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Activision, ‘Call of Duty’ Creators Settle a Day Before Trial Begins

Creators of the hugely popular "Call of Duty" video franchise claimed they were fired so Activision wouldn't have to pay sales bonuses

The creators of "Call of Duty" on Thursday settled their $1 billion suit against video publisher Activision, one day before the case was to go to trial.

Jason West and Vince Zampella, former heads of "Call of Duty" developer Infinity Ward, had sued in March of 2010, claiming they were fired so that Activision wouldn't have to pay them bonuses based on the sales of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2."  The trial was to begin Friday.

Also read: Activision: New 'Call of Duty' Beats 'Avatar' to $1B

"We have reached a settlement in this matter as to all parties and all claims," said Daniel Petrocelli, one of the attorneys for West and Zampella. "Dismissals will be filed soon."

Activision issued its own statement, which suggested a payout had been made:

"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."

Activision in 2002 bought a 30 percent stake in Infinity Ward then, after sales of "Call of Duty" took off, acquired the entire company for another $3.5 million. Sales of the franchise rose into the billions of dollars. 

After West and Zampella filed their suit, Activision countersued, claiming the pair planned to poach its top talent.