PS3 News: Activision Wanted To "Change The Locks" On West And Zampella - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Activision Wanted To "Change The Locks" On West And Zampella

Activision and EA may have settled their lawsuit, but the publisher still plans to go to trial on May 29 with former Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella.

And things are gonna get dicey.

The LA Times has procured a series of interoffice Activision emails, sent between executives at the company and detailing the impending West/Zampella fallout. The duo was fired in March 2010 but that may have been inevitable, as the emails clearly paint an ugly picture of the relationship between Activision and the Infinity Ward heads. In fact, the team's failure to produce a demo of Modern Warfare 2 at Microsoft's E3 conference in 2009 may have been the spark that ignited the inferno.

Activision Publishing boss at the time, Mike Griffith (the post is now held by Eric Hirshberg), wrote:

"[Microsoft] will go ballistic over this and the deal is seriously risked."

Worse, when Griffith phoned West and Zampella about the situation, both apparently hung up on the executive. CEO Bobby Kotick replied by saying:

"If they really did I would change their locks and lock them out of their building."

Another Activision exec, Dave Stohl, wanted to know if everyone was "ready for the big, negative PR story this is going to turn into if we kick them out." The company knew that firing West and Zampella could cause immediate and critical problems, especially in regards to the development of MW2. Stohl wanted to know what "plan B" might look like and added- "[It's] freaking me out a little."

Yeah, things ought to be interesting when it all hits the courts next week.

Tags: activision, jason west, vince zampella, infinity ward, ea

5/22/2012 8:40:54 PM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (17 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 9:23:32 PM
Reply

What a stellar way for a publisher to treat its top money makers. And it's always nice to see Microsoft pulling the strings at a third party developer.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 8:55:52 PM

Definitely a reflection on why Activision and Microsoft get criticized by some for harming the industry despite their success.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

oONewcloudOo
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 9:51:08 PM
Reply

If I remember right there was a demo of MW2 at the MS E3 press conference

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 8:57:08 PM

I could be wrong, but I believe they showed a trailer. No demo for the XBOX at E3, though. :(

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Sir Shak
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 10:20:51 PM
Reply

So these executives strike up a deal with other executives and force their developers to produce a demo on a deadline, regardless of their readiness. And when it doesn't come through, like it happens with many games, they treat the people who came up with their money minting franchise like second class, disposable employees. Bastards were worried more about the PR than affecting the morale of the team by firing the studio heads.

I say destroy Kotick.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 11:29:51 PM

It would be a big undertaking, I think he has 99,999 Hit Points.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 1:46:32 PM

Yup, I stopped buying activision games because of this. He is a bad CEO of everything! This company really is bad.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 8:58:51 PM

Sometimes my boss doesn't take her workers into consideration. Not so much me, because I leave my personal crap out of my work, but I've seen her jerk around my co-workers pretty badly. But they still wouldn't hang up on her.

If you ask me, all parties fouled up, but Activision certainly is no victim.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JackDillinger89
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 11:24:25 PM
Reply

Who cares im still buying blk ops 2.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 10 down Disagree with this comment

Ludicrous_Liam
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 2:32:30 AM

Oh dear. There's your answer for why COD sells crazy amounts, right there.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JackDillinger89
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 7:07:36 AM

@ Ludicrous Liam

Yup lol, I buy other games too dont you worry.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

ulsterscot
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 12:01:59 AM
Reply

Quite looking forward to Respawn's new space FPS.

but BLOPS2 and MOH Warfighter will suffice this year

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 5:03:36 AM
Reply

cant wait to see how this goes down!
considering all the info thats gone public it looks to me that for once antivision are not the bad guys here.
its quite obvious a good portion of the IW team was not happy with their publishers so they slackened off their work and that started the whole debacle.
than seeked to leave and go to EA and that just made things worse.
obvious question remains though is why were they so unhappy there?
they have been with them for so long so why the sudden outbreak?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 1:47:55 PM

Unhappy? They force them to deadlines that would be impossible to meet and such. They are not and will not be painted as the good guys here. That company is horrible.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:07:00 AM

and the proof of that is where?
everything that has come out of this case shows them breaking contract and trying to switch companies while still under contract.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

evilmunkie
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 5:02:13 PM
Reply

Why is everyone always taking West and Zampella's side when it comes to this? While I never root for Kotick,with that stupid smug smile of his, I think this actually needs some investigate before rooting for the underdog. I really have never seen (supposed) theft so adamantly defended by so many people even though plenty of people look down on piracy. What is up with some people? I get that Activision probably is not on many's list of favorite developers around here but still one has to be unbiased on these matters. Actually the last article about this on psxextreme was full of user comments that said they would love to be the judge of the trial and even joked about just awarding the trial to West/Zampella automatically. I can only hope that was just jokes but I am not too sure about that. Makes me wonder what type of people we actually have for judges in this country. You need to put your personal issues with this aside and listen up for this. I actually wouldn't mind watching this on courttv lol. Yes I know Kotick is ..... not very likeable just about anywhere. I remember reading somewhere that he said something about 'games should be more expensive' and I still think he is an idiot for saying that. All I am going to finish up with is a dare. If you think this article makes Activision look unfair, I dare you to hang up on your own bosses, lets see how that works out.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 8:59:49 PM

ALWAYS root for the Underdog!!!

*FIST PUMP*

lol :p

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Did Advanced Warfare save Call of Duty?
Yes, CoD is back on track!
Possibly; it was a positive step.
The jury's still out...
No, CoD is still doomed.

Previous Poll Results