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Old 05-15-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
vallor
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Activision Pays out $42m to Ex- Infinity Ward but Case Still Open

Activision has sent a token amount of money in the Infinity Ward case, but it doesn't look like that has settled the lawsuit.

From gamesindustry International

Quote:
The high-profile legal battle over royalties owed to former Infinity Ward co-founders and developers over Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 took an unusual turn today, as Activision sent a check for $42 million to the Infinity Ward Employee Group (IWEG).
Quote:
Activision, upon reviewing the evidence, decided that the Infinity Ward Employee Group was not complicit in the secret talks that Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella were holding with Electronic Arts, and that a payment to the group was warranted.
I'm not surprised. This is a pittance compared to what Activision supposedly owes them. And with the confirmation that there weren't any dirty dealings I can't see the ex-Infinity Ward guys settling for less than the whole amount
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:29 PM   #2
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That's more than I expected them to get from Activision. Sounds more like hush money.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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Good. I hope they getmore. People should be compensated for their work.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lockwoodx View Post
That's more than I expected them to get from Activision. Sounds more like hush money.
It's a tactic. They want their lawyer to be able to go before the jury and say, "We paid them everything they asked for and the greedy little bastiches are still asking for more. Poor little us."

I don't think it will work. I can't see how anyone can look at them firing the two heads of Infinity Ward right before the game shipped and say that it was justified.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:49 PM   #5
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It's a tactic. They want their lawyer to be able to go before the jury and say, "We paid them everything they asked for and the greedy little bastiches are still asking for more. Poor little us."
You nailed it big guy.

I bet that was the amount just to pay off the owed costs and not involved with any of the bonuses.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by vallor View Post
And with the confirmation that there weren't any dirty dealings I can't see the ex-Infinity Ward guys settling for less than the whole amount[/I]
I think you might want to read your source a little more closely.

Activision is saying that the Infinity Ward Employee Group was not a part of the alleged dirty dealings (i.e., Activision says it is all West and Zampella and/or Infinity Ward, the entity). The IWEG is basically the IW employees other than West and Zampella. That's a big difference from Activision admitting "that there weren't any dirty dealings".

It's likely that Activision is trying to strengthen it's case against West and Zampella by focusing it on just them and setting up Activision to look better by not screwing over the other poor employees.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Evil Avatar View Post
I don't think it will work. I can't see how anyone can look at them firing the two heads of Infinity Ward right before the game shipped and say that it was justified.
I've been asking this question for years, from the VERY FIRST MENTION of EA's involvement with attempting to hire W&Z and a not-small chunk of IW's talent away from Activision. I have yet to get one solid answer. Perhaps today's the day.

The question:
"What SHOULD Activision have done when they found out that the studio heads were conspiring with EA to leave and take IW's top talent with them?"

Keep in mind the following:
1. IW is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision. Every IW employee, including W&Z, are Activision employees, who must sign a bevy of documents affirming that they will not act in ways that will devalue the company.
2. ATVI is a public company with real value, with responsibility to their shareholders large and small. The impending fleecing of IW's employees by W&Z on behalf of EA have an actual financial impact on ATVI's value.


'Instant lose' arguments:
"Well, ATVI should have taken better care of IW if they didn't want them to leave!": Non-argument. There is no justification for breaking a contract you signed with your employer if you expect said employer to continue to employ you.
"But...but...Activision!" : Non-argument. The games industry is a business, and you cannot expect emotional reactions to have any weight to justify acting in an unbusinesslike manner.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by greenapple View Post
I think you might want to read your source a little more closely.

Activision is saying that the Infinity Ward Employee Group was not a part of the alleged dirty dealings (i.e., Activision says it is all West and Zampella and/or Infinity Ward, the entity). The IWEG is basically the IW employees other than West and Zampella. That's a big difference from Activision admitting "that there weren't any dirty dealings".

It's likely that Activision is trying to strengthen it's case against West and Zampella by focusing it on just them and setting up Activision to look better by not screwing over the other poor employees.
I didn't realize West and Zampella weren't part of the IWEG. The source doesn't say anything about them not being part of it.

It also says
Quote:
The $42 million which included 10 percent interest, is in addition to the $22 million already paid for the first quarter launch bonus. The damages claim by West and Zampella has increased from the $36 million in unpaid royalties the pair first sought in 2010 to more than $1 billion today.
which implied to me that this was part of the overall suit, not specifically one targeted at those two ex's.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Zanzibar View Post
I've been asking this question for years, from the VERY FIRST MENTION of EA's involvement with attempting to hire W&Z and a not-small chunk of IW's talent away from Activision. I have yet to get one solid answer. Perhaps today's the day.

The question:
"What SHOULD Activision have done when they found out that the studio heads were conspiring with EA to leave and take IW's top talent with them?"
You're only arguing one side of the case which is as unproven as the (including mine) speculation that ACTI fired them in order to get out of paying.

What SHOULD they have done if the company had screwed them over and fired them in order to withhold one of the largest bonuses in video game history? After all the company has motive too, tens of millions of dollars as profit on a balance sheet looks extra good to shareholders, big and small. That translates into monster executive bonuses and pay raises.

It hasn't been proven that the IW team was poached by EA.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by vallor View Post
I didn't realize West and Zampella weren't part of the IWEG. The source doesn't say anything about them not being part of it.

It also says which implied to me that this was part of the overall suit, not specifically one targeted at those two ex's.
Google turned up this article that lists the plaintiffs collectively referred to as the IWEG: http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/pos...-held-hostage/

There's basically a couple suits involved: the one originally filed by West and Zampella (not this one) and the one filed by the IWEG (this one).

Activision is saying that they've determined that the peons weren't part of the dirty dealings and therefore Activision is willing to throw the peons a bone.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by vallor View Post
You're only arguing one side of the case which is as unproven as the (including mine) speculation that ACTI fired them in order to get out of paying.

What SHOULD they have done if the company had screwed them over and fired them in order to withhold one of the largest bonuses in video game history? After all the company has motive too, tens of millions of dollars as profit on a balance sheet looks extra good to shareholders, big and small. That translates into monster executive bonuses and pay raises.

It hasn't been proven that the IW team was poached by EA.
Okay, for the sake of argument, I'll change it to an 'IF they found'.

In your case, IF it is proven true, there will be punitive damages against ATVI.

But quite simply, if ATVI legitimately believed W&Z were planning on leaving and taking talent with them, I cannot fathom how anyone would be surprised if W&Z gets fired.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:44 PM   #12
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Okay, for the sake of argument, I'll change it to an 'IF they found'.

In your case, IF it is proven true, there will be punitive damages against ATVI.

But quite simply, if ATVI legitimately believed W&Z were planning on leaving and taking talent with them, I cannot fathom how anyone would be surprised if W&Z gets fired.
That's what makes it so exciting! In some cases there is a middle ground which makes them dull. Like the new one from Novalogic against ACTI (re: delta force trademark). In this one we have two extremes.

If Activision is wrong, they were totally in the wrong. Same with the other two guys if they screwed up they screwed up big.

I can't wait for the trial!
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:46 PM   #13
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Google turned up this article that lists the plaintiffs collectively referred to as the IWEG: http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/pos...-held-hostage/

There's basically a couple suits involved: the one originally filed by West and Zampella (not this one) and the one filed by the IWEG (this one).

Activision is saying that they've determined that the peons weren't part of the dirty dealings and therefore Activision is willing to throw the peons a bone.
Thanks for the clarification. I wonder if there is a way to elegantly edit that into the article. Mods? Can I change my comment to what greenapple said about the peons?
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Zanzibar View Post
Okay, for the sake of argument, I'll change it to an 'IF they found'.

In your case, IF it is proven true, there will be punitive damages against ATVI.

But quite simply, if ATVI legitimately believed W&Z were planning on leaving and taking talent with them, I cannot fathom how anyone would be surprised if W&Z gets fired.
What if Acti knew about it for months, but waited until the game was finished to do anything about it, so that they would, one get a complete game, and two not have to pay them any bonuses?
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