Today I am forced to blog a critique about the public and media reactions to a high profile case. The case in question here is the battle between Activision, Infinity Ward, and Electronic Arts (EA) over the rights to the “Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare” franchise. To help get this assignment finished we will be looking at the following sites:
Along with the critiques of these sites I will also give a critique of the way people react in the comment section in each of the website if it is provided for that site.
The purpose of this specific blog post is to show how each of these sources provide information about this case.
This case started in March of 2010 when “Call Of Duty” crators Vince Zampella and Jason West were fired from Activision’s “Infinity Ward” department.
Activision had reported that Zampella and West were working with EA behind Activisions back in order to start up their own company. Activision also claimed Zampella and West were trying to steal development tools for video games and sway fellow employees into leaving Activision for Zampella and West’s new company Respawn Entertainment
Zampella and West tell a different version of the story saying that they had not been paid royalties that had been owed to them by Activision for the “Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare” games.
There is a lot more to this story than just this. You could almost write a book or make a movie over the amount of information that goes into this case. My only hope is that I can explain this accurately with the amount of information surrounding this case.
EA did help Zampella and West start their own company “Respawn Entertainment,” after they had left Activision. Around 40 employees from Activision’s Infinity Ward department followed Zampella and West to their new company and started the “Infinity Ward Employee Group” to seek the unpaid royalties owed to them in the amount of $75 million to $125 million.
Somewhere in there Activision started a counter suit against EA saying that EA was trying to lure Zampella and West away from Activision.
Eventually Infinity Ward/Activision did pay $42 million to the “Infinity Ward Employee Group” out of court. Even though that amount was paid the case still continued on through the court system.
Somewhere in there Zampella and West filed another suit saying that Activision did not own the rights to any modern day war game. The terms of that agreement were filed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). I will provide a link to that (MOU) which is found on the Game Informer website later in this blog.
Finally, around mid-May 2012 all the cases were settled without going to full-on jury trial. However, the terms of those settlements are unfortunately completely confidential.
Phew, that is a big convoluted mess. I will now provide a few links and critiques to these sites I received the stories from so you can take a look and judge for yourself.
First up we have SegmentNext.
This site is fairly straightforward when it comes to this story. Title, photo,
story, and a description of the author of this story in a single file column. Their is not a single comment left in the comment section though so it is hard to see how people feel about this story.
This site seems fairly professional and easy to navigate. I did not actually go snooping around this site though or any other site for that matter. I strictly clicked on the link I needed for the purpose of this assignment.
This is the only site I was able to find that had info dated to this case as late as September 2013. This site seems like the only place I am able to find that has info on any new releases when it comes to the “Modern Warfare” franchise and it does not sound good.
Apparently, Infinity Ward no longer wants anything to do with the “Modern Warfare” franchise. One part because of the fact that most of the staff followed Zampella and West to their new company and in another part because of said MOU that I had mentioned earlier.
This site seems rather consistent with the other sites in keeping stories straight. The only thing that concerns me is that the author only uses videogamer.com as a reference. I wish he could have included a few more places for citing information.
Next up we have Metro.
This site seems to be a professionally designed site as well. There are ads all over the place on this site so that may be a bit distracting for some or a great place that answers needs for others. Once again, this is all laid out in a single column where the story is concerned and it even includes a sweet little video for one of the “Call Of Duty” games.
I am actually going to try something new here. This is a link to a different video buuuuut I want to see if I can get a video to play through a photo.
Now that was a huge pain in the ass. Good news though folks. I think I figured it out. If I can figure this crap out then I am certain just about anybody can figure it out. Now I have two videos up.
So the writing on the Metro site seems a bit confusing but to their credit this is where i found the MOU through a Game Informer link that they had referenced. Again, there is not a single comment left so it is hard to say how the public feels according to this site.
Being I just mentioned Game Informer we should go ahead and take a look at that as well.
This is of course a professional website. Heck, I subscribe to these people’s magazine and look forward to getting the newest issue in my mailbox every month. So, my review may be a bit biased here.
What I do like about this site is that this is where you will see the MOU I have spoken of. You may want to check it out. It is a fairly good read after all.
It really does not appear that Game Informer sides with one or the other on this case. Maybe because they are trying to cover their ass for future games or maybe it is just because they really do not favor one side or the other.
What I also like about this site is that it provides links on the side to related stories on this case.
At last, there is a comment or two left on this site. It is actually fairly funny to read some of these comments. Out of the dozen or so I looked at everybody sides with Zampella and West. Activision does not seem like a fan favorite on this site. We will see how the fans react in the future if they keep pumping out Call Of Duty games every year.
For the next website we have joystiq.
This cite here seems almost exactly like all the other sites I have looked at so far. These websites are getting a bit ho-hum and cliched. It has been done already! Somebody do something flipping new already!
So yeah, it is just a single column of text with a rather entertaining photo at the top.
On the right side and following the story are a bunch of ads. Go figure.
Following the story is a comments section that people actually commented on again. It is kind of crazy. I am supposed to compare/contrast. Meaning that I should not really take one side or the other. Everyone has the tone of voice that they hate Activision so it is hard to compare/contrast.
The site seems easy enough to navigate to me. As mentioned before however; I did not actually navigate this site. I merely clicked the link I needed for this story and went with that.
Now for the first site that I found that told of the outcome of this case. That site is venturebeat.
This site actually seems a bit crowded and possibly hard to navigate. I could be wrong however. With the amount of articles on this site it seems a bit overwhelming.
This site does give a nice wrap up to the big story. All of the stories tied to this story with links on the bottom just do not seem to tie into this story in any way. I am not real sure how they decide what linking stories to attach to their main stories but they may want to reconsider.
To improve this site I would probably do away with linking everything everywhere on every single damn page. There are different channels to click on, different authors to click on, and just about anything else you ever need to click on is most likely on this page.
I am not a professional web designer though so what do I know.
Once again there are no comments left on this page. That is honestly too bad because I really like reading how pissed off people get on this subject.
This is also the first site that I found that included a picture of Zampella and West. That is cool by me because I did wonder what these two looked like.
The last site I visited was Inside Gaming Daily.
This is actually one of the best looking sites I looked at for this story. It could possibly be due to the black background of the article. I am not saying I am a huge fan of black but it is nice to get away from the white screen we are all so terribly familiar with.
This website does offer a good conclusion/wrap-up to this two almost three year old case. I like the layout. It does not seem to crowded with crap. Plus it has comments.
I actually finally found a comment from someone that did not side with Zampella and West. And here I thought everybody hated Activision. The statement reads as follows”