Activision has been in some legal mishaps with Infinity Ward as of late due to a breach of contract issue. However, it seems as if Activision is looking to calm disputes with former employees Jason West and Vince Zampella after paying $42 million to the Infinity Ward Employee Group without being told to do so, according to Game Informer.
Bruce Isaacs, attorney for the Infinity Ward Employee Group, confirmed that the payment was made, reported Polygon.
I can confirm for you that it happened today, he said. I can also tell you that although it is a meaningful payment it is only a small portion of what we are seeking in litigation. It is outrageous that they made us wait, they obviously knew they owed the money and this just shows that they breached the contract.
The group originally consisted of 38 plaintiffs, and was seeking royalty payments for their work on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 2010. A source told Polygon that the $42 million would be going to 40 individuals, but it did not specify who the two additional claimants are.
However, they payment was not a part of the settlement. According to Polygon, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick agreed that since the evidence didn't implicate the 40 members of the Infinity Ward Employee Group, the company chose to pay the amount it believed the former employees were owed. Activision intends to focus legal efforts on West and Zampella, the CEO also added.
Isaacs said that the group will continue to pursue the suit against Activision.
They are just as interested as they were beforehand, he said to Polygon. We are seeking all kinds of bonuses per the contract. This payment related to one particular game and one particular time period and one particular bonus.
But Activision could find itself in some hot water with Infinity Ward with its upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Details of the current lawsuit that surfaced more than two years ago state that any Call of Duty titles set after Vietnam would be exclusive to Infinity Ward. Earlier in the month Game Informer obtained court documents that include a clause printed in Infinity Ward's Memorandum of Understanding.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will be set in the year 2025, which falls under the distant future genre outlined in Infinity Ward's MOU. However, since a trial has yet to occur, it is unclear whether or not there will be any ramifications regarding the game's setting.
All legal actions between Activision, the Infinity Ward Employee Group and West/Zampella are ongoing. Both parties will appear in Los Angeles Superior Court today, May 15th and Activision hired a new high-profile attorney last week, reported Polygon.