Project Icebreaker And Activision’s Day In Court

Project Icebreaker And Activision’s Day In Court


First things first, Electronic Arts is officially off of the Activision lawsuit against former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, as well as the Infinity Ward Employee Group. The two mega-publishers have reached a settlement and, while the details of it have not been disclosed to the public, it was enough to get EA out of harm’s way. The lawsuit as it stands now, though, will continue through, with a court date of May 29, despite a request from Activision to delay it in light of them getting a new lawyer.

Activision may be especially desperate for more time at this point, as extremely provocative and compelling evidence against them has now come forth in the form of Project Icebreaker. Information on the action comes from a filing revealed to Giant Bomb, which includes the deposition of Thomas Fenady, Activision’s director of IT at the time. He claims that George Rose, then the company’s chief legal officer and currently its chief policy officer, told him to “dig up dirt” on West and Zampella, because Bobby Kotick, Activision’s CEO, wanted to find justification to fire them.

Rose claims that Fenady is overblowing the scope of Project Icebreaker, which he admits did exist, and that it involved attempting to gain access to West and Zampella’s e-mails, going so far as to contact outside parties, such as Microsoft, for aid in the process. These outside companies reportedly did not comply.

Fenady goes on to claim that Activision was proposing staged emergencies, such as fumigations and fire drills, that would pull West and Zampella away from their computers so that they might be imaged, but these were ostensibly never done. It does bring to mind the alleged “interrogations” of Infinity Ward employees, though.

While this all appears to be a fairly powerful blow against Activision’s credibility, it lacks context. As of now, we can only make assumptions as to why Activision would engage in such an action with reference to the heads of its most popular franchise. Perhaps, if not justification, there is at least a logical explanation for the publisher’s behavior. We’ll surely find out when the trial gets underway at the end of the month.

By Shelby Reiches

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