It’s one thing to get sued by 2 people you fired. It is quite another to get sued by almost 40 former and current employees all claiming that you bilked them out of the royalties from the biggest (and arguably best) game of last year. But that is exactly what happened yesterday in LA Superior Court when 40% of the crew behind MW2 sued Activision for between $75 and $125 million in unpaid royalties and potentially more in compensatory damages.
Of the 38 plaintiffs in the new lawsuit, 17 still work for IW/Activision. The suit reads, “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.” It claims 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 also claims that Activision told IW employees that they would have received bonuses that were 2.5 times higher than they did on March 26th, had studio leads West and Zampella not been fired.
This all being said, Infinity Ward should prove a very interesting office environment as proceedings move forward.
Regardless of whose side you are on in this crazy Call-of-Duty soap opera – or even if you don’t care – you have to admit that the news is pretty megaton boom-boom. The implications from what takes place in these cases will reverberate throughout the industry for years to come.
Because the new suit is based on many of the same claims West and Zampella filed previously, the lawyer for the 38 asked that the two cases be combined.
Here is the unsurprising response to the news from Activision:
“Activision believes the action is without merit,” a company spokesman said in response to the suit. “Activision retains the discretion to determine the amount and the schedule of bonus payments for [Modern Warfare 2] and has acted consistent with its rights and the law at all times. We look forward to getting judicial confirmation that our position is right.”
Source: LA Times