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