Activision Countersues Spark

This sounds like it’ll be really brutal. If Spark was betting on Activision quietly settling to avoid a protracted legal quagmire, man oh man, were they wrong. Acti is requesting a jury trial and has leveled some serious shit at them such as Sparks’ Allen selling them a bill-of-goods regarding their ability to ship a game comparable to MoH:

The suit goes on to lay the groundwork for the fraud charge, saying Allen’s “misrepresentations were intended to deceive Activision into believing that Spark possessed the talent, knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to create a similarly successful new WWII video game franchise that could rival Medal of Honor.” It continued, “Activision only later discovered that Allen had falsely and greatly exaggerated the role played by the Spark team in the creation, development, and production of Medal of Honor and that he had misrepresented the capabilities of Spark, whose monumental incompetence at its executive levels and inability to avoid doom without Activision’s intervention, Allen would himself later concede.”
It only gets better…


Spark, whose monumental incompetence at its executive levels and inability to avoid doom

Weird…I’m also monumentally incompetent with an inability to avoid doom.

This is the best part (boldface mine):

The next six pages of the countersuit break down why Activision didn’t want to make a Finest Hour sequel with Spark. Besides its problems with the sequel proposal’s delays, Activision said it "contained no compelling hook … involved features that were formulaic … [was] derivative of content in previous Call of Duty titles … or could be deemed offensive in light of contemporary events (e.g. CEO Allen’s ‘personal favorite’ idea of enabling ‘play as a guy in a turban with a really big knife.’)"

Now that sounds like a cool game.

— Alan

What WWII FPS doesn’t have features that are fomulaic?




That thing is going to give me fucking nightmares…

Sounds like a nightmare on both sides of the fence. Activision is just going on the offense as it’s the best defense, but this is a really good example of why the current game publishing status quo is horribly broken.

ok now I’m seeing those faces when I close my eyes.

That lawsuit is sounding pretty crazy. It sounds pretty hard to tell outside of ether company who is telling the truth . Activison may just win out of the fact of there greater funds then Spark.

To tell you the truth, I did play Call of Duty for the consoles and the game did not have the same level of greatness and fun factor compared to the pc version. I can’t remember the name of the dev team behind the pc version but weren’t they also ex EA members?

They’re at the “bring it all” stage of litigation. Making nice can happen once everybody’s staked out their turf. More than 95% of civil suits settle, and I’m pretty sure this one won’t ever see a jury. Corporate types hate uncertainty, the ones that go to trial are the ones with nothing to lose, like the guy that had the intermittent windshield wiper patent and ended up dinging Ford for millions, or the Immersion rumble suit against Sony. Spark is probably betting the company, but Activision will want it off of their “potential liabilities” listing in their SEC reports sooner rather than later.

Infinity Ward, and yes I think they were a sizable portion of the developer (2015) that worked on MoH:AA for EA (but they are not owned by EA).

However, if this post proves anything it is that generally people remember the publishers of the games they play, not the developers, which is really unfortunate (and part of the problem, I suspect). :cry:

The management team at Spark seems to not only be grossly incompetent, but also learned absolutely nothing from their litigation experience with EA…

There’s precedent here as Spark was sued by Electronic Arts for the exact same thing when they left EA to join ATVI and tried to bring source code and EA property with them. I believe that ATVI settled the claim with Activision, but I can’t seem to find a link to the stories about it (would have happened in 2002 or 2003).