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Activision: We Pay Our Talent "Millions Of Dollars"

When viewing the current situation between Activision and Infinity Ward, many are asking, "how were the developers treated?"

According to the publisher, the answer is simple: "extremely well." As reported by CVG, Activision not only says they treated IW very well, but they also paid them "millions of dollars" for services rendered. Obviously, this is in contrast to accusations made by ex-IW bosses Vince Zampella and Jason West but then again, that's why they've got this massive disagreement that has resulted in complicated - and not-so-nice - legal proceedings. Said Activision COO Thomas Tippl:

"We treat our developers extremely well. We have an independent studio model that provides them a lot of creative freedom while we take care of the back office stuff so they can focus on making games.

If their games are successful, they are compensated better here than anywhere else. We've been paying our talent millions of dollars for their work. Our setup provides a win-win opportunity. We ensure your work will reach a wide audience. Therefore, we have attracted, and we will continue to attract, the top talent in this industry."

Yeah, it's a he-said, she-said situation and we may never know the full truth of the matter. However, it's good to hear both sides making official statements, just so we get a better view of each opponent; the question is whether or not you agree with Activision's words. The preceding is indeed a bit vague but for now, we'll just take everyone at face value until more comes to light in the courts.

4/18/2010 9:19:14 PM John Shepard

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Comments (61 posts)

Douchebaguette
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 9:57:55 PM
Reply

I hate it when people ignorantly throw the word "talent" around.

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Zorigo
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 8:12:09 AM

lol,
in my opinion, i think we should take into account who's more turstworthy. the devloper of a fairly good/addicting game or a company who rips its customer off so hard, that if this was a handj*b it would tear the skin.
sorry if that was too graphic. but 45 QUID! £10 for DLC.

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Godslim
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 9:56:16 AM

so IW isnt talented?

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Douchebaguette
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 10:23:03 AM

You seem to have misunderstood what I was saying.

No one is more "talented" than anyone: it's more about who has more experience, who's trained more, and finding more common sense in the techniques of growth & adaption.

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Nynja
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 1:03:34 PM

I see and agree with your point, but... In some circumstances, talent is very valid. Some people just have that knack needed for specific tasks. For example, some of my friends have a born talent with music. Then the same with art, which actually is part of game development.

Some skills, in my opinion, are considered a talent because it's not something you can teach in school.

Again, I still agree with you that he is using the word very loosely.

Last edited by Nynja on 4/19/2010 1:11:48 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 9:58:07 PM
Reply

I, for one, will listen to the Infinity Ward team, the top talent of which pretty much walked out en masse after the firings. "Millions of Dollars" is very vague when you are talking about a billion dollar selling game. Backpedal all you want Activision, you know you screwed this one up big time and nobody likes you or Kotex.

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tes37
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:05:11 PM

This Activision statement reminds me of a quote from Friday, " You aint gots to lie Craig, ... you aint gots to lie".

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:17:16 PM

Didn't they say that in South Park too?

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tes37
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:26:47 PM

That's probably where South Park got it from. Friday came out in the mid 90's .

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 5:09:04 AM

You're both correct, isn't that great!


BTW as much as I enjoy the movie Friday it pales in comparison to Don't be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.

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tes37
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 6:15:50 AM

Well, this calls for a celebration. Now where did I put that Cheech & Chong brownie mix.

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ace_boon_coon
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 2:05:52 PM

@ tes37


lol lol lol let me get a few of those brownies *does shifty look*

Last edited by ace_boon_coon on 4/19/2010 2:06:12 PM

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Deleted User
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 9:58:43 PM
Reply

Activision attracts the top talent in the industry? Something must happen when they get there then because I don't see it.

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Douchebaguette
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:04:21 PM
Reply

"We treat our developers extremely well. We have an independent studio model that provides them a lot of creative freedom while we take care of the back office stuff so they can focus on making games."

Not according to Kotick's description of his desired work ethic.

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Milonakis
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:05:47 PM
Reply

I have no respect for activision. They lost all my respect from there ignorant ceo with his comments about game prices being to low.

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ace_boon_coon
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 2:10:50 PM

yeah that comment was bs. $60 is expensive. i guess they charge people more for the dlc.

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CH1N00K
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:13:40 PM
Reply

Of course they've paid out "millions of dollars" to their employees. Every other major corporation in the world calls those millions of dollars "salaries" You know, what you pay your employees to do their day to day jobs? However the issue is about the millions of dollars owed to "specific" employees for commissions on an amazingly popular game.

But then if you had to pay your top employees "millions of dollars" each, they might take all that money and run off and do something like start their own gaming company and take all of your talent with it leaving you to flounder in the wreckage....wait a minute....Does any of this sound at all familiar?

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booze925
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:18:32 PM
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we may never know who's at complete fault, but either way, activision is screwed

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Oyashiro
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:20:50 PM
Reply

Whats that I smell? I think its Bullshit.

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Tim Speed24
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 7:03:36 AM

I smell it too. I think you're right!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:26:14 PM
Reply

So who is the biggest loudmouth right now? Activision, Square Enix, or Crytek?

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Kowhoho
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:52:53 PM

I don't like this. Our industry is taking blows from within, and all we can do is watch.

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tes37
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:07:17 PM

Looks like we have a three-way tie.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:51:12 PM

Normally I'm all for 3-ways but not this time :)

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chedison
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 2:09:57 AM

lol @ World.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 5:09:44 AM

Whose the other...um girl World?

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Milonakis
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 7:16:17 AM

I think it's based on a roullette system. They pick days to come out and be obnoxious and one day we will all be buying EA games and they'll huddle together and talk about how well there plan worked to unite gamers under one company.

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main_event05
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 10:14:34 AM

Square kinda sorta looks like they wanna do a turn around, that's just my opinion because of all the player feedback they are requesting.

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Alienange
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 12:41:44 PM

It was inappropriate of you to mention those three... and leave out Jaffe.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 4:39:58 PM

It's your mom LV ;) ...unless she's dead.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 4/19/2010 4:40:38 PM

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fluffer nutter
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:44:53 PM
Reply

"However, it's good to hear both sides making official statements, just so we get a better view of each opponent;"

I don't agree with this. Spokespersons are supposed to say the "right" thing so that the companies or parties they represent are shining and respectable pillars of our community. A bunch of hogwash, I tell ya.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:16:38 PM

but it's good to have them on record at least, so we can laugh when the spokesperson's rhetoric comes crashing down on them as facts come out in court.

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BikerSaint
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:49:34 PM
Reply

World, I think it will all boil done to which butt-buddy can squeal the loudest.

And I wouldn't be surprised to find out kotex was the stunt-double stand-in for Ned Beatty in the movie, "Deliverance".

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Kowhoho
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:54:15 PM
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What goes around comes around, bitches! That's right Activision!

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BikerSaint
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:54:35 PM
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I think anti-visions claim of paying out is total bullshit......
.....and their idea of millions paid out is more like me like me trying to tell you "I'll give you 1&1/2 cents on every dollar I owe you"

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Victor321
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 10:57:40 PM
Reply

I guess they'll never know that money doesn't buy happiness.

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tes37
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:04:19 PM

It seems like with them it can definitely buy you some enemies.

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Victor321
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 7:15:27 AM

Lmao XD

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CH1N00K
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:01:37 PM
Reply

Just had a sudden thought. Shouldn't we have seen the demise of Activision coming when Kotex cashed in 35 million dollars worth of his shares at Activision? At the time we were all talking about how he's turned a 2 million dollar investment into a 35 million dollar turn around in less then 5 years.

Now? Can't believed we missed it but it was a sign of Kotek jumping a sinking ship. He's wanted to take the fun out of making video games, he's cashed in huge and now he's laughing all the way to the bank as he sinks a major player in the gaming community.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm suddenly having a non-stop playback in my head of Dave Chapelle yelling "I'm rich B1tches!!" rolling through my head.

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Kowhoho
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:15:31 PM

I have deathmetal playing in my head, accompanied with violent, Kratos-esque thoughts regarding Kotex.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:20:17 PM

So he just did what AIG and Goldman Sachs did then? Buy up junk, bet all your money against it, inflate the market, then crash your own company that you made the customers pay out their ass for? Makes sense.

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BikerSaint
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:28:17 PM

Ch1nook,
You're absolutely right, I think that was his plan all along, get his money, chop up the company & run.

Don't forget, He also had to know what he was going to do to IW.
I think the proof in the pudding was seeing that he hired a "3rd" developer company a few months back to carry on with the COD name, long before any hint of the Anti-IW War was mentioned by anyone, or anywhere in the media.

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Kangasfwa
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:16:32 PM
Reply

"We have an independent studio model that provides them a lot of creative freedom"

Raven told Game Informer in Singularity's debut article that they worked on the game in secret for about six months so they could have something solid to show to the suits. Raven also claimed that an original IP in activision is like a holy grail for developers.

Last edited by Kangasfwa on 4/18/2010 11:18:25 PM

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kraygen
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:20:28 PM
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someone needs to capitalize off of this debacle and make a downloadable game called employee bash.

It could feature bobblehead characters of kotick, zampella, and west in some kinda street fight.

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Mornelithe
Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 11:49:28 PM
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It doesn't really matter who reports what, most people know damn well IW wasn't just going to up and lose a good chunk of its senior staff...over nothing.

If Activision seriously thinks they're pulling the wool over anyone's eyes by smoothing it over with PR speak (C'mon, as Sony fiends we've heard it all!!!! lol), they're sorely mistaken. They've really made it priority number 1, that the average joe knows they treat their fans, and workers like sh** in order to reap as much profit as possible.

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Bugzbunny109
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 12:29:47 AM
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Hey anybody wants to just piss on Activision? Maybe a little pee will clear their vision XD

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BTNwarrior
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 12:44:26 AM
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Yes they pay their employees millions, except for when they create the best selling game of all time. That is a different thing alltogether.

and that we support creativity part has got to be the biggest load of crap I have ever heard. I mean didn't they release 5 guitar hero games within one year?

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rogers71
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 1:04:29 AM
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I think the bigger question here goes like this.......When is Ben going to come clean and stop writing under this psuedonym? Just saying!!!!

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 6:58:55 AM

I never thought about it but you may be on to something...

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Imagi
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 1:39:44 AM
Reply

This is just PR BS, to combat the ever growing anti Activision feeling as more and more gamers see how they work and treat their studios.

They gave IW so much freedom and rewards for their hard work that the 'Talent' felt they had to look elsewhere, so that they were not continually being forced to churn out the same game year on year.

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Dancemachine55
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 1:56:41 AM
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If Activision had paid there "talent" and given them artistic freedom, then why did West and Zampella wind up at EA?

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bridgera
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 2:02:58 AM
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"We've been paying our talent millions of dollars for their work. "

Carefully read that sentance, they paid their talent millions, meaning they spread that among the entire programming team of however many people. When you divide millions by say, 50 or more programmers, that number goes down into the tens of thousands/person pretty quickly.

That statement was intentionally misleading.

Last edited by bridgera on 4/19/2010 2:03:36 AM

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Miggy
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 10:09:47 AM

That's exactly what I thought when I read that statement.

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___________
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 2:43:56 AM
Reply

rrrrrriiiiiigggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttt........
if denying IW some millions of dollars in royalties they were owed is their idea of treating your staff "very well" than i would hate to see their idea of treating them like crap!

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Banky A
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 3:11:17 AM
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Pffft.

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LightShow
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 6:36:08 AM
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the top dogs at IW walked out because of something, and its not a relapse of teenage rebellion, they didnt do it just because they could.

plus everyone knows that "independent developer model" stuff is crap. IW wanted to do a new IP and Activision wouldnt let them. doesnt sound like IW was independent to me.

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JackC8
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 7:59:49 AM
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The "millions of dollars" seems to refer to all of their developers combined, not just IW. If they're treated so extremely well, it's a bit hard to understand why 20 or so of them have quit. I could certainly understand a couple of guys having a disagreement with the boss, but when the whole senior staff leaves, it's pretty obvious how they've been treated. And the fact that Activision sent thugs into the IW offices and interrogated employees until they were driven to tears, yeah... Great bunch of folks over at Activision. Real humanitarians.

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Underdog15
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 10:25:27 AM
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I think EA will win Modern Warefare's accolades on this one. Some accolades to give out are:

"Vengeful-Most Payback Kills" to Zampella,

"Bomb Expert-Most bombs planted" to West (Both get "Hotpotato-Most grenades thrown back")

"Decimator-Killed entire enemy team without dying" and "Marksman-Most longshots" to EA

"Grassy Knoll-Most time spent prone" to Activision

"Terminal-Shortest Life" and "Accident Prone-Most suicides" to Infinity Ward

"Nomad-Longest Distance Traveled", "Weapon Rack-Most weapon Swaps", "Evolver-Most classes changed", and "Loaner-Most kills with enemy weapons" to all the staff that followed West and Zampella.

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tridon
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 12:52:30 PM
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Activision: We Pay Our Talent "Millions of Dollars"... and then we fire them and sue them to get all our money back. ALL HAIL KOTICK!

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Alienange
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 12:54:18 PM
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How does a clown like Tippl get a job where he can spew this kind of rubbish and still make bags of money?

Did he honestly say "back office stuff?"

What company's COO talks like this? "Our devs make games and we do office stuff."

LMAO

I'd write more but I've got "stuff" to do too.

edit: two 'p' in Tippl

Last edited by Alienange on 4/19/2010 12:55:35 PM

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Rings0fUranus
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 3:55:48 PM
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makes you wonder what the tony hawk ride team was "compensated"

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