Gaming’s biggest legal showdown gets a court date

The fight between the creators of the Call of Duty franchise and their former publisher Activision has a court date. Zampella-west

Jason West and Vince Zampella’s case against the company will be heard before a judge on May 7, 2012. Both parties are suing each other over a variety of charges in a soap opera-like tale of betrayal, cash and skullduggery – but the money at stake – hundreds of millions of dollars – is very real.

“I’m really looking forward to having our day in Court,” Zampella told.Forbes, which originally reported the date. 

Activision abruptly dismissed West and Zampella in March 2010, alleging the duo had conspired to start a new company and recruit their team at Activision studio Infinity Ward to staff it, then strike a publishing deal with rival publisher Electronic Arts. The developers filed suit a few months later, seeking $125 million in royalties they say they were owed from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Activision countersued, folding EA into the case and asking for $400 million.

Since then, there’s been a lot of glaring between the two – and Activision and EA have taken to squabbling in public about trivial matters, but this is the first notable public movement in the case.

The hearing, assuming it’s not moved or the case isn’t settled privately, will occur just four weeks before E3, the video game industry’s annual trade show.