The two former heads of a local video game studio filed suit against Activision Blizzard Inc. Thursday, alleging that the Santa Monica publisher terminated them without cause.

The duo also is seeking millions of dollars in damages and control over the wildly successful “Modern Warfare” franchise.

Vince Zampella and Jason West, former executives of Infinity Ward Inc., an Encino video game studio owned by Activation, claim that the publisher fired them weeks before they were owed substantial royalty payments for their work on the blockbuster video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this week, Activision disclosed that it was conducting an investigation into two senior Infinity Ward employees for breach of contract and insubordination. The next day, Activision announced that Zampella and Ward had left the company.

“Modern Warfare 2,” which was developed in part by Zampella and Ward and was released in November, became one of the most successful video games of all time. It’s generated over $1 billion in sales.

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