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Call of Duty Trial Isn't Happening, Parties Settle [UPDATED]

Details on the settlement aren't being released, either.

UPDATE: Activision has issued a press release about the settlement, and while it doesn't include much that we didn't already know, it does mention the settlement will "not have a material impact" on the company's bottom line.

In other words: we probably won't end up finding out very much from Activision's SEC filings.

"The company does not believe that the incremental one-time charges related to the settlement will result in a material impact on its GAAP or non-GAAP earnings per share outlook for the current quarter or the calendar year, due to stronger-than-expected operating performance in the current quarter."

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The epic showdown in the courts between Activision, former Infinity Ward leaders Jason West and Vince Zampella, and nearly 40 employees who left after shipping Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 won't be happening.

Polygon reporter Mike McWhertor and LA Times reporter Ben Fritz have been attending the pre-trial shenanigans in Los Angeles, and both are reporting a settlement has been reached.

The trial had been scheduled to start this week. Details on the settlement will not be released.

According to Fritz, West was seen smiling in the courtroom as the news was announced.

Activision had previously disclosed it had set aside one billion dollars for the case, if the outcome went against Activision in the worst possible way. It's unclear if Activision will have to disclose any part of the settlement in the future as part of being a publicly traded company. The settlement between Activision and Electronic Arts has also been kept under wraps.

I'm really bummed. Think of all the court documents related to lunches I could have looked up!

Patrick Klepek on Google+
178 Comments
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Posted by patrickklepek

UPDATE: Activision has issued a press release about the settlement, and while it doesn't include much that we didn't already know, it does mention the settlement will "not have a material impact" on the company's bottom line.

In other words: we probably won't end up finding out very much from Activision's SEC filings.

"The company does not believe that the incremental one-time charges related to the settlement will result in a material impact on its GAAP or non-GAAP earnings per share outlook for the current quarter or the calendar year, due to stronger-than-expected operating performance in the current quarter."

--

The epic showdown in the courts between Activision, former Infinity Ward leaders Jason West and Vince Zampella, and nearly 40 employees who left after shipping Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 won't be happening.

Polygon reporter Mike McWhertor and LA Times reporter Ben Fritz have been attending the pre-trial shenanigans in Los Angeles, and both are reporting a settlement has been reached.

The trial had been scheduled to start this week. Details on the settlement will not be released.

According to Fritz, West was seen smiling in the courtroom as the news was announced.

Activision had previously disclosed it had set aside one billion dollars for the case, if the outcome went against Activision in the worst possible way. It's unclear if Activision will have to disclose any part of the settlement in the future as part of being a publicly traded company. The settlement between Activision and Electronic Arts has also been kept under wraps.

I'm really bummed. Think of all the court documents related to lunches I could have looked up!

Staff
Edited by Grissefar

Too bad, there could have been some good drama. I guess Activision wouldn't risk losing the MW name.

But really ugly typo there, Patrick. Hardly the first time that has happaned. Ha! Ha! Do you get it?

Posted by Deathdealer108

Yep bummer man.

Posted by TimSpork

Awwwwwww I wanted to read those

Posted by Barrock

So they dumped the billions they had saved "Just in case..." I bet?

Posted by BonOrbitz

Either way, it's a good thing Activision set aside ONE BEEEEEELLION dollars.

...and too bad Scoop got scooped out of lunch documents.

Posted by Bollard

Wut

Posted by Rox360

Awww. Oh well.

Edited by DeepSpace9MM

Man, what's Adam Sessler gonna do with his free time now?

Posted by Vitor

Yeah, I'm thinking that money that Activision put aside for 'legal issues and unforeseen events' has now likely gone missing from their budget....

Posted by Gunslinger0130

Pretty anticlimactic but not a huge surprise.

Posted by ShaneDev

So when can we find out exactly what happened and what the settlement was or is it behind an NDA?

Posted by bigsmoke77

This probably saved a lot of the tax payers money but this would have been awesome to see play out.

Posted by Rayeth

Some people got PAID just now. West, Zampella and co. are likely much, much richer.

Posted by HS_Alpha_Wolf

Damn, just missed the top, but in regards to the story, I am surprised this settled since both parties seemed to have genuine malice towards each other

Posted by AuthenticM

God fucking damnit.

Posted by WMWA

Expected

Posted by Maitimo

Only Tim Langdell seems to deliver on gaming-related courtroom drama, huh?

Posted by CharAznable

Damn, this would have provided some good discussion fodder for the Bombcast.

Posted by umdesch4

You think you're bummed Patrick? What about the lawyers? There goes that second mansion in the Hamptons...

Posted by FinalDasa

So this could be viewed as an Activision loss?

They were so ready to go to court thinking they had the advantage and then turn back to just settle.

Posted by StriderNo9

Wow, so what started so long ago is finally over?

Posted by MrMazz

Man I was really looking forward to this going to trial

Posted by dulmonkey

Does this mean that Respawn's new game will be announced this E3? Do I dare to Hope?

Posted by chrispti

Good old Activison rolling over. They tried to save as much face as they could. I hope West, Zampella and the rest of the team gouged Activison for as much as possible.

Posted by brownsfantb

@umdesch4: Trust me, they'll still get paid.

Posted by Paindamnation

@FinalDasa said:

So this could be viewed as an Activision loss?

They were so ready to go to court thinking they had the advantage and then turn back to just settle.

They got camped and sniped at spawn.

Posted by Toxin066

Nice to know this whole thing is over.

Posted by Oldirtybearon

@chrispti said:

Good old Activison rolling over. They tried to save as much face as they could. I hope West, Zampella and the rest of the team gouged Activison for as much as possible.

That's probably what happened. If this thing went to trial, even if by some hail mary of a virgin birth style miracle happened and they won, the damage to their reputation would've been uncanny. Just so we're clear, Project Icebreaker and other nefarious shit is what Activision wasn't worried about getting out.

Think on that.

Posted by Lyfeforce

I only mourn for the podcast fodder this would have provided.

Posted by andygazi

Im bummed to Scoopz. Was looking forward to this!

Posted by Dagbiker

Im bummed too this would have been the best trial ever.

Posted by AnEternalEnigma

No details being released = Activision gave in.

Posted by Wacomole

Of course they did.

Details of the settlement were undisclosed but "...West was also seen folding a receipt for a pair of matching gold-plated Bugatti Veyrons"

Posted by kylekrane

I think Patrick should still get whatever bonus was coming to him when he won a pulitzer for what would have been his reporting of this case.

Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie

Looks like Respawn just got the world's biggest kickstarter.

Posted by ExplodeMode

I heard it was 775 million.

Edited by VIGGO123
I'm really bummed. Think of all the court documents related to lunches I could have looked up!

Yeah, I bet Activision keeps records of every lunch consumed by their employees.

Seriously though, I really wanted to see this go to court. IT would have been a sure loss for Activision.

Posted by JRock3x8

can you imagine how activision would have come out of this looking? someone must have finally slapped some sense into Bobby Kotick and said "look, no one is ever going to buy an activision product again if we go to trial."

Posted by Foggen

FUCK FUCK GOD FUCKING DAMN IT FUCK

Posted by Brodehouse

I was hoping they'd go to trial so the real bullshit got exposed.

Posted by Foggen

@ExplodeMode: That's an illegal amount of money.

Posted by AlisterCat

Patrick, please interview Jason and Vince and make it all about their favourite sandwiches.

Online
Posted by GalacticPunt

Aw Dammit, I was ready to watch the mud fly. What am I going to do with all this popcorn?

Posted by leejunfan83

@chrispti: I just stopped myself from making a joke in questionable taste

Posted by Ravenlight

Time to scoop the West/Zampella interview!

Posted by Silver-Streak

Man, I actually didn't want West Zampella to just get some money. I really wanted to see them gain the rights to Modern Warfare/CoD to see Activision lose it's mind.

Posted by MeatSim

I want to hear the Jury deliberation process on what they choose for lunch.

Posted by HackedLife

Sweet! Maybe this means Respawn can start talking about their game now!!

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