Infinity Ward ‘Held Back’ CoD DLC For EA

Gaming’s biggest bitch fight continues to rumble along. In the latest round of court documents, a previously redacted email suggests that West & Zampella delayed a Modern Warfare 2 map pack so gamer’s attention would not be distracted from the launch of Electronic Art’s ‘Battlefield Bad Company 2’.

EA’s senior director of global marketing Lincoln Hershberger sent an email titled “The Fall of IW?” to EA Games label president Frank Gibeau, various other EA execs and the executive producer of the Battlefield franchise, Karl-Magnuss Troedsson. The email reads:

“A couple months ago, I asked Vince [Zampella] to hold back their map pack until after we launched (he owes me one). Given that they’ve already made a billion, he was cool with that, obviously Kotick took it as being belligerent.”

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 launched in the U.S. on March 2nd 2010, the Stimulus Package for Modern Warfare 2 arrived on Xbox Live on March 30. In response to the email, EA spokesman Jeff Brown has said:

“This was obviously sarcasm,” he said. “It’s clear from the email this was a joke and they never spoke. We explained this to lawyers at Activision – who apparently don’t have much of a sense of humour.”

Ah the old ‘It was a joke!” defence, a classic. My top tip for Electronic Arts is to add “LOLZ!” or “ROFL!” to the end your ‘joke’ emails’, this may help in future court appearances.

Source: Joystiq / Gamasutra


  1. Maybe include a picture of cat so people really know you mean business…erm, joke business.

  2. This bitch fight has more twists in it then a rollercoaster.

  3. “See you in court, LOL!”

  4. lol games companys now adays dont care about the gamers and have no pride over what they make, its all about the money.

    • Business is business. If you had a company and your employees were blatantly working to sabotage your business and promote your competition wouldn’t you be a bit upset?
      TBH West and Zampella come across as vastly unprofessional and on a rather HUGE ego trip.
      I’m not the biggest Activision fan but they have every right to go after them.

      • @Notorious have they actually been found guilty for what they have been accused for? Last i heard they haven’t?

        And not being funny but i’m sick and tired of people saying it’s just business! Oh yeah it’s business alright but when it’s having a detrimental effect on the consumer then isn’t it about time we bring this so called business down?

      • thats what i mean there must have been some exchange in money from ea

        personally if i had the capabilitys (sorry spelling) i would be very proud of the game i created and would never shoot myself in the foot

      • Aphex, you have to admit, these emails don’t exactly make them look innocent.
        I cant entirely see how this is at the detriment of the consumer, we now have a rebuilt Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer and Trearch working on CoD games and the “brains” behind it, Respawn, working with an invigorated EA.

  5. Heard this yesterday and lol’d, do Activision seriously think IW would delay the DLC 1 month for EA?!

    • It would make sense for IW though, if gamers have the choice of buying a completely new game or spend £10 on five maps they’ll buy the new game. They may get bored of that game in a month and go back to COD, by which time they have more money again and can spend it on the map pack. I know a lot of people that did do that.

  6. well given activision already made so much money as the email states i’d say that was a pretty good thing to do. if they did it.

  7. This & plenty of other stuff I’ve read does show West & Zampella in an unprofessional light at the very least.

    EA also look like they had a hand in it, although, why shouldn’t they poach talented staff… It’s just what thereafter that looks to be severely underhand.

  8. Gotta just be a joke taken out of context

    • the “obviously Kotick took it as being belligerent” line makes it clear the entire thing is almost certainly a joke.

  9. A lot of people don’t seem to get jokes these days.
    People better start getting jokes or I’ll blow up an Activision.

    • Any form of non verbal communication is dangerous ground when it comes to “joking”.

      It is almost impossible to tell what is meant to be serious and what is sarcastic or jovial when it is written down.

      IF and its a big IF, this email was a joke then it can be marked down to being a rather unprofessional joke that could cost the company millions of dollars.

      Hmmm, I almost feel the need to write some form of article on the subject.

    • In other news, TSA writer Blair was arrested today for “suspected terrorist activities”. Blair has made a statement that it was a “joke”, but police have stated that his intent was clear from the lack of “LOLZ” within his threat. If successfully prosecuted, Blair could be facing 20 years without parole, and repeated shower loving.

      • Things were sounding pretty dire, until the last three words, just proves every cloud has a silver lining ;)

  10. I’ve got to say that the email does sound like he was being sarcastic.

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