Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Infinity Ward Coalition Files Lawsuit Against Activision

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The Infinity Ward and Activision spat took one step towards being a much messier affair yesterday as it appears that 38 former and current employees, known as the “Infinity Ward Employee Group” (IWEG), have launched an action against Activision for $54 million in royalties owed – expecting somewhere between $75 million and 125 million in return.

The lawsuit hinges on the notion that Activision’s inability to pay them the royalties for delivering Modern Warfare 2 on time are a breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, a violation of the Californian labour code and more.

The plaintiffs claim that Activision "made a calculated, purposeful and malicious decision" to withhold earned 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."

So pretty serious allegations.

Activision, if they lose could be out of pocket by more than the figures above, those are just the royalties owed. The IWEG are also seeking $75 to $500 million as an award for punitive damages. A figure which is calculated from the sales of Modern Warfare 2 and “Activision’s net worth.”

Furthermore, the lawsuit stated, “Activision has a duty to pay all of the members of the IWEG all of the money they are owed... within 72 hours of the termination of their employment."

"Activision, however, has failed to do so."

What’s Activision’s stance on all this? Why of course, they think they’re in the right, which they may well be.
"Activision believes the action is without merit," the publisher told G4TV. "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."

The full list of plaintiffs incidentally are as follows:

Todd Alderman, Frank Gigliotti, Roger Abrahamsson, Brad Allen, Mohammad Alavi, Richard Baker, Chad Barb, Keith Bell, Chris Cherubini, Taihoon William Cho, Chris Dionne, Joel Emslie, Robert Field, Steve Fuduka, Robert Gaines, Chance Glasco, Preston Glenn, Joel Gompert, Chad Grenier, Mark Grigsby, John Haggerty, Jacob Michael Keating, Chris Lambert, Ryan Lastimosa, Fairfax S. McCandlish IV, Jason McCord, Brent Mcleod, John Paul Messerly, Stephen Miller, Zied Rieke, Jon Shiring, John Slayback, Richard Smith, Geoffery Smith, Jiesang Song, Todd Sue, Rayme C. Vinson and Lei Yang.

A few familiar names in there, especially if you’ve been keeping up to date with this clusterfuck of a legal battle.
This one isn’t over... not by a long shot. According to Janco Partners’ analyst, Mike Hickey, the studio could even be closed after the next map pack ships... well, what’s left of it.
In case you were  wondering as well, this is separate to the West and Zampella lawsuit which Activision are also involved in.
[Via G4TV]


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Game Info
Infinity Ward


US November 10, 2009
Europe November 10, 2009

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