Is Black Ops II ever going to hit the shelves?
In a Memorandum of Understanding created by Infinity Ward and Activision in 2008, Infinity Ward has established “authority” over any Call of Duty games set after post-Vietnam war. It states;
‘Activision will retain authority and responsibility over all titles within the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise (specifically excluding any ‘Call of Duty’ title set in modern day (post Vietnam). the near future or distant future, which shall be under the authority of IW consistent with and subject to Sections 2(a) and (b)). including all creative, development and publishing decisions; provided that IW will be entitled to receive a residual IP bonus and a technology bonus from products published under the ‘Call of Duty’ brand as outlined in Section 3(d).’
Infinity Ward have hired an intellectual property lawyer to advise them on the best course of action after Black Ops II seemingly breached the agreement.
The lawyer defending Infinity Ward, Eric Chad, outlined the legal obligations facing Activision;
‘[Pulling Black Ops II from the shelves] is likely a possible remedy. This does occasionally happen, but I think it is much more likely that the remedy would be some sort of damages payment, like a forced royalty.’
It is more likely that Activision will force a pay out due to the advanced stages of development the title is in. The pay out will be determined by how much Black Ops II makes when it is released, judging by Black Ops I, it stands to be a fair amount.
However, this isn’t the first time Activision have created legal controversy with Infinity Ward.