Activision v. West and Zampella case pushed back to June 1st

The trial between the creators and publishers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been a long time coming, but today the presiding judge delayed the court date even further.

The trial between the creators and publishers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been a long time coming, but today the presiding judge delayed the court date even further.

Judge Elihu Berle, who is presiding in the legal battle between Activision and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, pushed back the trial from its original court date of May 29th to an expected date of June 1st.

A Polygon editor in the courtroom learned that an extended jury selection is being cited as the reason for the trial's delay. Once things get started, the trial is estimated to run 20 days — though Judge Berle commented, "It shouldn't take 20 days to try this case. It's not that complicated."

Judge Berle required that the trial end no later than July 2, giving the lawyers 22 business days to try the case.

At today's hearing in a Los Angeles Superior Court, Berle heard arguments from lawyers representing Activision, West and Zampella, and the 40 former Infinity Ward employees seeking outstanding bonus payments. Lawyers on both sides argued the specific language of West and Zampella's contractual agreements with publisher Activision and the methods used to calculate bonus payments. At issue was how much the former Infinity Ward employees were owed for the technology and intellectual property used in games developed by other studios, including the Treyarch-developed Call of Duty: Black Ops.

After releasing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, West and Zampella were fired from Infinity Ward in March 2010 for "breaches of contract and insubordination," according to Activision. The duo sued Activision for wrongful termination, seeking $36 million in unpaid bonuses. Activision later countersued, alleging that West and Zampella attempted to steal away the Infinity Ward team "at the expense of Activision and its shareholders and for their own personal financial gain."

An additional hearing is scheduled for Friday, with additional pre-trial hearings planned to start May 29th.

We'll be there to let you know which way things fall as soon as the decision is reached. Stay tuned!

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