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Activision and EA settle their differences in Infinity Ward lawsuit
Activision and EA settle their differences in Infinity Ward lawsuit
May 16, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

May 16, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
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Publishers Activision and Electronic Arts on Wednesday revealed that they have reached a settlement in their lawsuit over former Infinity Wards heads Jason West and Vince Zampella.

Back in December 2010, Activision filed a complaint against EA claiming it had intentionally poached the developers from Infinity Ward to start Respawn Entertainment. That dispute is now over, though the publishers did not disclose the terms of their settlement.

"Activision and EA have agreed to put this matter behind them," read a joint statement from the publishers.

This move, however, will not affect the existing lawsuit between Activision and West and Zampella, which is set to go to court on May 29.

Activision initially filed its cross-complaint against EA on the grounds that that the publisher had allegedly met with West and Zampella when the pair were still under contract at Infinity Ward.

This suit followed a case from earlier in the year, when West and Zampella sued Activision to argue that the publisher broke its contract when it abruptly fired the developers in 2010. Earlier today, evidence arose that Activision tried to hack into emails and otherwise seek evidence to justify firing the former Infinity Ward leads.


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Comments


Jeffrey Crenshaw
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: This industry is run by children.

Julian Kantor
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I don't understand Activision's case here. Was EA under contract from Activision? Obviously not.

So what exactly did EA allegedly do to merit litigation from Activision?

John McMahon
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It is illegal to directly recruit employees from a competitor? That's what I always thought. It may have been in seen as EA trying to steal copyrighted works from West and Zampella while they were still employed by Activision.

Usually when you are employed by a company they have it in your contract that any idea or designs you come up with during that time belongs to them. So if EA recruited employees from Activision they could be stealing legally owned designs from Activision if West and Zampella were brainstorming with EA>

Julian Kantor
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It never occurred to me that recruiting employees from a competitor might be illegal -- seems like basic free market principles to me. Doing some quick research it seems as though big tech companies are in potential trouble for restricting recruiting:

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/01/30/lawsuit-claims-silico
n-valley-anti-poaching-scheme/

I think you might be right though -- one of the articles I found said that you have to be careful around certain state laws if you try to poach employees from a competitor, so maybe Activision is using an argument along those lines, or the stealing approach that you described. Either way seems like ludicrous logic to me, I wish the article went into a bit more depth in terms of the legal specifics of Activision's complaint.

John Woznack
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Isn't it also against the law for two companies to agree to NOT recruit each other's employees?

Matthew Mouras
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Take this article within the context of the recently revealed court documents from the Activision v. West /Zampella case: Activision execs were actively working to force these guys out the door for months before they left.

Hilarious.


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