UPDATE: Activision and West/Zampella Settle

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

UPDATE: Activision and West/Zampella Settle

image

The Infinity Ward case will not be going to court.

With upwards of a billion dollars potentially on the line one way or another, one of modern gaming's biggest legal dramas - the lawsuit and countersuit between former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella and publisher Activision - has been resolved and will not be heard in front of a jury.

Details of the settlement are "strictly confidential," though Jason West was reportedly smiling in court when the settlement was announced. "We have reached a settlement in this matter as to all parties and all claims," said a lawyer representing West and Zampella, who said that official court dismissals would be forthcoming soon.

West and his lawyer declined to comment as they left the courtroom.

Yesterday, a judge delayed the trial until the beginning of June, setting a limit of 22 days for lawyers to argue their cases. That had just been the latest development in the kerfuffle - earlier, EA and Activision had settled their own suit on the matter, and Activision had paid out $42 million to former Infinity Ward employees who it had determined were not at fault in any of this.

Given revelations that Activision had, among other things, tried to have Infinity Wards' computers hacked, it doesn't take an especially cynical person to see this as the publisher taking actions to avoid being taken to the cleaners in court once all its cards were on the table. West's reported grin may lend further weight to the theory that Activision was backed up against a wall.

That said, we don't know any details so any finger-pointing and blaming at this point is pretty presumptuous. I can't help but think that it's kind of a shame that the case will never go to trial; with this outcome we may never really know exactly what happened between Activision and Infinity Ward two years ago.

Source: Polygon

UPDATE: Activision has issued an official statement regarding the settlement, confirming that the specifics of the case will remain unpublished.

"Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) today announced that all parties to the litigation have reached a settlement of the dispute, the terms of which are strictly confidential," the statement reads. "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."

EA, which settled its part in the dispute earlier this month, also responded to the outcome, telling Polygon that "Activision's refusal to pay their talent and attempt to blame EA were absurd. This settlement is a vindication of Vince and Jason, and the right of creative artists to collect the rewards due for their hard work."

Permalink

At least not until it all become a moot point and no one cares. I think there is a 60 year time limit before we can read the details.

However, Good Job Mr. West and Mr. Zampella. You fought the evil corporation and won. This is indeed a good day.

Damn. I actually wanted to see this go to court.

Ah well. At least Infinity Ward came out on top of this one.

Son of a bitch Activision. Were you so afraid that people couldn't look at the god damn facts objectively? Now everyone is goin to keep thinkin that West and Zampella were the good guys when they were most definitely not.

Awwwww.....

Goddammit Activision, I bought all the popcorn and snacks for this and you had to go and settle!

Still, can't really say I'm surprised they did this, but I'm glad that West and Zampella came out of this unscathed since Activision would've most likely have played hardball over this.

after the Icebreaker bomb they probably realized that their chances of a jury ruling in their favor were too slim for their liking.

A pity they took the money and ran. It would be nice to see scum like Activision dragged into a court of law for all their greed and corruption to be displayed to the public eye.

shintakie10:
Son of a bitch Activision. Were you so afraid that people couldn't look at the god damn facts objectively? Now everyone is goin to keep thinkin that West and Zampella were the good guys when they were most definitely not.

That's probably exactly what they were afraid of. I'm not gonna say West and Zampella were the good guys since I don't actually know, but recent developments have made it pretty clear that Activision are shady scumbags at best and evil bastards at worst. Those two guys would have to work pretty hard to beat Activision at their own game, so this is the logical decision for Activision. Not as satisfying for us, but Activision would be idiots to let this go to court after the developments of the last couple weeks.

sir.rutthed:

shintakie10:
Son of a bitch Activision. Were you so afraid that people couldn't look at the god damn facts objectively? Now everyone is goin to keep thinkin that West and Zampella were the good guys when they were most definitely not.

That's probably exactly what they were afraid of. I'm not gonna say West and Zampella were the good guys since I don't actually know, but recent developments have made it pretty clear that Activision are shady scumbags at best and evil bastards at worst. Those two guys would have to work pretty hard to beat Activision at their own game, so this is the logical decision for Activision. Not as satisfying for us, but Activision would be idiots to let this go to court after the developments of the last couple weeks.

Serious question: why were West and Zampella the 'bad guys' here?

Terramax:

sir.rutthed:

shintakie10:
Son of a bitch Activision. Were you so afraid that people couldn't look at the god damn facts objectively? Now everyone is goin to keep thinkin that West and Zampella were the good guys when they were most definitely not.

That's probably exactly what they were afraid of. I'm not gonna say West and Zampella were the good guys since I don't actually know, but recent developments have made it pretty clear that Activision are shady scumbags at best and evil bastards at worst. Those two guys would have to work pretty hard to beat Activision at their own game, so this is the logical decision for Activision. Not as satisfying for us, but Activision would be idiots to let this go to court after the developments of the last couple weeks.

Serious question: why were West and Zampella the 'bad guys' here?

They, as people, are misogynistic pricks. As business men they went out of their way to fuck over Activision in order to get fired to avoid breakin their contract so they could go to EA. They played it off as somethin that would have been a dumb move to do, but they fuckin did it and its sickenin that people take their side.

Is Activision the good guy in this whole thing? Fuck no. They still treat their developers that aren't Blizzard like disposable trash that decided it was better to act shady than to go through the normal legal channels to get more proof to fire West and Zampella than they already had. However that should have had no bearin on this particular case.

Unfortunately the US justice system is practically designed and most definitely used and abused with that kind of stuff. It reminds me of the Boondocks episode with R. Kelly where the case should be open and shut. The facts speak for themselves and any logical person would go "Yep, he's guilty" but that doesn't happen because of the BS grandstandin that happens in courts.

Terramax:

sir.rutthed:

shintakie10:
Son of a bitch Activision. Were you so afraid that people couldn't look at the god damn facts objectively? Now everyone is goin to keep thinkin that West and Zampella were the good guys when they were most definitely not.

That's probably exactly what they were afraid of. I'm not gonna say West and Zampella were the good guys since I don't actually know, but recent developments have made it pretty clear that Activision are shady scumbags at best and evil bastards at worst. Those two guys would have to work pretty hard to beat Activision at their own game, so this is the logical decision for Activision. Not as satisfying for us, but Activision would be idiots to let this go to court after the developments of the last couple weeks.

Serious question: why were West and Zampella the 'bad guys' here?

I dunnow. I've heard they're kinda dicks, but can't say as to specifics.

While I'm happy for West and Zampella that they don't have to pay their lawyers any more, I'm sad for the industry that this will never see court, it could have revolutionised the industry, and might have shined a well deserved spotlight on Activision.
BTW, I'm not saying that Activision is the only bad guy in this, but they are the ones with the most to lose and the most interesting things to have been revealed would have been about them.

Oh well. Would have been cool to see how this turned out in court.

Well this was a let down, I was hoping to see blood before this was all over ...

It a win for both sides(as settlements for this type of stuff can be cheaper than legal and court fees), losing side being us, we'll never know the full truth of what happen.

Dammit. I was hoping to see Activision's dirty secrets being put out in the open.

So where do the details get locked away anyways? It would be great for this case to find it's way onto wikileaks!

shintakie10:
They, as people, are misogynistic pricks. As business men they went out of their way to fuck over Activision in order to get fired to avoid breakin their contract so they could go to EA. They played it off as somethin that would have been a dumb move to do, but they fuckin did it and its sickenin that people take their side.

Is Activision the good guy in this whole thing? Fuck no. They still treat their developers that aren't Blizzard like disposable trash that decided it was better to act shady than to go through the normal legal channels to get more proof to fire West and Zampella than they already had. However that should have had no bearin on this particular case.

I dunno. If the person I had a contract with was treating me like absolute shit, I'd try to find a way to break it too, and I don't necessarily consider myself a dick (although I admit I'm probably biased). I respect that if you sign a contract, you kinda have to follow through with it, assuming all parties play their part properly. However, I certainly wouldn't sign a contract that states my employer is within their rights to hack up my computer and try to get me fired just so they didn't have to pay me money.

I guess I don't really know enough about the specifics of the case, but if anything's obvious in all this it's that Activision undeniably evil, whereas West and Zampella's asshattery is only debatable in its justification.

Also why, of all things, misogynistic? I can't remember them saying anything about women, let alone untoward.

The specifics don't need to be published: Activision retched about 5 times, and then vomited money in a manner similar to that one Brian scene in Family Guy you all know I'm talking about.

Why does it seem the general, 'norm' for big corporations to be evil?

I mean this case is settled out of court (Which means that neither party had 100% faith in their case. So you could surmise that they both knew they'd acted wrongly in one way or another that might burn them in a trial.)

Yet most posts here and all over the web are saying, "Yay for West and Zampella sticking it to that demon Activision!"

I'm genuinely curious about this, especially because there's no way the community knows who the real 'scum' in this situation was.

I personally feel the real demon here is the lawyers. This settlement goes through, and those bastards are going to take a large slice of it. How many jobs do you think it'll cost?

shintakie10:
Son of a bitch Activision. Were you so afraid that people couldn't look at the god damn facts objectively? Now everyone is goin to keep thinkin that West and Zampella were the good guys when they were most definitely not.

Sure, that is why Activision paid them a large sum of money.

The fact that they settled has me curious. Considering all the press that came out about what Activision was doing (such as Operation Icebreaker) it would make sense why Activision would want to settle right away, but why then would West and Zampella settle? They could have ridden the case for so much, it makes me wonder if there was something more that both parties didn't want coming out. Alas, we probably won't know anytime soon.

Eternal_Lament:
The fact that they settled has me curious. Considering all the press that came out about what Activision was doing (such as Operation Icebreaker) it would make sense why Activision would want to settle right away, but why then would West and Zampella settle? They could have ridden the case for so much, it makes me wonder if there was something more that both parties didn't want coming out. Alas, we probably won't know anytime soon.

barring unknown information about their end of this mess, it could just be not wanting to get into a court case where there exists a chance to lose not only what they were after but court fees as well

luckshot:

Eternal_Lament:
The fact that they settled has me curious. Considering all the press that came out about what Activision was doing (such as Operation Icebreaker) it would make sense why Activision would want to settle right away, but why then would West and Zampella settle? They could have ridden the case for so much, it makes me wonder if there was something more that both parties didn't want coming out. Alas, we probably won't know anytime soon.

barring unknown information about their end of this mess, it could just be not wanting to get into a court case where there exists a chance to lose not only what they were after but court fees as well

I guess, but that's sort of what got me curious. For a case that has been going on since 2010, especially one that enough information had been given out to give West/Zampella the advantage, it's clear that they were going to be in this for the long run, so court fees doesn't seem to be the issue. Further, odd to go this far and not be confidant in your case, especially since, as mentioned, enough info has been released to satisfy their side. The return on such a case would be far more than whatever the costs or risks would be, so settling seems like an odd choice.

The only things I could think that caused them to settle is if a) the settlement allowed West/Zampella to somehow gain rights to the MW series, which they wouldn't necessarily get from winning in court, or b), West/Zampella had some possible dirt on their own that could actually turn the entire case in Activision's favor, dirt that would have to come out during the trial.

This is like the ending of fable 2.
And maybe both sides had enough to ensure MAD but activision was less willing to go that far

Eternal_Lament:
...so court fees doesn't seem to be the issue.

Honestly, court fees are quite possibly entirely the issue. A case like this can chew up a lot of money before going to trial, but once the trial itself begins the fare meter really starts rolling. It can be very expensive to go to trial.

Additionally, you never really know what a jury is going to decide.

All of this means a trial is a big expensive roll of the dice, and most civil suits don't go to trial because of that.

French Henchman (played by Jean Dujardin): "Monsieur Kotick! brise-glace de projet a été révélé au grand public!"
[Kotick brings up the thread about icebreaker we had last week]


Kotick: " ZAMPELLLAAAAAAAA!!!!! "
[shakes fist, camera zooms out window of volcano lair]

Honestly this is still a pretty good result.

Activision settling twice sends a big message that they're 0-for-2 in this sort of thing. They have zero leeway any more if something like this happens again. It may not even go to court, just insta-justice from the higher ups.

Not that suprising really though it would of been interesting to see what would of come out if it did actually go to trial.

Lets face it Activision was in a lose/lose situation. Evan if they won everything that came out about them and how they handled the situation poorly would of been bad PR and may of cost them more than they could of gotten from West/Zampella in terms of other studios refusing contracts and maybe evan certain Activision games not selling as well because Activisions name is what goes on the box not the names of the studio heads.

Eternal_Lament:
The fact that they settled has me curious. Considering all the press that came out about what Activision was doing (such as Operation Icebreaker) it would make sense why Activision would want to settle right away, but why then would West and Zampella settle? They could have ridden the case for so much, it makes me wonder if there was something more that both parties didn't want coming out. Alas, we probably won't know anytime soon.

Finally someone sees the other side of this.

You do not settle if you are confident in your case. All this evidence against Activision that everyone sees comin out would have easily swayed the courts to their side (despite them bein unrelated to the whole contract issue which is the actual issue).

It isn't proof positive that they fucked up, but you damn well know that they did somethin that made them wary of an actual trial.

shintakie10:
Son of a bitch Activision. Were you so afraid that people couldn't look at the god damn facts objectively? Now everyone is goin to keep thinkin that West and Zampella were the good guys when they were most definitely not.

Thank you! I'm no fan of Activision, but I looked in to this a while back and it didn't seem like West and Z were exactly wearing halos throughout the whole ordeal.

>"Strickly Confidential" no one will ever know, and we'll sue anyone who spills the beans
>Shareholder monies [should] not be affected

Paranoia further confirmed.

Given Activision's press release, I would say a lowball estimate would be 150 million dollars paid to the two, or at least their legal team.

Finally someone sees the other side of this.

You do not settle if you are confident in your case. All this evidence against Activision that everyone sees comin out would have easily swayed the courts to their side (despite them bein unrelated to the whole contract issue which is the actual issue).

It isn't proof positive that they fucked up, but you damn well know that they did somethin that made them wary of an actual trial.

As someone whom has been party to a lawsuit (car accident) even when you have a great case you could easily settle.

shintakie10:

They, as people, are misogynistic pricks. As business men they went out of their way to fuck over Activision in order to get fired to avoid breakin their contract so they could go to EA. They played it off as somethin that would have been a dumb move to do, but they fuckin did it and its sickenin that people take their side.

Sorry to be naive here, but this doesn't really explain it. Misogynistic? Did they pick on female work colleagues or make a couple of anti-woman remarks?

How did they 'fuck over Activision'?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here