Infinity Ward Plaintiffs Claim: Activision Kept Us Hostage
Well, the numbers are in for the legal war that has ensued between Activision and Infinity Ward and not surprisingly, those numbers are big.
As per the rundown at G4TV, a lawsuit has been filed by the "Infinity Ward Employee Group" against Activision; there are a total of 38 plaintiffs and they allege "breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of California labor code," and more. In the legal document submitted to the Los Angeles Superior Court, the Group is seeking anywhere between $75 million and $125 million in damages. Said Bruce Isaacs, one of the Group's attorneys at Wyman & Isaacs LLP:
"Activision owes my clients approximately $75 million to $125 million dollars. 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."
The suit claims that while Activision has indeed paid $28 million in bonuses to IW employees, the Group is still due at least $54 million in 2009 profits alone. That's below the aforementioned $75-$125 million, but they get that range from unpaid bonuses due to Modern Warfare 2, bonuses "due and owing to them" past the first quarter of 2010, a variety of other bonuses, lost value on "restricted stock units," money owed as it relates to MW2 "sister games, including but not limited to" the apparently upcoming MW3, if it is indeed released at some point, and interest rates. The Group further claims that Activision withheld their property "in an attempt to keep the employees hostage so that Activision could reap the benefit of the completion of Modern Warfare 2."
"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."
4/27/2010 9:12:03 PM John Shepard