The ongoing friction
between Activision and its internal development studio Infinity Ward has reached new heights, as several dozen current and former Infinity Ward employees have banded together to file suit against Activision, claiming breach of contract and seeking unpaid royalties and bonuses.
According to documents obtained by G4tv.com blog The Feed
, the suit is being collectively filed by the "Infinity Ward Employee Group," comprising 38 developers. They allege that Activision violated California labor codes and deliberately withheld deserved payments related to the success of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
"in an attempt to keep the employees hostage so that Activision could reap the benefit of the completion of Modern Warfare 3
The suit claims Activision has paid out $28 million in bonuses so far, with another $54 million outstanding. In total, the group seeks $75 to $125 million in total, which includes allegedly promised compensation related to royalties, bonuses, profit sharing, stock options, and interest.
Furthermore, the group is attempting to win an additional $75 million to $500 million in punitive damages, based on the value of Modern Warfare 2
and Activision itself.
"Activision has withheld most of the money to force many of my people to stay, some against their will, so that they would finish the delivery of Modern Warfare 3
," attorney Bruce Isaacs told G4. "That is not what they wanted to do.
In an official response, Activision said it "retains the discretion to determine the amount and the schedule of bonus payments for MW2
" and believes the suit to be "without merit."