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Wednesday, April 28,2010

Infinity Ward employees sue publisher of 'Call of Duty' video game

By McClatchy-Tribune News Service

LOS ANGELES — Thirty-eight former and current employees of Infinity Ward, the Encino-based development studio in the San Fernando Valley that makes "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" video games for Activision Blizzard Inc., have sued the publisher claiming they are owed between $75 million and $125 million in unpaid royalties.

Last month, former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella were fired by Activision and filed their own $36-million lawsuit against the Santa Monica publisher.

A number of Infinity Ward employees have resigned recently, including 21 plaintiffs in the new suit. Some have joined West and Zampella's new company Respawn Entertainment. .

The ongoing dispute puts the future of the multibillion dollar "Call of Duty" franchise in doubt.

The suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that the publisher has withheld royalty payments for "Modern Warfare 2" in order to keep Infinity Ward employees from leaving amid work on "Modern Warfare 3," planned for release in late 2011.

"Activision retains the discretion to determine the amount and the schedule of bonus payments for 'Modern Warfare 2' and has acted consistent with its rights and the law at all times," a spokesman said in response.


(c) 2010, Los Angeles Times.

Visit the Los Angeles Times on the Internet at http://www.latimes.com/

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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