Activision seeks $400 million from EA for poaching Modern Warfare staff

modern warfare 2 developers sue activision for 125 million in unpaid bonuses call of duty 4 pc 2jpg

Call of Duty: Black Ops has eclipsed $1 billion in sales. That isn’t enough for Activision, however. The video game publisher is suing the co-founders of Infinity Ward, the developer of last year’s hit Modern Warfare 2, and now want to add EA to the mix for an additional $400 million in damages, reports WSJ. Activision accuses EA of ‘interfering’ with the contracts of its employees, engaging in unfair activity, and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by Infinity Ward’s executives. But it gets more personal than that.

Activision’s complaint accuses Electronic Arts of trying to undermine Activision because its own video games haven’t sold well in recent  years. “To find Electronic Arts’s desperate motive to conspire to break these legal contracts ahead of their expiration dates, all one has to do is to look at the company’s precipitous decline in stature with investors and, most importantly, in the eyes of game players who demand innovation and excitement,” wrote Activision.

EA responded to the lawsuit. “[It’s a] PR play filled with pettiness and deliberate misdirection,” said Jeff Brown, of EA. “Activision wants to hide the fact that they have no credible response to the claim of two artists who were fired and now just want to get paid for their work.”

Humble firings

This all started back in March. Activision abruptly stormed the offices of Infinity Ward and fired its founders Jason West and Vincent Zampella under accusations of insubordination. Infinity Ward is one of Activision’s most prized developers, responsible for creating the Call of Duty franchise and spin-off Modern Warfare. Activision accused the duo of conspiring to use their royalties to start a new independent developer. Zempella and West denied the allegations and sued Activision for $36 million, claiming that they had been ousted to avoid paying royalties and that Activision had been looking for a way to fire them for weeks leading up to the actual termination. Activision counter-sued, leading us to today and the addition of EA to the lawsuit.

In April, the duo announced that they were opening a new studio named Respawn Entertainment under EA. It is unknown whether this company was already planned or was formed as a result of the firings. Then things got worse for Activision. A number of high profile executives quit Infinity Ward, leading a mass exodus from the developer. 28 staff members quit (an entire development game team can consist of about 30-50 people) and promptly sued Activision for failing to pay bonuses after the $1 billion success of Modern Warfare 2. There were rumors that the entire studio would be shut down. Activision decided to keep it going and has been hiring new management and completely re-staffing since.

Overall, this is a hot mess for Activision, but it can wipe away those tears with the billion its made from the Treyarch developed Black Ops. Let’s hope it pays out bonuses on time.


Minecraft Earth hands-on preview: The next big AR craze Is coming

Minecraft Earth is a new mobile augmented reality game from Microsoft that has Pokémon Go dead in its sites. The cute monster collect-them-all started the genre, but Minecraft Earth hopes to redefine it.

Splinter Cell may not be one of Ubisoft’s three unannounced games

Ubisoft's fiscal report included the news that pirate game Skull & Bones is delayed a year, but also included plans for three unannounced games. A Ubisoft dev tweeted that Splinter Cell was in development, but the company said otherwise.

G-Sync is a game-changer. These are the best monitors with Nvidia's display tech

Looking for a monitor that plays well with Nvidia GPUs? You need G-Sync and we have picked the best G-Sync monitors available. Take a look and find out which monitor works best for your PC upgrade.

Get ready to slay spiders and skeletons in real life with Minecraft Earth

Minecraft Earth is the new augmented reality mobile game that uses the Minecraft engine. We have everything you need to know including the release date, features, price, phone compatibility, and more.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.

The Razer Core X Chroma is the best external GPU you can buy

The third entry in Razer's lineup of external graphics card enclosures, the Core X Chroma, brings together the best of its previous options in a single package. With RGB lighting and extra USB ports, is this the best you can buy?

New Need for Speed and Plants vs. Zombies games could be shown by EA at E3 2019

EA is doing things a bit differently for its fan-oriented EA Play event. Multiple livestreams will air on June 8, replacing the traditional press conference format. We expect to see Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and much more.

Animal Crossing could make an appearance during the Nintendo Direct at E3 2019

Once again, Nintendo will air a Nintendo Direct during E3 2019 rather than take the stage. The showcase will feature games launching in 2019, so expect The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Luigi's Mansion 3, and much more.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Activision reveals game modes, multiplayer maps for Call of Duty: Mobile

Activision revealed the first five modes for Call of Duty: Mobile. The publisher also highlighted five maps from previous entries in the franchise, but said that the game will not only feature multiplayer modes.

The Astro A40 TR and Mixamp Pro TR turn the volume up on pro gaming audio

The A40 TR and Mixamp Pro TR are Astro's latest entries to professional grade gaming gear. The two accessories hold their own alone, but together their true potential is fully realized.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC

The best Nintendo Switch games, from Breath of the Wild to Rocket League

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.