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Remaining IW staff sue Activision

Remaining IW staff sue Activision

A group calling itself the Infinity Ward Employee Group is suing Activision over unpaid bonuses.

As staff continue to flee Modern Warfare developer Infinity War a new lawsuit has been levelled against Activision over unpaid royalties.

Around 28 staff members have now left Infinity Ward, including studio founders Vince Zampella and Jason West, as well as all of Modern Warfare 2's lead design team. There are now 75 staff left at Infinity Ward, 17 of which have joined the Infinity Ward Employee Group and begun suing Activision. The 17 IW staff are joined by 21 who have already left.

The lawsuit is based on continuing allegations of unpaid bonuses, with plaintiffs claiming that promised royalties from the sale of Modern Warfare 2 are being kept back by Activision as part of a plan to keep staff at the studio and working on Modern Warfare 3.

The complaints echo the lawsuit bought against Activision by IW founders Zampella and West, who were the first to leave the studio and who have already launched a new business - EA Partnered Respawn Entertainment, which has picked up most of the fleeing IW team.

The new lawsuit is seeking $75 to $125 million USD in royalties, plus $75 to $500 million in punitive damages according to G4.

The lawsuit also coincides with the departure of two more Infinity Ward staff members - lead programmer Robert Field and HR Head Kristin Cotterell. Earlier this week Senior Level Designer Jason McCord and Senior Artist Ryan Lastimosa also quit.

"Activision retains the discretion to determine the amount and the schedule of bonus payments for MW2 and has acted consistent with its rights and the law at all times" said an Activision spokesperson. "We look forward to getting judicial confirmation that our position is right."

Activision has also maintained that Infinity Ward will remain a good studio and a promising start for new talent, while also pursuing a lawsuit of its own against former staff.

Activision blogger Dan Amrich has also advised Infinity Ward staff to stay at the studio, if only to get hold of their bonuses. Amrich claims that bonuses from quitting staff are being redistributed among existing workers.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

22 Comments

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Leitchy 28th April 2010, 13:27 Quote
Good on'em!
crazyceo 28th April 2010, 13:51 Quote
"Someone throw me a frickin' bonus here!"

"No, let's just throw them into the pool with the sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads!"
13eightyfour 28th April 2010, 13:57 Quote
Its beginning to look increasingly worse for activision. The employees that left would obviously sue for the royalties they're owed, but when members of staff still with the company also sue for the same thing somethings very wrong, what i dont understand is why havent the other 58 employees filed to sue?
GiantStickMan 28th April 2010, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Amrich claims that bonuses from quitting staff are being redistributed among existing workers.

Last man standing takes all?
MacWalka 28th April 2010, 14:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by titanium angel
Its beginning to look increasingly worse for activision. The employees that left would obviously sue for the royalties they're owed, but when members of staff still with the company also sue for the same thing somethings very wrong, what i dont understand is why havent the other 58 employees filed to sue?

Possibly out of fear for their jobs or they weren't entitled to bonuses in the first place. Example: They joined late in the development of the game, are a junior member of staff etc.
barndoor101 28th April 2010, 14:19 Quote
god i hope activision get taken to the cleaners.
WildThing 28th April 2010, 14:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leitchy
Good on'em!

+1
Phalanx 28th April 2010, 15:28 Quote
I don't understand why they don't just give people what they are due. Why all the holding back. Activision are getting worse daily :(
ev1lm1nd666 28th April 2010, 15:56 Quote
It's the American dream isn't it, lean back, get fat and make some one else do all the work that makes you rich. This seems to be Activisions view on things and I can't see it changing any time soon. they need a kick up the arse and I hope the employees group sueing Activision win and get the rights to the modern warfare franchise too, then we might see a truely brilliant MW3
sotu1 28th April 2010, 16:01 Quote
Can't we settle this with an old fashion team deathmatch? Infinity Ward vs Activi$ion. Team deathmatch, MW2. IW picks first map, and then Activision picks second map. Which will no doubt be Crash, since it's a total cash in.
bob 28th April 2010, 16:44 Quote
Activision sound like *******s tbh
Abhorsen 28th April 2010, 16:45 Quote
At first it could have been that the Activision had a case. Now that so many IW staff are doing it something definately appears wrong. Throw enough sh1t and some will stick!
Evildead666 28th April 2010, 18:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildThing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leitchy
Good on'em!

+1

+1

And i hope they win. Punitive damages and all......
Psytek 28th April 2010, 21:17 Quote
It's beautifully ironic that activision was founded by people who left atari because they didn't pay royalties. Now all the guys at infinity ward are leaving for the same reason.
eternum 28th April 2010, 21:48 Quote
I hope Activision get sued into the freaking stone age.

I also still believe (strictly personal opinion) that the mediocre quality of MW2 was due to Activision's "oversight." Who cares if there's a little blood in the milk? The milking machine just keeps on humming...
BradShort 28th April 2010, 22:16 Quote
I Should get some bloody money. I plan to sue for my wasted time waiting for new client picks everytime i noobed someone. . . Dedicated Dedicated Dedicated :P
LithiumDesign 28th April 2010, 22:45 Quote
So there is gunna be a modern warfare 3 naow ?
1ad7 29th April 2010, 04:00 Quote
there will be a COD 27 for sure, will it have anything to do with the other games? hell no lol

It sure looks like activision is full of dickheads.
veato 29th April 2010, 11:49 Quote
It sounds more and more like they're planning to hold back royalties to ensure the team (who are left) work on MW3 as and when Activision say so.

Money money money money
humdrumian_monkey 29th April 2010, 12:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by barndoor101
god I hope activision get taken to the cleaners.

+1
leexgx 29th April 2010, 15:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradShort
I Should get some bloody money. I plan to sue for my wasted time waiting for new client picks everytime i noobed someone. . . Dedicated Dedicated Dedicated :P

if MW3 goes the same way as MW2 did in muti-player (Xbox hosting type muti-player) None of my members will fall for it an second time, its TO unstable and unpredictable connection most of the time (Shot lag, time it takes the shot shots to register) if it was not for steam i would of had an refund or sold my copy to game station (i should made an new steam account for MW2 as i know it was going to be crap P2P hosting system, so i could of got an credit card refund as they would of Killed that account once i did that)

the only reason most got MW2 as there was No other good game around at the time (also none of my members are going to get the DLC content)
Star*Dagger 29th April 2010, 23:19 Quote
Wow, what a Fail, the game is crap, the PR was crap, now this.

MW2 = everything that is wrong with PC Gaming and Corporations!
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