Try our new beta! Click here
Submitted by Komega 2055d ago | article

AS: Is Activision In The Right?

Nathan Schmidt writes...

"It's only natural to immediately jump on the side of talent and waggle the "Evil Empire" finger in Activision's direction. It became even easier after learning of Activision's plans to give the Call of Duty series the Guitar Hero treatment. That is exactly what I did; But after last weeks release of Activision's counter-suit against West and Zampella, as well as the announcement of Respawn Studios and their partnership with Electronic Arts, I have to admit I actually started to think that Activision might be in the right..." (Culture)

RememberThe357  +   2055d ago
You can't fire someone for planing for their future
If they wanted to move to EA that is their business and no grounds to sue them. And I wouldn't sign sh*t that the company that just fired me wanted me to sign either. They are basically suing West and Zampella for not being their little b*tches.

EDIT: Komega: I agree, but since I have no clue what they signed I have to just hate Activition for being such douches. They think that everyone should just bow down to them. F*ck them.
#1 (Edited 2055d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Komega  +   2055d ago
While I agree that their personal desires are not relevant, the fact that they both signed contracts forbidding them from negotiations with EA or anyone else is relevant. If I was a betting man I'd say that there was some back room dealing with EA going on well before West and Zampella were fired.
STK026  +   2055d ago
They can be sued for breach of contract. As for Raypture, a contract binds those who signed it. Of course, a contract involving an illegal action is not a binding one, simply because the law is above it. However, a contract which involves nothing illegal, like the ones they likely signed with Activision, is a binding one.

What would be the point of contracts if they were only pieces of paper?

If indeed both of them have taken CoD assets with them, or have convinced other people to do so, Activision would be in the right to sue them, as these are Activision'S property, despite the fact that IW were the ones developing it.

If you were an engineer for BMW, and you made a plan for a new car, but decided to go to GM, taking the plans with you would be a violation of the law, mostly if you have a contract with BMW preventing you from doing so. The same applies here. This might seem somewhat unfair to some, mostly since it involves a large corporation going against a single person or a small group, like a David vs Goliath battle. But even large corporations need to protect themselves and need to be protected by the law.
#1.2 (Edited 2055d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Millah  +   2054d ago
I don't care who's right, the fact of the matter is that activision is a bunch of retards and ruined the best thing that's ever happened to them. Usually publishers would be doing everything they possibly can to please the developers who just gave them the most successful game in history, and would be doing everhing possible to make sure that they are happy there and wanting to stay with them. Instead, activision treats them like crap and makes their single best asset want to leave. I don't understand the logic with that, any other publisher in the world would have been bending over backwards for infinity ward to ensure they would stay with them and continue to make them successful games.

Besides, before any of this insubordination nonsense, Activision still wasn't paying them the royalties they were due for the launch of MW2. They should have paid them for the MW2 launch the royalties they were due, because that happened well before all of this happened, so just because all of this is happening right now that doesn't mean they shouldn't have been paid for a game launch that happened months before.
#1.3 (Edited 2054d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Raypture  +   2055d ago
No, they aren't, Contracts are just pieces of paper, you can sign a contract to kill a innocent person and then decide not to do it, but was that right?
Komega  +   2055d ago
I'm pretty sure that is not going to hold up in court. Who knows though maybe they will use the "contracts aren't relevant defense". That should be amusing.
ktchong  +   2054d ago
Non-compete contracts are NOT enforceable in California
Non-compete agreements (that prevent employees from negotiating with or joining a competitor) are automatically void as a matter of law in California, except for three specific situations expressly authorized by statute, (none of which is applicable in Activision-Infinity Ward case.)

In addition, out-of-state non-compete agreements are not enforceable in California.

Companies in California like Activision continue to make employees sign non-compete contracts all the time, but those contacts are actually useless. However, companies and employers either (a) want to use those contracts to intimidate ignorant employees, or (b) do not know those contracts are useless in California.

So, the non-compete "contracts aren't relevant" defense WILL actually hold up in a Californian court; in addition, if a contract includes both non-compete and compensation agreements, the non-compete part will not hold up and be voided in the court, while the compensation part will be upheld and enforced by the court.

There have been many such court cases in California. The companies that made employees sign non-compete agreements and then tried to enforce the contracts have ALWAYS lost. You can google it to confirm.
#2.2 (Edited 2054d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ForROME  +   2055d ago
activision is weak, their time for honoring themselves will soon be at an end, END of story
Komega  +   2055d ago
According to Kotaku your right...
kaveti6616  +   2054d ago
I got the Gladiator reference, and haha, you even have the Roman avatar. Good post, bubbles.
Setekh  +   2055d ago
"Activision in the right" really?

So it's 'right' to hire a dev team to make a game for you that has netted your company millions and not pay them?
Komega  +   2055d ago
And your proof that Activision withheld these payments and therefore breached their various contracts with IW employees would be? I'm not saying that it didn't happen, I'm just saying that at this point we have no proof and it would be wrong to jump up Activision's ass without it.

BTW, if you post a link to an article quoting an "unnamed source" saying that this is what occurred I'm going to fly to your house and c@ck punch you!
air1  +   2055d ago
their contract with acti. was about to be up and they made up their minds that they didnt want to be with them anymore, so when are they supposed to start planning for their future? when is the right time to start your own studio? after the couple of years that acti is going to drag this out? and its not like EA bought the studio for them or work for ea like they did for acti. if im not mistaken they are publishing the next game. if i didnt get paid within the second i was supposed to after the crazy success of my game i would look to do things to piss them off too so i would came knocking on EA's door. you dont want to recognize my talent fine! ill find someone that will.

how fvcked up was it that acti. said if it wasnt for us their would be no iw.. and not recognize that if it wasnt for iw cod wouldnt be as big as it is. i remember reading how kotic regreted buying the guitar hero ip over the ppl that made it. kotic is an idiot that never recognizes talent just lawyers and how soon till the next sequel..
Komega  +   2054d ago
I agree, but if you sign a contract that states you are forbidden from negotiating with the competition before said contract is up, and then breach that contract you put yourself in a very actionable position.

Also, everyone is saying that Activision owed royalties for MW2 and that may very well be the case. What I fail to see anyone pointing out though is how those royalties were to be paid out. Were they on a time table, was it set up as a certain amount over time. Since no one here has seen the contracts between Activision and IW I think the only safe thing to assume is that no one knows for certain what was owed, what was payed, and what wasn't.
air1  +   2054d ago
i agree a contract is a contract but fvck a contract if you dont pay me..

we both dont have all the proof we would need to see who is in the wrong. but by the same token what if they didnt have any contact with the comp? its not like at this point acti. is showing any proof of that contact.

so for all we know these guys can be going to ea now just to piss them off, it doesnt mean that they had contact prior.

as far as pay last i read west and z is suing for all royalties as in they got none of it and thats all we can go by for now. i would like to think that they wouldnt sue for the money if its not due yet but this world is full of crazy ppl so you never know. this will go on for a long time so it will be a while till we know what is owed.
#5.2 (Edited 2054d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ktchong  +   2054d ago
California is an "at will employment" state
"Non compete" employment contracts and clauses are void and NOT enforceable in California. In fact, "non compete" contracts that say employees cannot negotiate with or work for a competitor are actually ILLEGAL in California. (On the other hand, such contracts are legal and enforceable in other states like New York.)

In California, employees can negotiate with any competing company, anytime they want, during the time of their employment with another company. Companies cannot stop nor prevent employees from negotiating with or jumping over to a competitor. No contract can stop or prevent an employee. This is how employment works in California.

On the other hand, Activision as a company could have just fired the Infinity Ward chiefs without giving any excuses. (But then Activision did make up and give some excuse.) The "at will" laws go both way. However, the company DOES have to pay out wages, bonuses or whatever according to the employment contract with the employees. THAT is enforceable. The obvious logic is that companies cannot fire employees so that they don't have to pay out wages, bonuses and benefits after employees have already worked.

Which means: Activision does not have a case in California.
#6 (Edited 2054d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Komega  +   2054d ago
That is awesome, thank you for the enlightenment. Does this hold true with exclusive employment contracts as stated in page 2 paragraph 2 of Activision's cross-suit? Oh and for those who don't know paragraph 4 explains Activision's claim that they tried to pay MW2 benefits but that West and Zampella prevented it. I'm not saying it's true just pointing out what is there.
ktchong  +   2054d ago
West and Zampella were free to negotiate with EA or any competitor. Whatever non-compete agreement they had with Activision was useless in California.

However, if West and Zampella bad mouthed Activision and what they said were untrue, then Activision should have pursued a defamation or libel lawsuit.

This "insubordination" and "they negotiated with EA in violation of a non-compete agreement" -- and therefore the whole Activision's lawsuit -- are just considered as BS in California. It's just not going to stick once it goes into a court.
#6.2 (Edited 2054d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
BIGPAYBACK999   2054d ago | Spam
air1  +   2054d ago
i thought i was being fair to all consoles and just stating my opinions on their subjects but i guess i pissed off the wrong moder. i would like to know what it is that i said to get banned so feel free to pm me and let me know if you read this.

this was going to be my response to post 6 from round peg on the gamer zone side seconds before my band. im no longer a gamer oh well :(.....

great info! but at the same time activision didnt respond for some time. believe me i know jack about the law on stuff like this but with activision/blizzard being so huge i would think they spent that time with a lawyer on what they can do, so if what you say is true and their lawyer didnt know this info and filed their counter claims on stuff that cant hold ground in cali tells that either A)their lawyer is stu!d B)they should of hired you C) this thing is deep and somehow EA has major pull and somehow got those stu!d lawyers through acti's doors or D) acti is just dragging it out...

i like C that would be frikin crazy! lol.. but again im just logically thinking i have 0 smarts on this stuff so time will tell.
#8 (Edited 2054d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply

Add comment

You need to be registered to add comments. Register here or login
New stories

Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours Overview video

20m ago - Keith: New to DariusBurst Chronicle Saviours and what to know what's going on? Check out this han... | PC

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival Review (GamerPros)

41m ago - Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is a stain on the name of the AC series, as well as Nintendo and... | Wii U

See what games are coming out in 2016

Now - Visit our release calendar to see what games are coming out in 2016. | Promoted post

'Just Cause 3' PS4 review: An explosively entertaining game - Examiner

42m ago - Have you ever wanted to create the explosive thrills of a Michael Bay action film? Better yet, ha... | PS4

Valhalla Hills Review - Zero1Gaming

1h ago - Newly available as a Steam Early Access, Valhalla Hills is reviewed by Zero1Gaming's Sebastian Yo... | PC

Just Cause 3 – All Settlements Locations Guide

2h ago - GamingSoFar: Just Cause 3 allow you to liberate more than 100 towns, cities and bases. Check out... | PC