Pachter: West, Zampella Will Never Control MW Brand
This mess may never end.
The saga continues, as ex-Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella added two counts of fraud to their ongoing suit against publisher Activision. It also seems they're looking to co-own the Modern Warfare Brand, which would let them launch titles of their own under that name. But Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter told Industry Gamers the two have "no prayer" of gaining any control.
"West and Zampella have no prayer of obtaining control of the brand. They can claim that they were granted creative control, and there is a reasonable chance that they would prevail, but they lost that control when their employment was terminated. If they can prove their termination was wrongful, they will be entitled to damages, but there is no legal basis to award ownership of the brand to them. They could conceivably change their complaint and seek reinstatement as employees, but I haven't seen any demands from them to make that happen."
Pachter went on to say that any creative control given the duo was while they were Infinity Ward employees; once they stopped being employees, that creative control went out the window. He says it's best that West and Zampella pursue damages, which might make sense, but they should forget about any chances of "getting control over the brand."
"If they want their old jobs back, they can ask for them, but they didn't do so. Instead, they are blending the two concepts of legal and equitable remedies, asking for damages and asking for control over the Call of Duty brand, but not asking to be reinstated as employees. The law just doesn't allow stuff like that, as it would be unreasonable to require Activision to grant control over its valuable property to unrelated third parties.
I know this all makes for thrilling news, but they aren't getting control over the brand, and they most certainly won't 'co-own' it, as was widely reported by gaming news sites."
God. Please just make it stop.
4/5/2011 8:52:55 PM John Shepard