
LK
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Reply #83 on: March 19, 2010, 02:38:51 PM

Now the wait begins.

"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
Azazel
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Reply #84 on: March 27, 2010, 03:00:38 AM

OTOH, perhaps they just weren't balanced for lean.

What you did there, I see it.

As for your assessment of executives, Schild, it's closer to 99%.

wow, nice bump. well played.

http://azazelx.wordpress.com/ - My Miniatures and Hobby Blog.
stu
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Posts: 1891


Reply #85 on: April 12, 2010, 11:55:55 AM

So, following an Activision countersuit from a few days ago, West & Zampella have formed Respawn Entertainment, in a partnership with EA.

Gamasutra: West, Zampella Form Respawn Entertainment, Reveal EA Deal


Quote
Gamasutra sources have said that going independent has long been a desire of West and Zampella's, and that a contentious relationship between Infinity Ward and its publisher has existed since the beginning of Modern Warfare 2's development, with the studio's desired original IP project coming into conflict with Activision's production schedule for Modern Warfare games.

Activision's counter-suit now aims to withhold future payments to West and Zampella to compensate itself for a "period of [the pair's] disloyalty". The publisher also wants damages.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 11:58:24 AM by stu »

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Murgos
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Reply #86 on: April 12, 2010, 12:26:44 PM

Quote
... to compensate itself for a "period of [the pair's] disloyalty".


I'm thought indentured servitude was outlawed along with slavery?

"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
Rendakor
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Reply #87 on: April 13, 2010, 11:48:04 AM

Quote
going independent has long been a desire of West and Zampella's
Quote
open a new studio, hire a great team, and create brand new games with a new partner, EA
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schild
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Reply #88 on: April 13, 2010, 01:51:32 PM

Quote
going independent has long been a desire of West and Zampella's
Quote
open a new studio, hire a great team, and create brand new games with a new partner, EA
swamp poop
Leaving Activision for EA is a win these days.
Ard
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Reply #89 on: April 13, 2010, 02:20:04 PM

Leaving Activision for time in a soup kitchen is apparently a win these days.  I'm not sure how Activision even still has any developers working for them after this fiasco.
Dexter
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Reply #90 on: April 13, 2010, 03:04:58 PM

Leaving Activision for time in a soup kitchen is apparently a win these days.  I'm not sure how Activision even still has any developers working for them after this fiasco.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6257753.html

Quote
Perhaps the most significant of the recent round of departures is design lead Mackey McCandlish, who has been with Infinity Ward since the first Call of Duty shipped in 2003. McCandlish revealed his departure via Twitter. "Thanks idub, we had a great 8+ year run going there. Thanks for lunch everyone!" the developer's farewell tweet reads.

McCandlish is the second design lead to part ways with Infinity Ward this month. Last week, multiplayer design lead Todd Aldermann and lead software engineer Francesco Gigliotti, revealed through their LinkedIn profiles that they were no longer with Infinity Ward. Notably, McCandlish and Todd Aldermann make up one half of Infinity Ward's design leads credited on Modern Warfare 2.

This week also saw the departure of Jon Shiring, who has been with Infinity Ward since June 2004. "After almost 6 years at Infinity Ward, I resigned today. I'm incredibly proud of everything we accomplished and I'm going to miss everyone," the programmer said through his Twitter feed. Shiring's credits include Call of Duty 2 as well as Modern Warfare and its top-selling sequel.

Lastly, Bruce Ferriz has also left Infinity Ward this month, according to his LinkedIn profile. Though he was only with the company since March 2009, Ferriz held a senior-level animator position at the studio.

Activision has taken steps to prevent a continued hemorrhaging of talent at Infinity Ward. As part of its counterclaim to West and Zampella's $36 million lawsuit, the publisher said that once it "prevails in this matter, it intends to reallocate any share of the Modern Warfare 2 bonus pool that might otherwise have been payable to West and Zampella to those employees responsible for the success of the game who remain employees of the company subsequent to the resolution of the matter."

None of the aforementioned developers have indicated their future plans. In announcing Respawn Entertainment yesterday, West and Zampella declined to comment on whether they expected to hire other Infinity Ward alumni. However, the two did say that its publishing partner, Electronic Arts, has provided the startup with funds to staff up and "build a blockbuster product."
taolurker
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Reply #91 on: April 13, 2010, 04:57:18 PM

Not sure if everyone saw this already, but the Cross Complaint from Activision in response to West and Zampella's lawsuit was filed before this past weekend, and is available for interested readers... from Kotaku.


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Azazel
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Reply #92 on: April 15, 2010, 09:33:37 AM


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Engels
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inflicts shingles.


Reply #93 on: April 15, 2010, 10:56:44 AM

Not sure if everyone saw this already, but the Cross Complaint from Activision in response to West and Zampella's lawsuit was filed before this past weekend, and is available for interested readers... from Kotaku.

If the allegations by Activision are true, in particular the part where the two fired were actively blocking financial compensation to other IW team members in order to be able to drag them off to their own team when they left, then that's a pretty dick move. On the other hand, I think Activision may have trouble proving motive, even if its factually true that West and Zampella robbed their fellow employees.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

-Signe

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Murgos
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Reply #94 on: April 15, 2010, 11:59:25 AM

If the allegations by Activision are true, in particular the part where the two fired were actively blocking financial compensation to other IW team members in order to be able to drag them off to their own team when they left.

Agree to our terms and we will release the bonus funds to the other employees isn't robbery, it's blackmail.

"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 #95 on: April 15, 2010, 12:24:22 PM

I'd say Activision is doing the same thing, dangling the residuals from MW2 over the IW employees' heads until post law-suit (which could be YEARS) over those that stay with the company.

I'm almost certain that Activision would love it if every employee voluntarily quit Infinity Ward and the company died so they can keep all the money.

"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
Engels
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inflicts shingles.


Reply #96 on: April 15, 2010, 01:28:32 PM

If the allegations by Activision are true, in particular the part where the two fired were actively blocking financial compensation to other IW team members in order to be able to drag them off to their own team when they left.

Agree to our terms and we will release the bonus funds to the other employees isn't robbery, it's blackmail.

Not if the terms were singed waaay back when the original contract was drawn up. The devil's in the details, of course, but Activision's counter allegation is pretty serious; I'd expect they have some form of documentation proving that these two were purposefully witholding funds.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

-Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

"let go of my dick you mother fucker!"  - Jimbo
Velorath
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Reply #97 on: April 15, 2010, 02:40:17 PM

IW just lost two more people today.  If I'm not mistaken that brings the total up to 11, and includes one of MW2's Engineering Leads and a couple other Engineering guys, all four of the Design Leads, one of the Art Leads, both of the Animation Leads, and one of the other animation guys.
Reg
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Reply #98 on: April 15, 2010, 02:58:20 PM

This is amazing. How did Activision become even more evil and incompetent than EA without me noticing?
HaemishM
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WWW
Reply #99 on: April 15, 2010, 03:16:16 PM

They tried really really fucking hard.

Velorath
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Reply #100 on: April 15, 2010, 04:50:50 PM

This is amazing. How did Activision become even more evil and incompetent than EA without me noticing?

I'm not sure how you didn't notice.  It's been going on for a few years now.  At least since the merger with Blizzard when Bobby Kotick said the line in the first panel during a conference call prompting the Penny Arcade strip:




Then there was the time they dropped Ghostbusters, Brutal Legend, and a few other games, presumably because they didn't fit the "exploit on an annual basis model.  Then they tried to prevent Brutal Legend from being released at all by another publisher.

There's also the time that they bought Red Octane, exploited the fuck out of Guitar Hero, and then shut Red Octane down.

Plus there's the fact that Bobby Kotick unfailingly comes off as a complete douchebag every single time he opens his mouth.

Azazel
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Reply #101 on: April 15, 2010, 04:52:42 PM

2010. It's 2015 all over again.

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Azazel
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Reply #102 on: April 15, 2010, 04:54:31 PM

I'm pretty sure it was Kotick that spewed the "culture of fear" comment in regard to game devs. I have to go to work in a min, and f13 along with most all gamesites are nowadays blocked, so you might need to google it.


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Velorath
Contributor
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Reply #103 on: April 15, 2010, 05:07:52 PM

I'm pretty sure it was Kotick that spewed the "culture of fear" comment in regard to game devs. I have to go to work in a min, and f13 along with most all gamesites are nowadays blocked, so you might need to google it.


Quote
"I don't think it is specific to video games. I think that if you look at how much volatility there is in the economy and, dependent upon your view about macroeconomic picture and I think we have a real culture of thrift. And I think the goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks that we brought in to Activision 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games."

"I think we definitely have been able to instill the culture, the skepticism and pessimism and fear that you should have in an economy like we are in today. And so, while generally people talk about the recession, we are pretty good at keeping people focused on the deep depression."


In a speech at D.I.C.E. back in February, he claimed that he was just trying to be funny.
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


WWW
Reply #104 on: April 15, 2010, 05:11:47 PM

I do not think he knows what that word means.

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