The courtroom showdown between the creators of Call of Duty and publisher Activision won't be happening. Attorneys involved tell Polygon that the case won't be going before a jury and that the case has been resolved.
The courtroom showdown between the creators of Call of Duty and publisher Activision won't be happening. Attorneys involved tell Polygon that the case won't be going before a jury and that it has been resolved.
An attorney representing Jason West and Vince Zampella, former heads of Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward, says a settlement has been reached in the suit but that the terms of that settlement are strictly confidential.
"We have reached a settlement in this matter as to all parties and all claims," said Daniel Petrocelli, one of the attorneys for West and Zampella. "Dismissals will be filed soon."
While Activision representatives declined to comment, the company did send out a statement announcing the settlement of the litigation.
The terms of the settlement, according to the statement, are "strictly confidential."
The wording of a short statement does make it sound as if some sort of payment was involved.
"The company does not believe that the incremental one-time charges related to the settlement will result in a material impact on its GAAP or non-GAAP earnings per share outlook for the current quarter or the calendar year, due to stronger-than-expected operating performance in the current quarter."
Today's decision comes after days of behind closed doors meetings between the attorneys. On Wednesday, attorneys for both groups were in a conference room behind closed doors, apparently hammering out the details of a settlement agreement.
At one point during the day Beth Wilkinson, the lead attorney for Activision, was overheard talking to another attorney about discussing things "with their bosses."
The hearing scheduled for the day never happened and after about half a day of meetings the judge adjourned the courtroom saying they would continue the hearings today.
Publisher Activision and former members of Encino-based game developer Infinity Ward were set to go to court on June 1st to try a lawsuit in which up to $1 billion was at stake. West and Zampella sued their former publisher after they were fired from the studio they founded, claiming they were wrongfully terminated so that Activision could avoid paying out millions in bonuses for sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Activision had countersued West and Zampella, claiming the pair had planned to steal away top Infinity Ward talent and take them to rival publisher EA.
In a Los Angeles Superior Court today gathered attorneys for Activision, West, Zampella and the Alderman group, an entity representing 38 former Infinity Ward employees. Jason West was also in attendance, smiling.
There were no objections from either party in announcing the agreement and the decision to seek a dismissal of the case from the judge.
The judge, upon wrapping up the proceedings, congratulated the gathering for an "excellent job."
West, apparently happy, walked from the courtroom with his attorney. When asked for his thoughts on the decision, West remained quiet but his attorney said "No comment."
The two then boarded an elevator where they discussed movies.
We've reached out to Activision and Zampella for comment and will update this story if they respond.
Update: Electronic Arts, which settled out of court with Activision earlier this month on their side of the suit, offered Polygon the following comment on the settlement: "Activision's refusal to pay their talent and attempt to blame EA were absurd. This settlement is a vindication of Vince and Jason, and the right of creative artists to collect the rewards due for their hard work."