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The Almighty Buck The Courts Games

Activision Hit With $500m Suit From Modern Warfare 2 Devs 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the pow-right-in-the-kisser dept.
Dragoniz3r writes "Activision has been served a lawsuit from 38 plaintiffs, including present and former Infinity Ward employees, demanding up to half a billion dollars. The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for 'unpaid bonuses, royalties, profit-sharing, and future profits from games such as Modern Warfare 3, and punitive damages.'"
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Activision Hit With $500m Suit From Modern Warfare 2 Devs

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  • Go plaintiffs! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:38AM (#32009976)

    I hope the plaintiffs win, and get every stinkin penny.

  • Brain Drain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jarrettwold2002 (601633) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:38AM (#32009980)

    Honestly, for Activision the lawsuit is worrying. However, what would be far more worrying is the fact that they're apparently lost 26 people from the MW dev team and they're losing more frequently.

    "That brings us to a staggering 26 employees in total to have left Infinity Ward since the drama began, a tally which constitutes the bulk of the studio's creative and programming "brains trust"."

    http://kotaku.com/5525152/eight-more-leave-modern-warfare-developers-bringing-total-to-26 [kotaku.com]

  • Re:MW3 money? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lance Dearnis (1184983) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:53AM (#32010114)
    Their contract specifies (Unsurprisingly) that they have some rights to the Modern Warfare series as a whole. Go back and look at the old papers - the first lawsuit - to see that contract. In other words: What they want, I would expect, is that Activision doesn't get to make more Modern Warfare at all. It's not like Activision came up with it, they're firing the people who did. They might not be able legally to take the Modern Warfare name with them, but if they can't, they'll take the money from it at least. Either way, Activision's actions here are pretty patently and obviously illegal. IANAL, but the California Legal Code in terms of 'you must pay people all owed money within 72 hours of their departure' doesn't require one to interpret. The other stuff may be up in the air, but Activision's definitely ripping them off here.
  • by J-1000 (869558) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:54AM (#32010120)
    ...anyone know how the developers themselves feel about the "no servers/mods" policy with PC Modern Warfare 2? I'm hoping *maybe* that was an Activision decision and *maybe* Respawn's future stuff will have a less lame implementation.
  • Re:Brain Drain (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:07AM (#32010258)

    This does sort of kill any credibility for Activision's claims. They alleged the fired individuals had gone from being model employees to seditious saboteurs, poisoning the dev team and conspiring to quit.

    What's far more likely is that Activision treated their devs like crap (surprise surprise) and for most of them, having the heads of IW fired was the final straw. This is further reinforced by the fact that Activision (allegedly) owes them back wages and royalties, something they are obligated by both law and good commercial practice to pay promptly. A large, faceless corporate treating its talent like so many expendable resources to be drained and tossed aside? Shocking...

  • Re:Brain Drain (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KDR_11k (778916) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:19AM (#32010386)

    They only fired West and Zampella (the rest quit on their own volition) and overall IW doesn't exactly seem like a bunch of model employees, more like a bunch of assholes that weren't being punished because of their contribution to the bottom line (some of the IW guys publicly insulted Activision guys on their forums).

    Also Activisiopn alleged that W&Z were in talks with EA over defecting and what do you know? A few days after getting fired they get hired by EA. Sure, that's not evidence but it's pretty suspicious anyway and the investigations might dig up some dirt that shows Activision had a reason to act like it did.

  • Re:Brain Drain (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alvinrod (889928) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:39AM (#32010572)
    Not to take the side of Activision (I despise them personally.) on this issue, but I could file a lawsuit against them tomorrow for twice as much money for any claims that I could care to come up with. Just because someone files a lawsuit doesn't always mean that it's reasonable or anywhere near an indication of the truth.

    My personal belief is that Activision fucked the IW developers out of money owed to them, but I don't know the full story and this could just as easily be a publicity ploy from the former IW employees. I honestly hope that if nothing else they get some of their CoD IP back, if for no other reason than Activision are a bunch of undeserving, money-grubbing pricks; of course that's hardly any basis for a legal opinion and I don't possess an intimate knowledge of the contracts that were signed between the two parties or the local, state, or federal laws which may be applicable in this case.

    So while it's certainly popular to jump on Activision (May they burn in hell.) at the moment, it's possible that they're not guilty of anything (Aside from being first class douches.) under the law or that this lawsuit has any merit at all.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @03:57AM (#32011020)

    And if we all do that, then you will have nothing to download on BitTorrent since nothing will be released as no-one would be prepared to pay good money for it - your logic is flawed because it depends on honest users like me subsidising your entertainment.

    Personally, I don't give a shit about immoral media companies. As a consumer, all I care about is that the stuff I buy is good value for money and doesn't punish me too much as an honest user - that just means I do a lot of research before I do buy anything and never, ever get coerced by advertising to ever feel that I *MUST* buy something.

    Consequently, in buying stuff at the cheapest prices I can find and knowing all about it before I buy it, I am rarely disappointed and therefore am prepared to go out and buy more stuff.

  • Re:Brain Drain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by increment1 (1722312) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @06:43AM (#32011954)

    What's far more likely is that Activision treated their devs like crap (surprise surprise) and for most of them, having the heads of IW fired was the final straw.

    This is ironic because Activision (the original Activision) was founded expressly to treat developers better. To quote from Wikipedia:

    "Before the formation of Activision, software for video game consoles were published exclusively by makers of the systems for which the games were designed. For example, Atari was the only publisher of games for the Atari 2600. This was particularly galling to the developers of the games, as they received no financial rewards for games that sold well, and did not receive credit for their games. This caused several programmers to resign from their jobs. Activision became the first third-party game publisher for game consoles."

  • Re:Brain Drain (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hesaigo999ca (786966) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @08:31AM (#32012738) Homepage Journal

    No, insider info, and they can't be forced out, very sneaky way of always being kep in the loop so to speak.
    Insider> (makes eyes at receptionist) Hi Janet, you look lovely today, as always...
    Receptionist> Thanks Frank, i got some new nail polish....looks great
    Insider>Yeah, that will be great for your board meeting later and impress Jim with....(smiles)
    Receptionist>No Jim wont be there to see it , hes busy trying to find a lawyer to counter sue and put some
                                            of these ex employees in their place....hes thinking of.....

    you get the picture.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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