The war for the throne: The Modern Warfare brand.
This article is a continuation of my previous article about the ongoing court battle over Activision’s various activities regarding ex-Infinity Ward executives. May 23rd was the start of that lawsuit. There was not a lot of information available until someone discovered a wiki entry for the Call of Duty lore.
Let’s start with the stipulations of the lawsuit. Because it’s quite interesting. According to the entry:
If West and Zampella win, the two will be compensated for the royalty payments, and also retain their creative rights to the Modern Warfare series. What that could mean for Modern Warfare 3 is unclear.
Actually, it IS clear. There’s a reason why Activision decided to use the “MW3” sub-title; its not just a marketing stunt, they have no choice but to go to a plan B. Robert Bowling said in an interview that the Box Art is not final. So if for whatever reason Activision and the duo decides to come to an agreement, they can probably use “Modern Warfare 3.” That might come with a price, though. However if the duo and EA loses:
If Activision wins, then West, Zampella, and EA would have to provide Activision with a hefty sum of money – over $400 million.
This means that whatever Respawn has cookin’ under wraps is going to have to take a backburner and the duo would have to essentially work for EA. This actually coincides with the recent notion that Respawn is not going to appear at E3 to show off the game they’re developing. They, as individuals will wander the showfloor, however.
Now that we’ve got the stipulations out of the way, we’re going to start talking about the case itself. In the case of West, Zampella, Electronic Arts, Inc. v. Activision Publishing, Inc. everything looks messy because things get really complicated by the time this whole thing gets underway. Just looking at the list makes a lot of people confused as to what is the intention of everyone involved. Yes, you can argue that Activision wants money, Vince and Jason wants the money, too, and they all also want to take over the Modern Warfare brand. But EA got into this mess late last year because Jason and Vince were accused of conspiring against Activision.