It's a comforting to know that there are things in the world that will happen like clockwork, and Infinity Ward employees leaving Activision has become one of those things. Except now they come together and rallied under one banner calling themselves... "The Infinity Ward Employee Group!" Pretty intimidating right? So far, sixteen employees have gone to the new developer company known as Respawn Entertainment and even more have just called it quits. Thirty eight of said employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against their former publisher for between $75 million and $125 million in unpaid bonuses.
The suit alleges that Activision breached their contract to IW employees by not paying all of the royalties owed after the success of Modern Warfare 2. According to the report by G4, Activision has paid $28 million in royalties so far, but still owes $54 million for 2009, as well as other bonuses based on the first quarter of 2010. The group is also seeking $75 million to $500 million in punitive damages. Bruce Isaacs, attorney for IWEG stated the following:
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 are entitled to their money. Activision has no right to withhold their money—our money.
However, Activision doesn't see what they've done wrong. "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," the company responded in a statement. Activision also stated that the employees who have already left have forfeited their bonuses and said bonuses will now be delegated to the remaining employees. Talk about incentive to stay, along with the guilt you'll have when you get everyone else's money.