$400 million EA-Activision lawsuit settled out of court

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 23:23 GMT By Johnny Cullen

EA and Activision have settled out of court over the former’s apparent involvement of insubordination of ex-Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella.

A joint statement from EA and Activision has also been issued.

“Activision and EA have agreed to put this matter behind them,” it said in a brief line.

However, West/Zampella and Activision are still going to trial over its dismissal from the Modern Warfare developer on May 29.

Giant Bomb posted details earlier tonight of a filing for something called “Operation Icebreaker,” where Activision attempted to “dig up dirt” on the two IW heads by hacking their emails and voicemail.

The endgame of Icebreaker, according to documents, was for Activision to fire West and Zampella.

West and Zampella were fired from Infinity Ward in March 2010 after Activision claimed the pair were insubordinate. The duo went on to found Respawn Entertainment soon after. Its first game from the studio will be published by EA Partners.

Respawn said earlier today it wouldn’t be showing its debut game at E3 next month.

At the end of 2010, it was announced Activision was seeking $400 million in damages from EA, West and Zampella.

Acti said at the time EA had “intentionally interfered” with West and Zampella’s IW deals, adding EA “engaged in unfair competition and aided and abetted breaches of fiduciary duty by the executives.”

It had been previously rumoured that both West and Zampella were headhunted by EA whilst under contract at Activision and Infinity Ward.

The settlement comes after Activision hired a new lawyer, Beth Wilkinson, to represent them in the EA-Acti trial. Wilkinson had asked for a 30 day delay of the trial, which was due to begin on May 29, to catch up with events surrounding it.

According to LA Times’ Ben Fritz on Twitter earlier this evening and a report on Bloomberg, the request was denied after it was heard by California Superior Court judge Elihu Berle.

Activision announced this week it had come to a settlement of $42 million with ex-Infinity Ward staff over unpaid royalties earned during the development of Modern Warfare 2, but said at the time it would continue its action against West and Zampella.

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