A complete copy of the lawsuit being filed against Activision by Jason West and Vince Zampella – the former bosses of Infinity Ward – reveals the true extent of the feuding between the studio and the publisher.
And for the first time the saga has become personal, with Activision boss Bobby Kotick himself coming under attack.
This lawsuit is solely and regrettably the result of the astonishing arrogance and unbridled greed of defendant Activision,” it reads.
Such actions are not surprising, given that Activision is run by a CEO who has been publicly quoted as believing that the best way to run a video game studio in to engender a culture of scepticism, pessimism and fear” and prefers to pay his lawyers instead of his employees.
The document also contains claims that Activision as heavy handed in its treatment of the pair – and the studio's employees – once it kick-started its investigation.
Instead of thanking, lauding of just plain paying West and Zampella for giving Activision the most successful entertainment product ever offered to the public, last month Activision hired lawyers to conduct a pretextual investigation” into unstated and unsubstantiated charges of insubordination” and breach of duty”.
It then summoned West and Zampella to a sham meeting two days ago during which they were fired on the basis of false and trivial charges. Activision conducted the investigation in a manner designed to maximise the inconvenience and anxiety it would cause West and Zampella.
On little notice, Activision insisted on conducting interviews over the Presidents' Day holiday weekend; West and Zampella were interrogated for over six hours in a windowless conference room; Activision investigators brought other Infinity Ward employees to tears in their questioning and accusations and threatened West and Zampella with insubordination” if they attempted to console them; Activision's outside counsel demanded that West and Zampella surrender their personal computers, phones and communication devices.
A diary of events detailed in the court documents have been compiled over at Develop.