The games maker Activision is set to go to court with rivals Electronic Arts (EA) over the company’s most successful video franchise ‘Call of Duty’, after a US supreme court judge gave further legal proceedings the go-ahead.
The case is highly complicated, but it centres on games developers Vincent Zampella and Jason West. The pair formerly worked for Activision as heads of its subsidiary Infinity Ward, the brand credited with producing the Call of Duty games.
Zampella and West claim that their contracts with Activision were wrongfully terminated after the firm conducted an investigation and accused the developers of company policy violations, breaches of contract and insubordination. The pair took legal action, claiming that this action cost them over $125 million in royalty payments over the games they were responsible for producing.
Activision fought back with a countersuit, in which it accused rival company Electronic Arts of persuading the two developers to leave the firm. Calling it a “hijack”, Activision is suing EA for breaches of fiduciary duty, unfair competition and tortious interference. The company is demanding to be paid $400 million in damages.
Now that the case has been given the green light to go to court, it looks set to be one of the most expensive legal disputes in recent years. This means that both parties, regardless of the outcome of the case, will need to have professional indemnity insurance cover in place at the outset.