Thursday afternoon, Activision Blizzard announced that they had come to a settlement with gaming’s War of the Roses, the Infinity Ward law suit. The terms of the settlement are being kept confidential, but Activision claims that they don’t expect the settlement to have a long-term affect on their stock values (at the time of this writing, it has only dropped about 1.42%, a fairly insignificant amount).
For those who missed the biggest gaming story of 2010, Jason West and Vincent Zampella, creators of mega-franchise Call of Duty and then heads of Infinity Ward (Call of Duty’s main development studio at the time) left Activision when they felt they and their co-workers were cheated out of bonuses and royalties promised to them by Activision. West and Zampella left to work with Activision rival EA Games and form a new studio, and proceeded to sue Activision for $36 million in royalties and damages. Activision, in response, counter-sued the executives and EA for $400 million in actual and punitive damages.
The suit with EA was settled earlier this month, and all eyes were on the West-Zampella/Activision suit, hoping for the kind of legal circus that one usually has to wait for the death of a pop singer with pill problems to witness. Though the courts are going to be less entertaining as a result of this settlement, in the long run it should be better for West, Zampella, Activision, and all of us as fans of the industry.