Shortly after rumours arose that a settlement between Activision and Zampella and West was in the works, Bruce Issacs, attorney for the Infinity Ward Employee Group confirmed that the case has indeed been settled in full. The terms are said to be highly confidential and that all attorneys would give no further comment. Activison has since released a complete statement related to the settlement of the trial:
“Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced that all parties to the litigation have reached a settlement of the dispute, the terms of which are strictly confidential.”
“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, due to stronger-than-expected operating performance in the current quarter.”
The second paragraph is significant in that it reveals some small details about the settlement, namely that the settlement would appear to be approximately the same value that Activision was expecting in their projections for this quarter. Notably, the settlement would be a fraction of the total amount sought (over $1 billion) by West and Zampella with all damages included.
West and Zampella, two former heads of Infinity Ward and employees of Activison, were claiming that they had been wrongly terminated from Infinity Ward and sued Activision. Activision counter-sued the pair, claiming that West and Zampella had plans to take fellow employees at Infinity Ward and move to competing publisher, Electronic Arts.
Analysis: So one of the nastiest legal battles in the last few years within the game industry has come to an end, one day before the trial was set to begin. Frankly, it’s not all that surprising. I don’t believe Activision was willing to have their dirty laundry aired to the public, and it was only a matter of time before a settlement was agreed upon. Makes you wonder as to what exactly Activision had to hide, but it certainly highlights that West and Zampella’s accusations had more than a little truth to them.
However, West and Zampella aren’t necessarily innocent, either; it’s very much the case of the lesser of two evils. As evil as Activision is thought to be, outside of Infinity Ward, there haven’t been too many people complaining and leaving the company. Whether there’s any truth to Activision’s claims that West and Zampella had open talks with EA is uncertain, but if true, it speaks more of West and Zampella characters than anything else.
Unsurprisingly, the terms of the agreement have been kept confidential, and this is common, given the fact that most cases that are settled in such a manner are done so that a company can avoid bad publicity. I’m glad the case is over as I’ve been covering the happenings of the case as it’s moved along. At a certain point, one just wants to play and enjoy video games the companies have to offer. Hopefully after this, the two parties can leave each other alone and focus on their own endeavours moving forward.