A day before a bitterly contested set of lawsuits was set to begin trial, Activision Blizzard Inc. on Thursday settled the case with the original creators of its blockbuster Call of Duty game franchise.
The last-minute agreement ends two years of acrimonious litigation that ensued after the Santa Monica game publisher fired Jason West and Vincent Zampella, developers of the multibillion-dollar shooter franchise. West and Zampella sued Activision after they were let go in March 2010, claiming wrongful termination. Activision countersued, accusing the developers of being disloyal.
After West and Zampella's departure, more than 40 game developers who had worked for them at Activision quit. Forty of those developers, led by Todd Alderman, filed a separate lawsuit against Activision, alleging that the company deprived them of hundreds of millions of dollars in bonus payments and royalties.
The settlement, whose terms were not disclosed, resolves all three lawsuits.
"All parties have reached a settlement in the dispute, the terms of which are strictly confidential,” said Robert Schwartz, an attorney representing West and Zampella. West, who appeared in court, declined to comment, but was seen smiling broadly as he left the courtroom.