Activision sued for up to $125 million by Infinity Ward employees

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Metal_Mills

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#1  Edited By Metal_Mills

 Activision sued for up to $125 million by current, former Infinity Ward employees

Activision's Call of Duty-related headaches just leveled up.

More than three dozen former and current employees of Infinity Ward, the Encino-based development studio that made the hugely successful Call of Duty: Modern Warfare video games for Activision Blizzard Inc., have sued the publisher claiming that they are owed between $75 million and $125 million in unpaid royalties and potentially more in compensatory damages.

...

Of the 38 employees involved in the lawsuit, 21 are former employees of Infinity Ward; 17 still work there. Approximately 95 people worked at Infinity Ward on last November's Modern Warfare 2, meaning that about 40% of its employees at that time are now suing Activision.

...

The lawsuit says that Activision owes Infinity Ward employees a bonus pool of at least $118 million, of which $82 million is supposed to go to employees other than West and Zampella.

It alleges that the publisher has withheld royalty payments in order to keep them from leaving as their former bosses did, putting at risk the potentially hugely lucrative release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 planned for late 2011.

"Activision engaged in this inappropriate course of conduct in an attempt to force employees of Infinity Ward to continue to work at a job that many of them did not want just so Activision could force them to complete the development, production and delivery of Modern Warfare 3," the suit says.
It goes on to allege that Activision representatives told Infinity Ward employees that if West and Zampella had not been fired, the employees would have received bonuses approximately 2.5 times higher than what they were paid on March 26.

An Activision spokeswoman said she was not aware of the lawsuit and could not immediately comment.

The complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court in Santa Monica is based in part on the same allegations contained in West and Zampella's suit. Isaacs has asked that the two cases be consolidated.

-- Ben Fritz 


 
 
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/04/activision-infinity-ward-employees-lawsuit-call-duty-modern-warfare.html
Holy shit. Activision have really dug a grave for themself. I hope they lose and Kotick resigns from this.
 
Edit: Kotaku claims they are suing for $500 million. Yikes!
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Snail

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#2  Edited By Snail

I hope Activison loses.

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Oriental_Jams

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#3  Edited By Oriental_Jams

From what I've heard this seems pretty justified so I hope the case goes their way.

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Rockanomics

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#4  Edited By Rockanomics

Oh dip! 

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Azteck

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#5  Edited By Azteck

I really hope the IW people win the case. The move Activision pulled was very low.

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wolf_blitzer85

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#6  Edited By wolf_blitzer85

Dayum

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RobJ

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#7  Edited By RobJ

Wow.

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nail1080

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#8  Edited By nail1080

I hope Activision wins the case. IW are overrated and haven't had a good game since Cod2. Also activision deserve the money. I hope they make their own console and a guitar hero console and a skateboard console for tony hawk

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ThePencil

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#9  Edited By ThePencil

Activision: Stealing ur materias since MW1! And seriosuly, totally rooting for IW on this!

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Brunchies

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#10  Edited By Brunchies

This might teach the people who run Activision a lesson to not screw with the people who make their games. 

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ColinRyan

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#11  Edited By ColinRyan

Good

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vaiz

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#12  Edited By vaiz
@nail1080 said:
" I hope Activision wins the case. IW are overrated and haven't had a good game since Cod2. Also activision deserve the money. I hope they make their own console and a guitar hero console and a skateboard console for tony hawk "
I see what you've done there.
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Gizmo

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#13  Edited By Gizmo

This is it then, IW as we know it are dead.

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Jimbo

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#14  Edited By Jimbo

This is kinda getting to the point where you can't even say "I guess we'll never know which side is telling the truth!" anymore.  A whole team of people doesn't just up and leave their jobs and then act like this, unless they feel like they have been seriously fucked over.  They must all have contracts with their bonuses spelled out in black and white, surely?  I can't see how this can wind up as one of those things that never gets resolved.  Either their contracts say they're owed the money or they don't.
 
The thing is, even the comments Activision have made publicly have given truth to IW's claim.  Their shameless and open claim that they would divide the West & Zampella bonus money between any remaining employees, makes pretty clear the manner in which they are prepared to operate.

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zam1524

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#15  Edited By zam1524

Good for them, I hope they win.

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nail1080

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#16  Edited By nail1080
@punkxblaze said:

" @nail1080 said:

" I hope Activision wins the case. IW are overrated and haven't had a good game since Cod2. Also activision deserve the money. I hope they make their own console and a guitar hero console and a skateboard console for tony hawk "
I see what you've done there. "
or do you?!
 
muh ha ha ha ha ha ha
 
*insert funny pic of some greedy bastard here*
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Rayeth

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#17  Edited By Rayeth

$500,000 Million?  So $500 Billion?  I think that's a few too many zeroes there.
 
 
Either way, $500 Million has got to be an exaggeration.   I know MW2 did gangbusters, but really...

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Romination

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#18  Edited By Romination

I'm not even gonna bother. It just seems like everyone wants Activision to lose because it became a big company. Activision's countersuit is also pretty heavily worded, but whatever. Let's just look at one side and call Bobby Kotick the devil. I hope this just gets settled out of court.

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immike

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#19  Edited By immike

I don't think people are against Activision because it's a big company, but more so for their previous actions. Activision has shown time and time again that they are primarily a business, and they want to control everything they can. Is this what businesses do? Sure, but Activision has taken it to the extreme in the past and they are doing it again. I don't care if the company is big or small, because Activision's actions are always borderline ridiculous and sketchy.

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CptBedlam

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#20  Edited By CptBedlam
@Rayeth said:
" $500,000 Million?  So $500 Billion?  I think that's a few too many zeroes there.   Either way, $500 Million has got to be an exaggeration.   I know MW2 did gangbusters, but really... "
My thoughts as well.
 
125 million, maybe ... still high. But 500 million? Come on...
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Bionicicide

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#21  Edited By Bionicicide

$11.44/share is their stock right now, can't wait to see what it looks like in a month.
 
Also, expect another 17 current IW employees to resign or be fired now.

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swamplord666

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#22  Edited By swamplord666

It's pretty telling of the work conditions at acti. I just hope they lose workforce potential because of this as well as lose the lawsuit

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ArchScabby

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#23  Edited By ArchScabby

Wouldn't it be great if a year from now Activision was gone?

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Metal_Mills

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#24  Edited By Metal_Mills
@Rayeth said:
" $500,000 Million?  So $500 Billion?  I think that's a few too many zeroes there.   Either way, $500 Million has got to be an exaggeration.   I know MW2 did gangbusters, but really... "
Oops! I meant 500 million. Apologizes. :)
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slax

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#25  Edited By slax
@Jimbo said:
" This is kinda getting to the point where you can't even say "I guess we'll never know which side is telling the truth!" anymore.  A whole team of people doesn't just up and leave their jobs and then act like this, unless they feel like they have been seriously fucked over.  They must all have contracts with their bonuses spelled out in black and white, surely?  I can't see how this can wind up as one of those things that never gets resolved.  Either their contracts say they're owed the money or they don't. The thing is, even the comments Activision have made publicly have given truth to IW's claim.  Their shameless and open claim that they would divide the West & Zampella bonus money between any remaining employees, makes pretty clear the manner in which they are prepared to operate. "
This is exactly what I was thinking. I always kinda felt that even though Kotick is a giant douche nozzle, maybe west/zampella did something that they deserved to lose there job over. But then if over a third of your company leaves and sues you, there is no way to pretend that you are still being unjustly accused of something...
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CL60

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#26  Edited By CL60

Hope Activision loses.

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XenoNick

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#27  Edited By XenoNick

Hope IW wins

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fwylo

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#28  Edited By fwylo

Prosecution Team Go!

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s7evn

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#29  Edited By s7evn

damn. I suppose after this falling out the rest of IW may as well just move on over to Respawn Entertainment

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woodtsunami

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#30  Edited By woodtsunami

Activision is getting their just deserts... :-D   yummy

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LiquidPrince

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#31  Edited By LiquidPrince

Way to screw themselves.

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JerichoBlyth

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#32  Edited By JerichoBlyth

This still won't stop them selling COD lunch boxes.
 
Seriously though - Activision have just crumbled under pure greed and it just goes to show that people throughout history never change...the rich and powerful always desire more and more.
 
Debatably however, their next game coming out this year COD: Cold War/Vietnam/Whatever will probably do surprisingly well in spite of all this rukus because those guys did really well with World at War 2 years ago...I'm sold on the fact that the zombie mode is returning alone...prefered the COD zombie mode to Left 4 Dead's entire package and it's dreadful sequel.

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EvolutionX0

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#33  Edited By EvolutionX0
Finally IW is actually stepping up to destroy Activi$ion for what is worth.. 
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iam3green

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#34  Edited By iam3green

awww man, that sucks for that happening. i kind of hope that infinity ward wins. they are pretty much getting screwed because of people now leaving and joining the other team.

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mosdl

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#35  Edited By mosdl

 @Jimbo said:

" This is kinda getting to the point where you can't even say "I guess we'll never know which side is telling the truth!" anymore.  A whole team of people doesn't just up and leave their jobs and then act like this, unless they feel like they have been seriously fucked over.  They must all have contracts with their bonuses spelled out in black and white, surely?  I can't see how this can wind up as one of those things that never gets resolved.  Either their contracts say they're owed the money or they don't. The thing is, even the comments Activision have made publicly have given truth to IW's claim.  Their shameless and open claim that they would divide the West & Zampella bonus money between any remaining employees, makes pretty clear the manner in which they are prepared to operate. "

Royalties are usually in a contract.  I've had to go through hoops before to get money I was owned contractually - the company in question simply withheld money to make their quarterly earnings look better.
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natetodamax

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#36  Edited By natetodamax

BOOM!

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floodiastus

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#37  Edited By floodiastus

So finally the games business is turning into the good ole music business :)

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deactivated-57aaaa9329732

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@floodiastus said:
" So finally the games business is turning into the good ole music business :) "
yeah, the talent gets fucked. 
 
at least with the music industry the artists can make some money through concerts. i don't think i'd pay money to go watch a bunch of guys do programming.
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floodiastus

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#39  Edited By floodiastus
@odintal said:
" @floodiastus said:
" So finally the games business is turning into the good ole music business :) "
yeah, the talent gets fucked.   at least with the music industry the artists can make some money through concerts. i don't think i'd pay money to go watch a bunch of guys do programming. "
Yeah.. well I got Tinnitus from playing live gigs, so now im staying away from that. Which means I get screwed over 10 times as much now, labels always try to fuck me over with album sales :(
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deactivated-57aaaa9329732

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@floodiastus: 
you're a musician? 
where can i pirate your music? =P
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The_Laughing_Man

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#41  Edited By The_Laughing_Man

 Of the 38 employees involved in the lawsuit, 21 are former employees of Infinity Ward; 17 still work there. Approximately 95 people worked at Infinity Ward on last November's Modern Warfare 2, meaning that about 40% of its employees at that time are now suing Activision.     
 
 
Wait..what they still work there?...Well they wont for long. 

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Stealthoneill

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#42  Edited By Stealthoneill

Who ever was right or wrong, withholding payment's to employees is wrong. People's livelyhoods are at stake and Activision expect them to keep pumping out MW3? How is this any sort of morale boost for those who not only worked hard on MW2 but planned to stay on at IW for the foreseeable future?
 
This sounds like a knee-jerk reaction gone horribly wrong, trying to keep employees is one thing but withholding an earned bonus payment?! C'mon!

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Dany

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#43  Edited By Dany

Obviously this is not some blind faith from the employees to trust the two heads to go foward with this. We are missing some key information as to why this is happening, but I doubt we will ever know.

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sopranosfan

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#44  Edited By sopranosfan

I so hate everything Activision stands for.

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meteora

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#45  Edited By meteora

Activision can go and die in a hole after this...
 
And here I thought a Activision Blizzard would be great. Instead Bobby got over himself and became a tin pot dictator.

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FunExplosions

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#46  Edited By FunExplosions

Ha! Hell yeah.

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Azrail

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#47  Edited By Azrail

i hate modern warfare but hope they win, they are in the right in my view

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leviathan

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#48  Edited By leviathan
@Jimbo said:
" This is kinda getting to the point where you can't even say "I guess we'll never know which side is telling the truth!" anymore.  A whole team of people doesn't just up and leave their jobs and then act like this, unless they feel like they have been seriously fucked over.  They must all have contracts with their bonuses spelled out in black and white, surely?  I can't see how this can wind up as one of those things that never gets resolved.  Either their contracts say they're owed the money or they don't. The thing is, even the comments Activision have made publicly have given truth to IW's claim.  Their shameless and open claim that they would divide the West & Zampella bonus money between any remaining employees, makes pretty clear the manner in which they are prepared to operate. "
Well said, agree wholeheartedly.
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Seedofpower

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#49  Edited By Seedofpower
@Snail said:
" I hope Activison loses. "
Don't we all.
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TheHT

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#50  Edited By TheHT

Activision was dumb for gettin rid of em the way they did. Then again word is they were planning their own little upheaval so I can see why Activision would make the first draw. But it seems W&Z were quicker than Activision expected!
 
Red Dead Redemption in stores May 18.