Just one day before the case was due to go to court, the complex lawsuit involving Activision, a group of former Infinity Ward employees, and its former heads Jason West and Vince Zampella has been settled by all parties. The agreement brings almost two years of litigation to a close.
West and Zampella sued Activision for wrongful dismissal and owed royalties, after being fired in March 2010. A separate group of former Infinity Ward employees filed another lawsuit, also claiming owed bonus payments and royalties. This later group was by Activision, which did not constitute a legal settlement.
Activision countersued West and Zampella in 2010, claiming disloyalty on their part. The company also launched a $400 million USD lawsuit against fellow publisher Electronic Arts, who it accused of trying to lure West and Zampella away from Activision. This case reached its conclusion with an undisclosed settlement.
Likewise, the details of this latest agreement have not yet been released (and may never come to light). All we know is that it brings to a close all litigation proceedings between Activision, the Infinity Ward Employees Group, Jason West and Vince Zampella.
The respective parties have released statements on the conclusion of the case, which read as follows.
Respawn Entertainment (West and Zampella’s new development studio) had this to say: “All parties to the litigation have reached a settlement of the dispute, the terms of which are strictly confidential.”
Activision reassured its shareholders by stating that “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.” This does suggest that Activision paid out a sum significant enough that it felt the need to calm its investors, and it means that the amount paid in the settlement may be reflected in the company’s next public shareholder report.
Finally, EA couldn’t resist having a good dig at their rival publisher: “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.”