You’re no stranger to the whole Infinity Ward–Activision debacle by now, but yesterday, things got really interesting (and really expensive). Patrick Klepek of G4 got his hands on the lawsuit documents by a group of 38 former and present employees of Infinity Ward, referred to in the aforementioned documents as the “Infinity Ward Employee Group.” Klepek got some time with one of the group’s attorneys Bruce Isaacs on the phone and talked about the suit’s claim to alleged “breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of California labor code and more.”
To sum it all up, Isaacs and his clients are looking for “approximately $75 million to $125 million” in royalties, bonuses, lost value on “restricted stock units,” Modern Warfare 2 “sister games,” and interest on all those items, as well as a hefty additional $75 million to $500 million in what they’re calling “punitive damages.” For those of you without a calculator handy, that means that this suit could total up to $625,000,000 in cash money, a calculated value from the sales of Modern Warfare 2 and Activision’s “net worth.”
You’ll note that in prior installments of the Infinity Ward saga, Dan Amrich of Activision stated that “the more people leave, the bigger the bonus gets for the people who stay,” interpreted as a ransom of the multi-million dollar variety to force employees to stay rather than ship up to Infinity Ward creators Jason West and Vince Zampella’s new company Respawn Entertainment. In fact, the lawsuit goes so far as to say Activision is attempting to “keep the employees hostage” so as to be the sole benefactor of the assumed upcoming Modern Warfare 3. Activision, however, views the entire suit as “without merit” and holds that they will get “judicial confirmation” of their actions.
You may be tired hearing about all of this Infinity Ward-Activision stuff, but this is pretty big news because not only is this worth a ridiculous amount of money but also this suit makes some legitimate claims. If not the 2010 bonuses and whatnot, Activision is at least clearly withholding Infinity Ward employee bonuses and royalties from 2009, a fact that Amrich’s comments on the matter via Facebook only made worse for the company. Besides, who doesn’t like drama, right?