Activision is being sued by the two former bosses of Infinity Ward, Jason West and Vince Zampella, for ‘breach of contract’.
After some trouble was reported to be going on at the Infinity Ward offices where ex-studio heads West and Zampella were fired, it seems now that Activision may have fired them to avoid paying them substantial royalty payments for Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) – at least, that is what many reports are saying.
West and Zampella filed a suit against Activision for 36 Million US Dollars and includes claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wrongful termination in violation of public policy and declaratory relief.
Robert Schwartz, the man defending West and Zampella, saysActivision has refused to honour the terms of its agreements and is intentionally flouting the fundamental public policy of the State of California that employers must pay their employees what they have rightfully earned.
According to Edge Online, both former employees also made statements.
West said: "We were shocked by Activision's decision to terminate our contract. We poured our heart and soul into that company, building not only a world class development studio, but assembling a team we've been proud to work with for nearly a decade. We think the work we've done speaks for itself."
Zampella added: "After all we have given to Activision, we shouldn't have to sue to get paid."
Infinity Ward was created by West and Zampella in 2001 and was acquired by Activision in 2003. Following this, West and Zampella both served as president/game director and CEO respectively.
The Call of Duty (CoD) brand has earned approximately three billion US dollars to date while MW2 has generated over one billion US dollars in sales worldwide.
According to Blue’s News, Activision have also issued a response to the lawsuit that West and Zampella have filed.
"Activision is disappointed that Mr. Zampella and Mr. West have chosen to file a lawsuit, and believes their claims are meritless. Over eight years, Activision shareholders provided these executives with the capital they needed to start Infinity Ward, as well as the financial support, resources and creative independence that helped them flourish and achieve enormous professional success and personal wealth.
“In return, Activision legitimately expected them to honour their obligations to Activision, just like any other executive who holds a position of trust in the company. While the company showed enormous patience, it firmly believes that its decision was justified based on their course of conduct and actions.
“Activision remains committed to the Call of Duty franchise, which it owns, and will continue to produce exciting and innovative games for its millions of fans."