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Activision vs. EA Lawsuit


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SANTA MONICA, Calif. , Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI - News), announced that the Los Angeles Superior Court has denied a motion brought by Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) for summary judgment, thereby permitting Activision to proceed to trial on its $400 million contract-interference suit against EA..


At a hearing held yesterday, December 21, 2012 , Judge Elihu Berle denied EA's motion, finding that the evidence presented by Activision supplied a basis for a jury to potentially conclude both that EA had intentionally interfered with Activision's employment agreements with former Call of Duty game developers, Jason West and Vince Zampella , and that EA had aided and abetted West and Zampella's breach of fiduciary duties to Activision. A related summary judgment motion put forth by West and Zampella was also denied.


In the suit Activision alleges that West and Zampella breached their contracts and duty of loyalty to Activision by conduct that was insubordinate and otherwise improper and that West and Zampella's misconduct was caused, at least in part, by EA's unlawful tampering. A jury trial in the case is scheduled to begin on May 7, 2012 .

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Electronic Arts Inc. failed in its bid to get a $400 million lawsuit against it thrown out of court.


In a hearing Wednesday, Bloomberg News said a California Superior Court judge in Los Angeles ruled that a jury should decide whether Redwood City-based EA improperly talked to two executives overseeing the popular video game “Call of Duty” while they were still under contract to its maker, Activision Blizzard Inc.


The executives, Jason West and Vince Zampella, sued Activision for $36 million after they were fired in 2010, alleging that they were terminated to avoid payment of royalties they were owed on “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” the top-selling video game for 2009. Activision named EA as a cross-defendant last year, claiming contract interference.


EA, seeking to be dismissed from the suit, said it was permissible for it to talk to the two men about employment for the future, once their contracts expired. The judge, Elihu Berle, disagreed, noting that West and Zampella still had more than two years left on their contracts at the point where they were allegedly in discussions with EA.


The suit pits the nation’s two biggest video game makers against each other: Activision No. 1 and EA No. 2.



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