Developers from the Infinity Ward team behind blockbuster hit Modern Warfare 2 are suing publisher Activision for breach of contract, among other things, including failing to pay due bonuses.
The plaintiffs, calling themselves the Infinity Ward Employee Group (IWEG) and consisting of "a significant portion of the members of the creative team" behind MW2, claim Activision owes them approximately $75 million to $125 million dollars.
This comes in the wake of numerous employees having quit Infinity Ward following the sensational sacking of former IW bosses Vince Zampella and Jason West.
According to Bruce Isaacs, one of the IWEG's attorneys at Wyman & Isaacs LLP, "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. That is not what they wanted to do. Many of them. My clients' entitled to their money. Activision has no right to withhold their money -- our money."
Activision allegedly "made a calculated, purposeful and malicious decision" to withhold proper bonuses "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."
But the plaintiffs are aiming to claim "at least in the additional amount of $75 million to $500 million as an award for punitive damages," according to the lawsuit, picked up by G4.
That sum pertains to:
- Unpaid bonuses from 2009 and 2010 sales generated by Modern Warfare 2 -- fourth quarter 2009 and first quarter 2010, specifically.
- Bonuses "due and owing to them" past first quarter 2010.
- "Bonus/royalty/profit participation" related to "technology/engine" royalties, "other special performance bonuses," "other studio bonuses" or "any other bonus/royalty/profit participation."'
- Lost value on "restricted stock units" that Activision "promised" would vest (read: own it in your own name and purchase it from Activision) when Modern Warfare 2 sales eclipsed Modern Warfare 1, which "has long ago occurred."
- Money owed as it relates to Modern Warfare 2 "sister games, including but not limited to" the oft-mentioned Modern Warfare 3, "if Modern Warfare 3 is ultimately delivered and marketed."
- Interest rates related to the above sums of money.
Activision has issued this statement in response: "Activision believes the action is without merit. 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. We look forward to getting judicial confirmation that our position is right."
More over on G4 through the link below.