Polygon reports that the payment made is not part of the settlement ahead of this months trial between Activision and ex-Infinity Ward employees, including the former studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, both Activision and the former Infinity Ward employees are set to appear in court in Los Angeles next Tuesday.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick decided that the evidence did not implicate the 40 members of the Infinity Ward Employee Group and decided to pay them what he thought they were owed, which would enable the publisher to put their main focus onto West and Zampella.
Bruce Isaacs, attorney for the Infinity Ward Employee Group, labelled the payment a “cynical attempt to look good before the jury trial”.
“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.”
As the payment was not part of the settlement the group can still pursue the remainder of the money that they claim are owed, the figures could go into hundred of millions when other factors are included. (bonuses & damages).
The main dispute stretches back to March 2010 when West and Zampella sued Activision for alleged unfair dismissal, claiming that their contracts were terminated before the royalty payments for Modern Warfare 2 were delivered. The pair later added two more counts of fraud to their complaint but one of the counts has recently been dismissed.
38 separate Infinity Ward employees sued Activision alleging that they did not receive any bonuses or royalties for Modern Warfare 2, their complaint was consolidated with West and Zampella’s case against Activision. Employees included within this suit are the studio’s former lead designer Todd Alderman and lead software engineer Frank Gigliotti, both of which have since joined West and Zampella at Respawn Entertainment, the studio is currently making a shooter that will be published by EA.
Activision have also counter-sued West and Zampella, saying that they were secretly negotiating with EA, and then added EA to its complaint in late 2010. A California Superior Court had ruled that EA must defend itself in a $400 million contract-interference suit.