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Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision

A group of 38 plaintiffs who call themselves the "Infinity Ward Employee Group" filed suit this morning in Los Angeles Superior Court against Activision, alleging breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of California labor code and more, seeking "a large amount of unpaid royalties," reports G4tv.com. According to the report the suit says that while $28 million in royalties on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have been paid, more than $54 million is still due, and the plaintiffs are seeking "to recover between $75 million and $125 million, if not more, in compensatory damages." Also, the suit states that "Activision withheld the property of the IWEG in an attempt to keep the employees hostage so that Activision could reap the benefit of the completion of Modern Warfare 3." They have further details, including a full list of the 38 plaintiffs (not all of whom have left Infinity Ward), and an outline of how they calculated how much money they are seeking, which follows.

  • 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.

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29 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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29. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 28, 2010, 04:05 jdreyer
 
Donkey_Punch wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 23:27:
moppy wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 20:17:
Lawyers are gonna get paid!

Yup, the maggot lawyers will no doubt make more money than the creative people.

1. Activision are the maggot money grubbers. Direct your anger toward them. If they had done the right thing, then there would be no need for lawyers. But when the man is holding your down, you gotta bring in the attack dogs, and they don't work for free.

2. Lawyers will take 30% of the settlement. That's standard. The developers will take 70%, which is greater than 30%.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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28. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 28, 2010, 01:46 ^Drag0n^
 
I'm not sure if that was the funniest or most disturbing YouTube video I've seen this year...

^D^
 
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"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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27. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 23:53 Kxmode
 
Creston wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 22:48:
kxmode wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 19:50:
^Drag0n^ wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 19:22:
Creston--"you can be my wingman anytime."

^D^

Creston is already the wind beneath my wing, man.

Yes, and might I say that you're getting really quite heavy!

Must be all the pizza and POWERTHIRST.
 
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26. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 23:27 Donkey_Punch
 
moppy wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 20:17:
Lawyers are gonna get paid!

Yup, the maggot lawyers will no doubt make more money than the creative people.
 
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25. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 22:48 Creston
 
kxmode wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 19:50:
^Drag0n^ wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 19:22:
Creston--"you can be my wingman anytime."

^D^

Creston is already the wind beneath my wing, man.

Yes, and might I say that you're getting really quite heavy!

Creston
 
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24. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 21:36 Mr. Tact
 
Good luck to the former IW employees. I don't what, if anything, they were contractually promised, but I hope they get whatever that is. Unfortunately, it's likely the only winners in the end will be the lawyers.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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23. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 21:21 jdreyer
 
It's hard to feel sorry for Activision. They spent about $50M up front to pay the developers, and probably another $50M on marketing. The game had taken in over 1 billion dollars by January 2010 and has continued to be a top seller since then.

Even if the contracts don't spell it out, it just makes common sense not to f*ck around with bonuses when you're pulling in that kind of return on investment. Show the appreciation and respect for the developers who put in 14 hour days, six days a week for a year or longer to get this stuff done by the deadline. I work with a former Blizzard dev, I know the hours these guys work.

This will be interesting to watch, but I sincerely hope the devs get paid out on this one.

 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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22. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 20:45 Nameless Again
 
Like sands through the hourglass....

Fucking soap opera. (changes channel)
 
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21. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 20:43 Kosumo
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 18:37:
Kosumo wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 18:05:
Look at all that greed. Isn't capitalism great!

Yes, it is. Glad you noticed.

It's not just me who noticed, the lawyers where right amongst the greed and capitalism long before the doctor slapped this baby, and I think they will keep using their 'magic lawyer powers' to keep it tucked up nicely in bed next to them for a long time to come.
 
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20. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 20:26 nin
 

Pass the popcorn, please! My favorite part, where Activision gets their asses handed to them, is coming up.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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19. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 20:17 moppy
 
Lawyers are gonna get paid!  
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18. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 19:53 Kedyn
 
In other words, Modern Warfare 3 is coming soon!  
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17. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 19:50 Kxmode
 
^Drag0n^ wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 19:22:
Creston--"you can be my wingman anytime."

^D^

Creston is already the wind beneath my wing, man.
 
Avatar 18786
 
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16. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 19:22 ^Drag0n^
 
Creston--"you can be my wingman anytime."

^D^
 
Avatar 55075
 
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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15. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 19:05 Creston
 
And so, all the hubbub about the money being a "date bonus" can now be discarded, and these guys are simply owed royalties which Bobby Fucking Cocktick hasn't paid them.

I hope Activision gets slammed with hundred of millions of dollars in damages and goes fucking bankrupt.

Creston
 
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14. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 18:51 Ventura
 
I hope they get everything they're asking for.

Seriously, it ain't much fun when you're doing all the work and other people are getting all the money. I don't work in game development, but I still know that feeling all too well.
 
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13. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 18:49 ViRGE
 
Activision killed the goose that lays the golden eggs. Then they cut it up in to tiny pieces and buried them all over the world.  
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12. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 18:43 Dev
 
Wouldn't surprise me if this was why activision was trying to get those guys fired, so they wouldn't have to pay the big royalty percentage. It probably looked ok to Acti when they first contracted with IW, but then when they started making bank...

And if its true they didn't pay the bonus for making an on time release, or the stock bonus for making more sales than MW1, if they have any documentation thats going to be black and white, pretty ironclad.

This comment was edited on Apr 27, 2010, 20:20.
 
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11. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 18:37 StingingVelvet
 
Kosumo wrote on Apr 27, 2010, 18:05:
Look at all that greed. Isn't capitalism great!

Yes, it is. Glad you noticed.
 
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10. Re: Infinity Ward Employee Group Sues Activision Apr 27, 2010, 18:31 Kxmode
 
I wonder if something like this is occurring with Red Octane, and Blizzard (since the merger).  
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29 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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