West On Activision: "Don't Give Me $100 Million, Fire Me Instead"
I always knew giant, crazy lawsuits were filled with an endlessly confusing array of inanity and contradiction.
During the most revealing interview yet with former Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella (and their lawyer, Robert Schwartz), we find out that Activision blamed the duo for not making Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 more popular. That's right, more popular.
According to Zampella, Activision said MW3 "would have been a much better game and would have made $700 million more for them and they want us to pay that." West added with a comic jab- "We deprived them of our services by being fired and therefore we owe them money." Schwartz chimed in by saying that Activision supposedly has an "expert" that is going to testify that West and Zampella (and the 40 who left the team) "made better games for less money than anybody else at Activision." If they hadn't been fired, MW3 was expected to earn somewhere between $2.8 and $3.3 billion.
But because West and Zampella left - check that, because they were fired - the game didn't hit those insane numbers, so now Activision is going after them for the difference...? What? This is the best part of the interview:
West: I said, "Don't give me 100 million dollars - fire me! That would be awesome."
Schwartz: "Let me leave behind all the tech I've spent eight years working on, the 100 million dollars I've earned, the momentum in my career, my team, and let me start all over with a small team and development budget on a game I haven't even thought about that no one has seen or bought." Yeah, that's a good idea.
This whole thing is just loopy. Now, Activision did settle with EA so that's behind us but obviously, there's a ways to go. However, we're certain Activision has their side of the story, too...and we're hoping it makes a little more sense. This is about as clear as mud.
5/24/2012 9:03:40 PM Ben Dutka