Activision Publishing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard has announced that the Los Angeles Superior Court has denied a motion brought by Electronic Arts (EA) for summary judgment, thereby permitting Activision to proceed to trial on its $400 million contract-interference suit against EA. At a hearing held on December 21, 2012, Judge Elihu Berle denied EA’s motion, finding that the evidence presented by Activision supplied a basis for a jury to potentially conclude both that EA had intentionally interfered with Activision’s employment agreements with former Call of Duty game developers, Jason West and Vince Zampella, and that EA had aided and abetted West and Zampella’s breach of fiduciary duties to Activision. A related summary judgment motion put forth by West and Zampella was also denied.
In the suit Activision alleges that West and Zampella breached their contracts and duty of loyalty to Activision by conduct that was insubordinate and otherwise improper and that West and Zampella’s misconduct was caused, at least in part, by EA’s unlawful tampering. A jury trial in the case is scheduled to begin on May 7, 2012.