Activision and Electronic Arts have settled their differences in each’s involvement in the prolonged case of between the Call of Duty publisher and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella. Back in 2010, after being fired from Activision, West and Zampella hit the publisher with a lawsuit claiming they were owed upwards of $30 Million in unpaid royalties.
Activision responded with a countersuit that claimed Electronic Arts attempted to sway West and Zampella away with a better job opportunity. Electronic Arts ended up being named a defendant in the case between Activision and West/Zampella, but the grudge match between the two publishers is now over.
While they wouldn’t comment on the nature of the accord, or what brought it about, a joint statement was released by the two companies stating, “Activision and EA have agreed to put this matter behind them.” Clearly they would much rather battle it out in the future battlefields than in real world courts. That shouldn’t stop EA’s John Riccitiello from slinging a few choice words Activision’s way once Medal of Honor 2 or Battlefield 4 release.
While this settlement might be a big step for the two competing developers it doesn’t mean much in the long-term battle between West/Zampella and Activision. In fact, recent details have come to light that suggest Activision tried to dig up any dirt possible on the two Infinity Ward heads before the launch of Modern Warfare 2. The search was dubbed Project Icebreaker and may just have blown the lid off the landmark case.
Whatever the outcome might be for the two parties there is sure to be some larger impact felt on the games industry as a whole. Our only hope is that it doesn’t affect relationships between developers and publishers, and it doesn’t impact the future for West and Zampella’s next game development outfit Respawn Entertainment.
Do you think the EA and Activision settlement has anything to do with the new details that have come to light? Will we ever see an end to this case?