Infinity Ward employees sue publisher of ‘Call of Duty’ video game


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.


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