Video game editor Activision Blizzard for follow-up Netflix, claiming that the video streaming service had embarked on a multi-year campaign of illegal executive poaching, including hiring its former chief financial officer.
Activision claims that Netflix interfered with the contact of the executive, Spencer Neumann, by offering to pay him up front to cover his legal fees.
“Netflix shamelessly recruits talent without regard to its ethical and legal obligations,” Activision said in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles state court Friday.
Activision is suing for intentional interference, unfair competition and aiding and abetting. He is seeking a court order to permanently bar Netflix from seeking Activision employees and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages to be determined by a jury at trial.
Netflix and Activision both declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Neumann jumped up from Activision to Netflix in early 2019 after being abruptly put on leave by the video game maker in preparation for the move. He had joined Activision in May 2017 since Walt disney, where he served as CFO of the theme parks division of that company.
In the costume, the game publisher expressed concern that – as Netflix makes video games based on its shows – it is “increasing its competition with Activision.” Netflix shows have already evolved into games such as “Stranger Things 3: The Game” and “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance”.
The video game market has exploded during the Covid-19 pandemic as many other forms of entertainment have become inaccessible. Video games are expected to generate nearly $ 160 billion in revenue worldwide this year, up 9.3%, according to research firm Newzoo. The launch of new game consoles from Microsoft and Sony this fall is expected to fuel the market again.
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