Endwar: Activision And EA Settle Infinity Ward Lawsuit

By Nathan Grayson on May 17th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

They actually decided not to carry on with the lawsuit because the courthouse exploded.

I think EA and Activision would make excellent stars for a buddy cop movie. Case in point: “John Riccitiello and Bobby Kotick are two multi-million dollar CEOs who just can’t get along. Together, they have to get to the bottom of a clandestine international elephant smuggling operation – but with plenty of zany hijinks along the way.” [Cut to scene of climactic shootout in Kotick's own office. Back-to-back, Kotick and Riccitiello level a small army of vicious, gun-toting thugs that encircle them. But then, Riccitiello accidentally unleashes a spray of gunfire into Kotick's two favorite bonsai trees while downing the final two baddies.] “Whoops,” says Riccitiello, “guess that’s bonvoyage to those guys.” “Oh, you,” retorts Kotick. “By the way, I’m suing you for $400 million for allegedly luring away two of my most prized employees while they were still under contract.”

See? It’s pretty much a flawless parallel.

After nearly two years, however, the suit’s officially been settled out of court, putting an end to one of the biggest legal feuds this industry’s ever seen – not to mention the Infinity Ward drama saga that so publicly led to the formation of EA partner Respawn Studios. ”Activision and EA have agreed to put this matter behind them,” reads a short, simple joint statement from the two companies.

Former Infinity Ward heads West and Zampella, however, will keep throwing one-two-one-billion combos at Activision on their own terms. According to Bloomberg, the duo’s now seeking more than $1 billion in their May 29 case – a rather marked increase from the original $36 million back in 2010.

Also fun/semi-unbelievable, Giant Bomb‘s managed to dig up even more dirt surrounding the days prior to West and Zampella’s ugly exit from Activision, and it sounds, well, like a bad action movie. Internally dubbed “Project Icebreaker,” the IT initiative’s goal was to monitor every work object possible – work phones, PCs, email accounts, etc – in an attempt to snoop through West and Zampella’s business ventures. The whys and wherefores are muddled in testimonial contradictions, but clearly, this is a case of one war ending and another only getting warmed up.

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25 Comments »

  1. Didero says:

    “Whoops,” says Kotick, “guess that’s bonvoyage to those guys.” “Oh, you,” retorts Kotick.

    So he’s talking to himself? #nitpicking

    ETA something on-topic: I like your movie script and eagerly await the Kickstarter for it.

  2. Kollega says:

    I think i’d actually watch a buddy cop movie about two ultra-rich and ultra-annoying businessmen who somehow get embroiled in stopping wacky and nonsensical doings of organized crime.

    • The Dark One says:

      They stumble upon a nefarious scheme to sell videogames without DRM or day-one DLC and decide to fight it the only way they know how- with their wits, their lawyers and condescending attitude.

  3. Shadowcat says:

    Who else found their brain insisting that the foreground character was quite hideously contorted / deformed?

  4. Nugget says:

    Don’t worry everyone, they’re killing themselves!

  5. lhzr says:

    The gamespot link is amazing, read it, people.
    Here are some samples:

    “don’t get caught doing it.” Whatever happened in the course of seeking out this information: “Bobby will take care of you. … Don’t worry about repercussions.

    There was also discussion about obtaining private access to Infinity Ward’s space in order to image the contents of West and Zampella’s computers by staging a fake fumigation or mock fire drill at the studio.

    • Warskull says:

      That’s actually Giant Bomb, a rather good quality gaming website and worth your attention if you play console games.

  6. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Good grief, does this mean the two of them were earning something in the region of $200,000,000? Because I’m sure that money could be better spent (on things like overtime for the rest of the staff perhaps)

  7. Barman1942 says:

    There is some really shady shit going down with both publishers. I trust them both about as far as I can heave their main office buildings.

  8. Xardas Kane says:

    This is truly, utterly disgusting. You have a golden chicken on your hands and you rape it, murder it, mutilate it and rape it again. Kudos, Mr Kotick, a true businessman.

  9. Radiant says:

    I know this goes against the usual Kotick shitkickery but he has saved Activision from bankruptcy more than once.
    He… kind of knows what he is doing.

    • caddyB says:

      The thing is, we want Activision and the like to go bankrupt because they’re killing pc gaming.

    • Mordsung says:

      Making money =/= making good games.

      I’d rather a million companies go under than have them save themselves with crap games.

      • Shuck says:

        On the other hand, Making no money = making no games. The entire output of Activision isn’t crap – there are some bright stars in the muck. The reality of the game industry is that you end up making games you aren’t proud of just to survive long enough so you can make games you are proud of. (And as a player, it’s pretty easy to avoid the crap games.)

  10. Shooop says:

    The only bad news is this won’t mean the end of either these repulsive, cancerous companies.

  11. Vagrant says:

    And people still think EA is the world’s most evil company.

    No matter what anybody says, Riccotello green-lit Mirror’s Edge, so he’s OK in my book. Most the evil stuff happened either before he took over, or after nobody bought all the genuinely great games they made for a couple years.

  12. KingJason13 says:

    Going back to back would only be successful for them if there weren’t microtransactions for re-loading…

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