A case pitting the world's biggest game company against two of the industry's top developers is increasingly looking like a messy celebrity divorce.
As the lawsuits involvingActivision Blizzard Inc.and former employees Jason West and Vincent Zampella head to court next week, documents spilling into the public eye give a rare glimpse of a relationship that began to deteriorate long before the actual split-up in March 2010 when the company fired West and Zampella.
From a previous Times report, Activision had contingencies planned for life without West and Zampella, the heads of a game studio that developed the company's multibillion-dollar Call of Duty series. In additional documents that have recently come to light, we now know the feelings were mutual.
In one email, West and Zampella's lawyer Harold Brown discusses a "proposal" from Activision rival Electronic Arts Inc. In his email dated Dec. 23, 2009, Brown did not specify what the proposal entailed -- only that it assumed West and Zampella were "free of Activision."