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Call of Duty trial hearing postponed at last second

May 29, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • A scene from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
A scene from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. (Activision )

A court hearing to prepare for the multibillion-dollar trial between the makers of blockbuster video game series Call of Duty and publisherActivision Blizzard Inc.was postponed at the last second Tuesday morning following a conference in the judge's chambers.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle announced that the court would be in recess until Wednesday morning.

Asked whether the delay was to allow for settlement discussions, lawyers said afterward that they were under strict instructions not to discuss the matter. "[The judge] asked us not to comment," said Bruce Isaacs, who represents 40 developers who worked on 2009's hit Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Bobby Schwartz, who represents Call of Duty co-creators Jason West and Vincent Zampella, whose firing in 2010 kicked off what has become the biggest legal dispute in the history of the video game industry, said, "I can't tell you a thing."

Activision attorney Beth Wilkinson said Tuesday's delay did not come on the heels of settlement talks in recent days. "There were no meetings over the [Memorial Day] weekend," she confirmed.

West, Zampella and the Call of Duty developers are seeking more than $2 billion in damages, according to Activision court filings. The Santa Monica game publisher has filed a lawsuit of its own seeking unspecified damages.

The jury trial is scheduled to begin on Friday.

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