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EA and Activision settle in Call of Duty lawsuit


EA and Activision have reached a settlement in a lawsuit that began two years ago, pertaining to the departure of Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella. EA had been accused of secretly recruiting the pair while they were still at Activision.

No details about the settlement are currently available, but both companies said today that they will file a settlement agreement in Los Angeles' California state court.

Former Infinity Ward developers Jason West and Vince Zampella sued Activision in 2010 after being fired, claiming damages of $36 million from unpaid royalties associated with Modern Warfare 2, which launched in 2009. After leaving Activision, the pair began their own studio, Respawn Entertainment, and inked a publishing deal with EA. Since then, West and Zampella's claim rose to $1 billion and Activision countersued with EA as a defendant.

Activision recently paid out $42 million to the Infinity Ward Employee Group, though not as a settlement; IWEG said it would pursue litigation and is still scheduled for trial May 29.

The settlement news comes the same day as a report on Activision's "dirt"-digging tactics has surfaced, stating that Activision launched an information-gathering IT spree on West and Zampella just before the launch of Modern Warfare 2, intended to see them both fired. Activision called it "Project Icebreaker."

No joke.

In Project Icebreaker, Activision's George Rose asked the IT department to access West and Zampella's email, voicemail and computer without anyone's knowledge, a court filing given to Giantbomb by West and Zampella's attorneys shows. The orders reportedly came from Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. Activision attempted to use third-party security specialists and threw around the idea of staging a fake fumagation to get into West and Zampella's offices, the report says.

But now the case is settled -- any verdict on the level of sanity of gaming companies is, however, still out.

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