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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's 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."

4/27/2010 9:12:03 PM John Shepard

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Comments (33 posts)

FxTales
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 10:21:09 PM
Reply

You reap what you sow Activision.

Agree with this comment 16 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Kowhoho
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 11:31:56 PM

.... You mean sew. I don't usual police people on grammar, but I'm pretty sure a sow is a female pig.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 15 down Disagree with this comment

LividFiction
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 2:22:40 AM

@Kowhoho
No, it is indeed "sow," at least in that expression:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sow[2]

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

D1g1tal5torm
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 3:50:44 AM

Jesus,

Maybe you should check what you're going to write before you decide to 'correct' someone.

And you should have used usually.

I don't call people stupid, but there's a first time for everything.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

D1g1tal5torm
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 7:01:40 AM

Ha - my thumbs down.

From Kowhoho by any chance!

Agree with this comment 3 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Imagi
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 8:53:45 AM

"I don't usual police people on grammar" Good, don't get into the habit, after that sentence.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bridgera
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 12:35:56 PM

Stop trying to "correct" the word "sow" or "sew"

It's Mell's comment, let Mell say whatever
he/she wants.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Alienange
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 10:21:11 PM
Reply

Holy toledo! If half of that is true then Activision is in for a world of hurt. It sure sounds like Activision has figured out a way to not only fleece the customers, but to fleece their employees too.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

FxTales
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 4:23:33 AM

No I do mean "sow" not "sew". It doesn't mean to stitch. Like e.g sow a seed. Just wanted to correct you.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 5:09:16 AM

@ Kowhoho,
Actually, Mell was correct.
It is "Reap what you sow"
Sow doesn't always mean a female pig....

sow
verb,sowed, sown or sowed, sow·ing.
–verb (used with object)
1. to scatter (seed) over land, earth, etc., for growth; plant.
2. to plant seed for: to sow a crop.
3. to scatter seed over (land, earth, etc.) for the purpose of growth.
4. to implant, introduce, or promulgate; seek to propagate or extend; disseminate: to sow distrust or dissension.
5. to strew or sprinkle with anything.
–verb (used without object)
6. to sow seed, as for the production of a crop.

@D1g1tal5torm,
You know something?
You could have really took the time to correct him in a much more productive way, instead of coming off sounding like just another a-hole.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 4/28/2010 5:14:07 AM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 10:23:58 PM
Reply

Something really stinks at antivision, and I doubt it's their sewer system!

....."In short," reads the lawsuit, "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."

What does the IWEG want in return? "At least in the additional amount of $75 million to $500 million as an award for punitive damages," continues the lawsuit, citing a number calculated from the blockbuster sales of Modern Warfare 2 and "Activision's net worth."

The IWEG also believes Activision violated California Labor Code during their alleged failure of payment.

"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," reads the lawsuit. "Activision, however, has failed to do so."


Sic em IWEG, plus 3X the punitive damages too!



Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Darthvintage
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 10:48:42 PM

im horrid when it come to law.

can you explain in more detail?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Deleted User
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 10:29:53 PM
Reply

hey, you get what you pay for...
eh? eh? see what I did there?

see..they didn't pay them enough and...

Agree with this comment 3 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

johnld
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 10:41:40 PM
Reply

"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."

This just seems like an admission that they are screwing over infinity ward employees. i can see somewhat of having the discretion to determine the amount but the schedule? so if they get fired, they dont have to pay them since they dont work for the company anymore. Thats probably what they did to the infinity ward heads.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Darthvintage
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 10:45:13 PM
Reply

EA is probably Pissing themselves with laughter.


Agree with this comment 15 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Kowhoho
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 11:34:00 PM

Along with the rest of the gaming world! XD

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 10:48:19 PM
Reply

johnld,

Yup, agreed!!!!

anti-vision didn't even try to deny or rebut it like an honest company would, especially if they knew they were in the clear.

Instead, they just threw out a standard disclaimer/form line of bullsh!t.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

xnonsuchx
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 11:02:20 PM
Reply

Does "Infinity Ward" even mean anything now to anyone w/o the main people who made it what it was? It's almost like saying the current Atari (Infogrames) is the same company that brought you TEMPEST.

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Milonakis
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 11:27:30 PM
Reply

They should let like three unhappy people stay and put glitches into MW3 that will make all the enemies Activision employees to shoot at. That would be a game worth playing.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SnipeySnake
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 11:48:25 PM

Or they could just put a bitten donut in each case and stamp a MW3 sign on it. Its not like activision plays the games they publish anyway.

Last edited by SnipeySnake on 4/27/2010 11:48:43 PM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

xnonsuchx
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 @ 11:33:52 PM
Reply

BTW, I returned my unopened copy of MW2...partially in protest.

Agree with this comment 12 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 2:39:40 AM
Reply

all i can do is sit back and laugh my a$$ off!!!!!!!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Imagi
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 3:40:42 AM
Reply

People will still buy Activision games and help perpetuate the companies wrong doing's. They have deep pockets and this will not bother them much.

People are stupid.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

D1g1tal5torm
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 3:54:14 AM
Reply

I wonder if they'll do a decent job on goldeneye.

If they do - I suspect most will buy it.

Seminal.

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MysteriousMagus
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 6:29:03 AM
Reply

and to think that Modern Warfare 2 is the best selling PS3 game...
Not that InfinityWard doesn't deserve their money... but still...

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Kellhus
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 6:49:23 AM
Reply

Who the hell is buying these Activision games?

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bridgera
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 12:32:05 PM

I bought Ultimate Alliance 2 when it went to $30, sorry I just like those kinds of games too much.

>.<

Won't buy another one until Ultimate Alliance 3 (also will only buy for $30 or less).

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JackC8
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 6:57:13 AM
Reply

I've never even heard of a company that "retains the discretion to determine the amount and the schedule of bonus payments". That's always rather precisely spelled out in a contract. Who would work for a company that tells you they may give you a bonus, if and when they feel like it?

Typical load of BS from craptivision. I'm sure Kotick will be instructing his lawyers to drag this thing out for as many years as possible.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bridgera
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 12:29:41 PM

LoL I can't believe that actually made the contract AND that they are actually trying to use it as a defense.

That's refered to as an Unconscionability Clause, which is usually thrown out in court because one side has superior bargaining power and gets whatever they want into a contract.

There are too many scumbags trying to do stuff like that nowadays by writing in a stupid clause into a contract, and trying to screw someone over, rather than earn an honest buck.

I'm behind IW and hope Activision gets it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 8:44:55 AM
Reply

This is starting to turn into the tiger woods fiasco but in video games.

All the people that have been wronged by activision are going to start coming out and making claims against them. If we're lucky, they will lose them all and activision will suffer major losses.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Nynja
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 12:24:27 PM
Reply

A "what if" question to ponder;

What if Activision loses the lawsuit. They pay out the bonuses promised to Infinity Ward employees which forces them to close more studios, due to poor reception from their other cash cows. Stocks plummit. Kotick is now considering selling Activision and walk away as filthy stinking rich billionaire.

Who would have enough expendable resources to snap all those licenses for well known franchises? EA, Ubisoft, Square-Enix, Capcom, Sony? Or even worse, Microsoft?

Could anything good even come out of such a transaction?

Last edited by Nynja on 4/28/2010 12:25:19 PM

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LightShow
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 3:38:54 PM
Reply

sounds like activisions saying "ya, so?"

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FlyingKickPunch
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 5:08:54 PM
Reply

waaaah.

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