Fantasy Warfare: West, Zampella and Call of Duty

April 6, 2011 -

In theory, former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella could regain partial control of the Call of Duty franchise. We say in theory because the chances of that ever happening are somewhere between slim and none. But the two counts of fraud that the duo added to its lawsuit against Activision earlier this week also asked the court to rescind the Memorandum of Understanding agreement. If the court were to give them a favorable ruling hypothetically, the duo could co-own Call of Duty and release their own games in the series. It's an interesting scenario to explore, even if it is on par with the plot to Independence Day in terms of likelihood.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter - and most anyone with an inkling of common sense say that this will never happen.

Pachter explained to IndustryGamers that the law won’t allow West and Zampella to co-own the brand because there's no legal basis for it.

"West and Zampella have no prayer of obtaining control of the brand," stressed Pachter. "They can claim that they were granted creative control, and there is a reasonable chance that they would prevail, but they lost that control when their employment was terminated. If they can prove their termination was wrongful, they will be entitled to damages, but there is no legal basis to award ownership of the brand to them. They could conceivably change their complaint and seek reinstatement as employees, but I haven't seen any demands from them to make that happen."

"As it happens, they have never claimed that they 'own' the brand; instead, they claim that they were granted creative control over the brand under their employment agreement. These are two completely different things. Their creative control was clearly intended to be in effect only while they were employees, and the day that their employment terminated, their creative control ended (made clear by Bobby's alleged comment that "[i]t's impossible for you guys to get fired"). Since they think that they were wrongfully terminated, they are pursuing a claim for damages, which would be the appropriate remedy."

Image source: Paperback Writer


Comments

Re: Fantasy Warfare: West, Zampella and Call of Duty

I like the pretty picture of the castle.

Re: Fantasy Warfare: West, Zampella and Call of Duty

Assuming they win their case, couldn't they try to get co-ownership of the brand in lieu of monetary compensation? I mean, I figure the CoD brand in the long run would be worth far more than anything they could get as far as damages go.

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Re: Fantasy Warfare: West, Zampella and Call of Duty

Which is exactly why they wouldn't get it. Without any real legal claim I do not think the judge would award them a share of the CoD brand; the only way they could get in lieu of monetary compensation is through a settlement with Activision, and Activision would certainly never do so as having an exclusive hold on the brand is bound to be much more worthwhile that whatever they would have to give up to West and Zampella. 

Re: Fantasy Warfare: West, Zampella and Call of Duty

Which is kind of a double-edged sword. Without West and Zampella, CoD isn't going to be worth nearly as much, considering they're the ones who pulled the CoD series out of the oversaturated market that is WWII shooters. If it weren't for them, CoD would have died years ago. And there are some, if not many, who doubt the new dev team they hired for Modern Warfare 3 can make a product as high-quality or as successful as their predecessors. I can guarantee you Black Ops wouldn't have sold half the copies they did if they had named it something other than "Call of Duty".

If Activision were smart, they'd swallow their pride and let them have co-ownership so they can keep milking the CoD brand for years to come.

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

 
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Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenObviously, the picture was created by someone who doesn't understand what the issue actually is (or, possibly, someone trying to satire said misunderstanding).09/01/2014 - 4:10pm
Papa MidnightPeople fear and attack what they do not understand.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Papa MidnightWell, let's not forget. Someone held their hand in a peace sign a few weeks ago and people started claiming it was a gang sign. Or a police chief displayed the hand signal of their fraternity and was accused of the same.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
SleakerEither people don't understand that what the picture is saying is true, or the picture was created out of a misunderstanding of what sexism is.09/01/2014 - 3:52pm
Sleaker@AE ok yah that's where the kind of confusion I'm getting. Your tweet can be taken to mean two different things.09/01/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - No. No, not even remotely. The pic attached to my tweet was not made by me; it's not a statement I'm making. It's an illustration of the complete misunderstanding of the issue my tweet is referring to.09/01/2014 - 3:13pm
Papa MidnightIn other news, Netflix states why it paid Comcast: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html?hpt=hp_t209/01/2014 - 3:10pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: Sites like Tumblr make things seem much bigger than they are. A vocal extreme minority start complaining and things go as they do.09/01/2014 - 3:09pm
SleakerAre you trying saying that specific costumes are sexist simply by being included in the game?09/01/2014 - 3:03pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Seems completely cut and dry to me (of course, I wrote it so that's not surprising). What about it do you find confusing?09/01/2014 - 2:25pm
 

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