Activision has a hunch rival publisher Electronic Arts had a hand in a dastardly plot designed to undermine the Modern Warfare franchise with the help of Infinity Ward's co-founders, and intended to prove it in court through a lawsuit filed last December.
Today Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle of the District court of California confirmed that enough pieces are in place for Activision's case against Electronic Arts to go through, officially igniting the legal battle between the mega-publishers over Modern Warfare.
Activision first filed its counter-suit against former Infinity Ward studio leads and co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella last April, a month after both filed a $36 million USD lawsuit of their own against the publisher over unpaid compensation and outstanding royalties, as well as rights over the Modern Warfare franchise. West and Zampella were axed from their positions back in March 2010 following an extraordinary sequence of events at Infinity Ward. An additional 38 former IW employees would count themselves as plaintiffs alongside West and Zampella against Activision.
At first Activision's suit largely centered on West and Zampella's alleged efforts to sabotage Infinity Ward under its nose for their own "personal financial gain", until it also dragged Electronic Arts into the dispute toward the end of 2010 by claiming the rival publisher had an active hand in fostering West and Zampella's scheme. Recall that West and Zampella not only formed Respawn Entertainment after they were uncermoniously booted from Infinity Ward, but signed a publishing agreement with EA as well.
EA's objections to Activision's allegations were overruled by Judge Berle, who explained that EA had in fact attempted to pry confidential info from Activision execs. Now EA must prepare to defend itself in court over the legal spat which first began between Activision and Infinity Ward's co-founders.