Activision settles with former Infinity Ward heads

In March 2010, mere months after the record-breaking release of Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, publisher Activision Blizzard summarily fired the studio’s President, Jason West, and its Chief Creative Officer, Vince Zampella. West and Zampella went on to sue the publisher, alleging wrongful termination; Activision countersued, claiming the developers breached their contracts (among other alleged misdeeds).

Now, more than two years later, the LA Times reports that Activision Blizzard has settled out of court with West and Zampella just one day before the case was set to go to trial. As the paper points out, the settlement also resolves another lawsuit filed by 40 former Activsion developers, who claimed the company “deprived them of hundreds of millions of dollars in bonus payments and royalties.”

The settlement terms are being kept under wraps… at least verbally. The LA Times writes that West “was seen smiling broadly as he left the courtroom.” Considering Modern Warfare 2 was dubbed the biggest entertainment launch ever, and its sales reached $1 billion within two months of the launch, I can take a guess as to why.

Comments closed
    • funko
    • 7 years ago

    This may sound petty, but I’ve held out on buying Activision pub’ed games because of the inital fallout, and am now willing to buy them again, now that they were forced to at least partially right their wronging of the best CoD dev team (of the past). I hope all 40 ex-employees got something comparable to their due share of what i feel was an excellent game (CoD: MW2) i stopped playing CoD after that, not just for the political reasons, but I got bored of the halo-style MW deathmatches, and switched to BF3 which mixes it up a whole lot more, and feels more epic, but less deathmatchy.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      I also hope that perhaps those 40 people decide they have enough money to create their own startup again.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Haha, I bet Bobby Kotick had a bad day. The moneys flowed away from the Activision-Blizzard vaults (guarded by orcs, zugzug) and into the wallets of the mistreated.

    Kotick swore that he’d never, ever let that happen. That the mistreated must always receive MORE mistreatment, not money. For if the mistreated were given more money, they might all rise up and demand actual compensation and respect for the work they’d done. And that would be chaos.

    Because you don’t make soap that way. Bobby, it’s a brave new world. You have to pay your peeps equivalent to the work they’ve done. I bet those two guys are really glad that Kotick personally made a huge contribution to Respawn’s growth for no return. It really was generous of him to help a competitor make a badass Call of Duty destroyer. I imagine EA’s elated. I wonder who Kotick fired to get over it. “Send me someone to fire! ANYONE! I NEED TO FIRE SOMEONE!”

    Perhaps he should get a shout out at the end of the new game, “And thanks to Bobby. Without you, we’d still be toiling on yet another Call of Duty. Without you, our game wouldn’t be nearly as awesome as after the billions in back payments you paid us. Stay just as you are. Keep makin’ that soap!”

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    Its apparent that they were indeed fired to prevent them collecting their bonuses.

    You typically don’t get fired for looking for other work, there is no legal grounds as long as you don’t walk off with company property.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    ACTIVISION/BLIZZARD IS THE BEST DEVELOPER IN THE WORLD. MAKES ME SICK TO IMAGINE WHAT THESE CON ARTS STOLE FROM THEM!!!

      • I.S.T.
      • 7 years ago

      Does Activision even have internal developers anymore? Each time I see a game come out from them, some other company is listed as the developer.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 7 years ago

        um yeah they are professional scavengers, buying up studios and closing them but keeping the IP rights to their games. Its how EA used to work.

      • stym
      • 7 years ago

      That’s exactly like saying “New Line Cinema is the best movie director in the world, makes me sick to imagine that Peter Jackson, that con artist, is trying to steal from them!!!”

      Activision/Blizzard is not a developer, it’s a video game publisher. The guys from Infinity Ward are the content developers here. That’s not to say they are without fault. I’m just pointing out you are very confused about the different roles in the video game industry.

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        DO YOU THINK CAPS IS HIS WAY OF INDICATING SARCASM?

          • gbcrush
          • 7 years ago

          HOWABOUT THAT CONARTS STOLE the lower case alphabet?

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        i was joking?

        • ET3D
        • 7 years ago

        I’m pretty sure Blizzard is still a development studio.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 years ago

      PLUS 1 BRUTHAIR!!!

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      Obvious troll is obvious.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        you don’t say?

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