Activision pays $42 million to ex-Infinity Ward members - Report

Reports claims Call of Duty publisher awarded the sum to former Infinity Ward members following an evidence review; trial slated to start May 29.

Reports have surfaced today on both Polygon and Gamasutra claiming that Activision has paid a sum of $42 million to a group of 40 former Infinity Ward members implicated in an upcoming lawsuit with the Call of Duty publisher.

Activision wants to focus its efforts entirely on ex-Infinity Ward heads West and Zampella.

According to the reports--both of which cite an anonymous source close to the case--Activision paid the $42 million to the group representing former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella after reviewing the evidence for the ongoing lawsuit over West and Zampella's 2010 firing, and subsequent establishment of Respawn Entertainment with Electronic Arts.

Both Polygon and Gamasutra reported that the sum paid by Activision is not part of a settlement.

Instead, the sum is what the publisher believes the former employees are owed after reviewing trial evidence and reportedly finding that it does not implicate the group's 40 members. It is reported that Activision will now focus its legal efforts entirely on West and Zampella.

In March this year, Activision scored a partial victory in the suit, when a judge dismissed one of two fraud claims brought against the publisher by West and Zampella.

Activision claims that it fired the pair because they were secretly planning to start their new studio with the help of Electronic Arts, while still employed with the Call of Duty publisher. West and Zampella claim that the real reason they were fired was so that Activision wouldn't have to pay them millions of dollars in royalties associated with Modern Warfare 2. Beyond the performance-based payout and any other court-awarded monetary damages, West and Zampella are seeking to gain co-ownership of the Modern Warfare brand. If successful in court, West and Zampella would have the right to create and release both old and new installments in the Modern Warfare franchise.

According to the reports, the trial is set to take place on May 29.

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Discussion

118 comments
darksiED70
darksiED70

Activision is now thinking of how they can take back those millions from us poor gamers. If a presidential candidate will promise to address this highway robbery that is just going rampant in the game industry, Im sure he will rack in a few thousand votes.

Henninger
Henninger

HAHAHAHA!!! They knew they were in the wrong. So they copped out & payed up! Thats a win for the IW ppl. & thats not even the settlement. Oh well. Get in their pockets IW.

t0taldj
t0taldj

I respect West and Zampella. Can't wait for their next game!

Savoritias
Savoritias

They have so much money that they don't know how to use it and still firing people. There should be a punishment for that. Like you must innovate in your next game!

tightwad34
tightwad34

Greedy A-holes paying up to the tune of 42 mil? What happened? It is a welcomed bright bit of news in a screwed up world(or at least as the media tells us so).

dicegamer
dicegamer

i hate to be what i always been online and on blogs but hear me out first of all activsion and EA are both greed company like capcom they all destroy good game the entire years i grow as a gamer so they win the sum of $42 million good for them

and they win the right of modern warfare 1 and 2 so beat it that mean which i will own for a second modern warfare 2 for the second time and own COD 4 for the first time i mean so beat it if people hate activision, EA, fine and if ya going to send hate reply that fine but i not going to change how i feel the game i love to for fun if ya don't like it don't buy them how hard is it be ? no ya don't know how and yes i going to preorder call of duty black ops 2 so go and head to tell me how i throwing my money away and yes i am a call of duty elite full member so whatever ya have to say it but its not to change none ya can hate as well it not going change as well.

 

 

 

 

 i speaking the turth dice 3:60 we trust

mos2000
mos2000

I think the proof is in the pudding against Activision.  Prior to them firing West and Zampella, they had  terminated a lot of positions along with the Guitar Hero franchise. They did so to help their stock price, as many corporations do.  It's appearant they cooked up this scheme to oust West and Zampella to further help in that purpose and not give them authority over their cash cow -- MWF. 

 

WestZ gave Activision what they wanted.  A game with gimmick and flash (in multiplayer) that would bring people to retailers.  They made their voices clear that they wanted to focus more on substance and less gimmickry, to bring the series back to the old glory amongst hardcore gamers.  They were told "sure, just make one more money raker, and you can do whatever you want..." then stabbed in the back

 

I hope Activision loses and loses big.  I hate to see harm done to Blizzard but something has to be done with the current role publishers play in gaming. A win by WestZ I think will put a spotlight on these shotty tactics they do to withhold compensation to developers. Doing so will hopefully push the industry to diminish their roles and put more power and money with the developers

cephas90
cephas90

I want everyone to lose so that CoD will die and better games will be created.

Blayzino
Blayzino

Hopefully West and Zampella get the rights and make better CoDs then activision lmao wouldnt that be a boot up the butt? might wake Activision up if they see what they could be doing..

nick45896
nick45896

Yay. More money for respawn=even better game from them. Cant wait.

yeah_28
yeah_28

So activision lost a lot of money, guess im ok with that.

 

Bighalsy
Bighalsy

Woo, they got F'd in the A!

 

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

I'm going to side against Activision for this one, simply because I don't care for any of their IP's. That being said, even if Activision wins I hope the court case brings justice on either party.

Serpentes420
Serpentes420

OK  a CoD4 remake? Wasn't CoD4 MW1? I don't know because I didn't play it.  But also wasn't it a game made for this current generation? What is there really to update and re-release if I am correct in my assumptions?

 

Updating and re-releasing old games into HD is one thing, but remaking something just because it was early this generation would be ridiculous.  Good graphics do not make a game good and sub par graphics do not make a game bad.  Just ask the Minecraft guy

Neogenic
Neogenic

42 million USD for 40 people..... I'd say some people just got rich.

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

First of all, screw Activision and mainly that POS Bobby Kotick.

 

Second, what I don't understand is let's just say for the sake of argument that Activision is right and fired them because they were planning on starting a studio with EA.... WHO CARES?! That sort of thing happens. It's legal for people to START businesses, Bobby! We're in America, not 1960s Communist Russia.

 

Bottom line is they STILL created the most successful franchise of all time that has brought in BILLIONS of dollars for Activision, and should be paid what they're owed. I seriously hope they squeeze Activision for all they're worth AND take back the MW brand (and maybe ACTUALLY create some new innovations for the series instead of milking it into the ground).

CraigNinten
CraigNinten

its 42 millions and 2 long years, does that includes the interests?

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

The last good COD was COD4. Since then the series has gone downhill IMO no innovation at all.

Tygraph
Tygraph

Is everyone here stupid? They barely updated the engine since COD4 wheres Halo Anniversary updated THE VERY FIRST HALO GAME. You want them to update Max Payne 3 yet? That's old enough lol 

Raisiine
Raisiine

Really activision? You're suing the dudes that made the best installments in cod series? Maybe it is only me, but IW's modern warfares humiliate Treyarch games. I cant even find words to describe how much treyarch sucks compared to IW

monster637
monster637

LOL people asking for a HD remake of cod4......just put in your disc , not much has changed since 4, you can still play it , mw3 and ops are not huge leaps in the graphics if at all......and im not being a d&^ck i play them all.......

megakick
megakick

YEAH now make a game that is not COD.

GOWzztrippinzz
GOWzztrippinzz

Havn't played a COD game since Modern Warfare, and that got stale awfully fast. I couldn't care less if they ever make a new one

SolanOcard
SolanOcard

COD4 revamp would be nice and all, but I would want them to re-release MW3 and both black ops games with "additional content". I guess world at war as well. Basically, anything they did not create themselves (because they were fired or Treyarch was at the helm). I'd discontinue selling the originals. I'd offer a 5$ discount on the new version if you brought in your copy of the old one. basically, erase from history Activision's involvement in the series.

Cronicx-
Cronicx-

If West and Zampella win, maybe they'll do the smart thing and re-release a COD4 revamp like they did Halo: Anniversary. I'd buy it

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

looks like this is far from over, but does respawn want to "destroy" CoD? #gamingarmageddon

Homerj
Homerj

Too bad Kotick....even if you paid them everything you owed them, they still will get punitive damages, and they still will get the license out of your greedy little fingers. Really great news day for Activision...first they have to tuck tail over IW, then their marquee title that was supposedly in "polish" development for 2 years has game breaking bugs. Couldnt happen to a nicer bunch.

macca366
macca366

Thats like 1 million and 50 thousand to each former employee, I'd be thankful for the pay post evidence review of my leaving of the company... I need a higher paying job man

JasPlun
JasPlun

I hope they win and get the rights to the franchise.I hate EA,but I hate Activision MORE especially the arragant peace of Crap Kolicker.

Gizmyle
Gizmyle

It's the least they should do.

howie1926
howie1926

I don't know what happened and frankly I don't care anymore.

AMCoreX
AMCoreX

 @dicegamer Whatare you talking about? First of all, that little speech made hardly any sense. Second of all "beat it if you hate activision" is what I'm GUESSING you said. So you're allowed to come in and say that you're playing the game and loving it, but were not allowed to give our opinions of hating both the game and company? You're contradicting yourself kid, back to school for you.

JediHeadband
JediHeadband

 @dicegamerDidn't understand a single word you wrote. You have absolutely no grasp of proper spelling or grammar skills.

hawaiian8
hawaiian8

 @JackHoleFace00 agreed... i didn't know keeping an eye out for future employment was illegal, especially when your current employer is ready to stab you in the back

NightmareP3
NightmareP3

 @Raisiine lol really ? The MW series has been down right horrible after Modern Warfare 1, MW2 is the most unbalanced and worst cod in the series, MW3 tried to fix some of the problems but at the end it failed miserably. IW also never does anything new anymore, most of the content in their COD games i just copy, pasted while treyarch tries to do new and cool things. This is why i fully gave up with IW after MW3, i gave IW another chance and they failed again. Only cods in the future I'll consider buying is from treyarch, so far they haven't dissapointed me

Reaverking
Reaverking

 @Homerj There is a cap on punitve damages in most places. It most likely wouldn't even be much

dicegamer
dicegamer

 @kingF53 well you miss me with that the last time i check EA is having problems of them own better luck next time

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

 @JasPlun 

 

Luckily Respawn is not owned by EA, they just have a publishing deal with them through the EA Partners program which leaves them independent. EA did help out with setup costs, but they will recoup all that through the publishing deal when their game is released. West and Zampella are not foolish enough to be under EA or Activisions thumb again after what transpired with Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. 

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

 @hawaiian8 Couldn't have said it better myself. It was obviously some stupid excuse they made up when they realized the fire storm that would come there way after the real reason they were fired--which, I'm convinced, WAS because of being paid. It'd Bobby Kotick, after all. Greediest, filthiest pile of crap in all of gaming... Who also happens to look like a cross between Mini Me and The Penguin.

Raisiine
Raisiine

 @NightmareP3 

I don't know man I felt like Waw and Black Ops were horrible. If we look at the Sp, there was literally not a single moment that I remember myself being like: Oh shit how awesome was that or whatever, in treyarch games. Not a single one in Waw. There was one level I liked in Black ops though, the Hong Kong level. That had somewhat of a good design. On the other hand, MW was a huge hit. I mean the level where youre in the gunship and you wreak havoc from the sky. The sniper level in chernobyl. That was the shit. And MW2 just elevated that. They rocked. Can't say much about the third one bc I already got enlightened by that time and I ditched the shit for Battlefield. A pretty good decision

dicegamer
dicegamer

i am agree with you 100% treyarch is better  then IW it less they didn't dissapointed me and never will

@NightmareP3

monster637
monster637

 @NightmareP3 IW is loved by the lil kids that were 8 when cod4 came out , now there 16 to 20 and luvz to be L33T Wit Da QUick scoping, reason for there lust for the IW over treyarch......

Banefire76
Banefire76

 @Reuwsaat

 Seconded, third, fourth and to infinity-ed. Both EA and Activision need to dissapear and only the game developing companies should exist. Kickstarter/developers 4ever....the age of giant publishers need to come to a close.

Raisiine
Raisiine

 @monster637 

I wasnt like that man. I didnt even play the multiplayer for so long bc its some arcade shootup with some fun that is to be had, but no real value to it at all. I was interested in the singleplayer and the story of them, in which case and in my opinion IW did better then treyarch.