Payton & Associates, LLC
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida
786-574-4943

Activision and EA business dispute may soon see an end

Some Florida residents may be aware of the back-and-forth allegations between Activision Blizzard Inc. and Electronics Arts Inc., two of the more prominent video game developers, over a recent business dispute. The business dispute began in 2010, when the actions of two former Activision employees set off an already intense rivalry, and continues to be an issue now. Although it is said that the companies reached a settlement at some point -- the information about which was not disclosed -- Activision and EA were set to begin trial for the case on May 29.

The dispute was founded in two employees who headed up the Infinity Ward studio associated with Activision and who were fired for an alleged breach of contract that involved using intellectual property for personal gain. The duo then filed a lawsuit, claiming wrongful termination and seeking unpaid bonuses and royalties. Following that, several other Infinity Ward employees filed similar lawsuits seeking withheld royalties from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

At some point, EA agreed to fund a new studio that would be led by the two men, which Activision argued was a plot to destroy the Infinity Ward studio. It is not said what the outcome of this business dispute may be, though as some Florida residents are aware, such complex situations involving many factors like breaches of contract, potential competition and withholding of due payments may take time and careful effort to resolve. Especially as allegations continue to surface, such as statements that Activision secretly accessed the emails, voicemails and computer files of the two individuals at the center of the business dispute some months before they were fired from the company.

Source: The Republic, "Activision, EA settle litigation as larger 'Call of Duty' trial nears," Alex Pham and Ben Fritz, May 16, 2012

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