A lawsuit filed by Infinity Ward against Activision over hundreds of millions in unpaid bonuses was amended to further express the rough conditions faced by employees.
In case you didn’t notice, there was a situation that occurred inside of Activision at its Infinity Ward studio that led to the departure of many IW employees to the newly formed Respawn Entertainment. Respawn founders and former Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West are still embroiled in a lawsuit with Activision over a huge amount of unpaid royalties, as are more than three dozen other Infinity Ward employees. In the latest event surrounding this story, Kotaku obtained a recently amended version of the employees’ lawsuit that details the alleged harsh work environment Activision created.
In the amendment, the suit talks about a “police state-like atmosphere” that drove Infinity Ward employees away. Before West and Zampella were fired by Activision, members of Infinity Ward were allegedly subjected to secret “interrogations” as security personnel manned the exits. 40% of the promised bonuses due to the sales of Modern Warfare 2 were paid out, but the suit says that the rest was withheld until Modern Warfare 3 was completed by a required deadline of November 2011.
Bobby Kotick even promised that the bonuses would be paid out around the same time, but it never happened according to the lawsuit. Notably, members of the lawsuit have lowered the ceiling of what they are asking to be paid by Activision from a maximum of $500 million to $216 million. That’s still a lot of clams.
I can’t imagine working on one of the most successful games of all time and then being forced to engage in “interrogations.” The whole thing makes me wonder what the truth of this situation really is and why it had to occur, and I’m annoyed by the realization that we’ll never really know. It’s easiest to blame it on the greed of a major corporation, so maybe I’ll just go with that and my head will stop hurting.