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New Call of Duty Titles Announced, Fired Devs Sue For Name 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the modern-legal-warfare dept.
eldavojohn writes "Activision has announced new Call of Duty titles while fired Infinity Ward Developer leads Jason West and Vince Zampella sue them for the rights to the name. According to Activision, 'The company intends to expand the Call of Duty brand with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit. This will include a focus on high-margin digital online content and further[ing] the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models.' Ars opines that Activision is set to over-saturate the market with tons of CoD titles similar to how it expertly brought down Guitar Hero."
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New Call of Duty Titles Announced, Fired Devs Sue For Name

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  • by anomnomnomymous (1321267) on Friday March 05, 2010 @08:58AM (#31369846)
    Call of Duty: Activision Warfare

    On a more serious note: I'm feeling a bit doublesided about the whole debacle of Activision firing Jason West and Vince Zampella: On one hand it's a shame to see that two apparently talented developers are so easy to fire, on the other hand: They brought this onto themselves when they decided to sell the company to Activision.
    If they'd done some proper research they would have seen how horrible Activision has been treating their studios/games the past few years (loads of developers have been fleeing to other publishers), so this shouldn't come as a surprise.

    I still can't understand why IW choose to let them be bought out though: They were/are a very succesful studio, and they sold for a very low price. Sounded like a dumb move at the time, and after hearing about the incredible sales figures for CoD:MW2, it sounds even more stupid that they've taken that step.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:05AM (#31369906)

    In their countersue Jason West and Vince Zampella claim that they have the right for "creative authority and approval for any "Modern Warfare" titles set in the post-Vietnam era, near future, or distant future".

    Is it coincidence that Activision is announcing the development of several COD games at the same time?

    What I suspect happened is that Activision just started developing these games without consulting Jason West and Vince Zampella, and then went to talk to them thinking they could just force them to do what they wanted.
    When they refused, they got fired.

  • EA bounty? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wct (45593) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:34AM (#31370100) Homepage

    Interesting quote from Vince Zampella's profile on LinkedIn:

    "...Rumor in the industry is that EA placed a million-dollar bounty for snapping up any IW studio lead, like Vince. Just the fact that the rumor is out there should speak volumes about how badly people want Vince working on their products"

    Jesse Heinig, Production Coordinator, Infinity Ward
    reported to Vince at Infinity Ward

  • Mother Fluckers. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:44AM (#31370174) Homepage

    Fuck you, Activision. Modern Warfare was awesome. Modern Warfare 2 was ok. At this point, the series has no where to go but downhill. Why kill it like this?

    Fuck you, Activision. Fuck you for becomming the new EA. Fuck you for treating your employees like shit. Fuck you for diluting the gaming industry and making it all about the money even more than it already was.

    Fuck you.

  • WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Radish03 (248960) on Friday March 05, 2010 @10:17AM (#31370526)
    According to Activision, 'The company intends to expand the Call of Duty brand with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit.'

    What? Blizzard has put out seven titles (four of which are expansions) in the last decade. Activision has put out nine titles in the Guitar/Whatever Hero line in just the last three years (not counting portable titles), and it sounds like they have similar plans for the Call of Duty line. I think what they mean to say is "We think we can turn Call of Duty into a subscription based FPS that prints money for us like World of Warcraft. And if we farm out five more shovelware titles in the same line, they'll sell based on brand recognition alone."
  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by omglolbah (731566) on Friday March 05, 2010 @11:41AM (#31371524)

    Blizzard is a big enough tail to wag the dog methinks.

    Considering the huge amounts of money they rake in on one title alone...

    And Blizzard has a lot to lose. I am quite a pirate. I never buy a game unless I've tried it. The reason for this is that so many games look spiffy but turn out to suck.

    Not so with blizzard. I buy blizzard games without pirating first as I know they will be excellent. I've bought Starcraft 2-3 times due to losing the cds/keys during apartment moves but I dont mind. Same with Warcraft 3.. Now imagine if their next game sucked. I suspect they would see a lot less loyalty and a whole lot more piracy.

    Though, if anyone can fuck it up, activision... well....fuck...I'll start making a spiffy tombstone :-p

  • Re:Mother Fluckers. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zach_the_lizard (1317619) on Friday March 05, 2010 @12:13PM (#31371954)
    CoD 1 with the expansion is still my favorite FPS of all time. The graphics were bad, but online play was very good if you found the right server and/or map. The Barbarossa map was my favorite; it was well balanced, huge, and had plenty of places to hide and engage in actual tactics. It had artillery that could be fired across the map by skilled players, attacking enemy bunkers and making things interesting. It had all the sniper action you could want. What's more, it had tanks, and lots of them. There's nothing like going over a hill to find 5 or 6 German tanks gunning for you. CoD 2 sucked, mostly because of the new health system. It makes no sense for you to just be able to hide and basically regenerate your shields every time you get hurt. That killed any sense of realism for me. Plus, they took away the vehicles they had in CoD 1.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jesus_666 (702802) on Friday March 05, 2010 @02:40PM (#31373820)
    One of Blizzard's great strengths is its almost-stellar reputation. Most people love Blizzard for being one of the most gamer-friendly companies in the industry. Their merger with Activision (currently striving for the coveted title of most hated distributor) made people wary - their reputations don't match each other at all.

    It remains to be seen whether Blizzard can keep living up to their name.

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