Infinity Ward Fires Another Shot at Activision
Infinity Ward and Activision have been engaged in intense legal battles ever since the firing of two top employees back in March. After the firing of Jason West and Vince Zampella, 45 other employees abruptly left Infinity Ward throughout April and May. It turns out, West and Zampella had sued Activision for not paying royalties. Activision quickly counter-sued, claiming their firing was justified. Now, Activision has another lawsuit filed against them.
On April 27th, 38 current and former Infinity Ward employees brought an updated lawsuit against Activision. The group, calling themselves the Infinity Ward Employee Group, is alleging that Activision created a hostile work environment which they referred to as a “police state.” The addendum to the lawsuit claims Activision subjected Infinity Ward employees to secret interrogations, placed guards at the exits to the building, and withheld money that was owed to the staff. Allegedly, Activison withheld 54 million dollars as a sort of ransom to get the employees to work on Modern Warfare 3. The money was to be paid out once the game was released on November 2011.
The lawsuit goes on the claim that Infinity Ward employees met with Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activsion, back in March. At that meeting, Kotick agreed to pay out bonuses at the end of the month, but that never happened. When the same employees met with the CFO of Activision, Thomas Tippl, in April, and asked about the money they were never paid, they were told to “get over it.”
The lawsuit alleges that if West and Zampella were never fired, if the bonus money had been paid out in full, and if Activison had not created such a hostile work environment, the employees would never had resigned from Infinity Ward. This new lawsuit also lowers the amount of money the employees are seeking from Activision. The amount has been lowered from 500 million to 216 million dollars.
There will be a hearing on August 5th to decide if both lawsuits should be consolidated, and the Infinity Ward employees’ lawsuit hearing is currently set for May 23rd of next year. We’ll keep you informed on the situation as it unfolds in the coming months.