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Infinity Ward founders canned by Activision


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Alan, most of my problem with the "successful franchise" thing is that they're saying they're the most successful franchise in the industry, and while yes, the two games did sell phenomenally well, I don't think they've managed to get the sheer number of units moved as Final Fantasy, Warcraft, Battlefield, Command and Conquer, Guitar Hero and probably medal of honor (although that last one is probably dubious). I say this because each of these series have a VERY large library of games that've been around longer than CoD.

 

No, we don't know the metric they're using for success but I'd suggest that for the most part any metric they use is going to use they're on paper beaten by another franchise (critically Blizzards games, in terms of overall units Final Fantasy, initial money making guitar hero etc). Now, outside of the specific gaming culture probably the only two that anyone could even NAME would be warcraft and guitar hero/rockband (people might not know the difference between those) simply because of their effects on pop culture. Ok, maybe "Most units sold within one single release" they could get props, but I'm willing to bet that'll be beaten by a multiplatform release in the near future (Halo:Reach maybe?)

 

I'm willing to bet that MW2 ended up closing off a portion of the "dedicated fanbase of millions" that they mentioned because most people find the story loonier than the old guy who woke me up yelling incoherently when I was in an acute psych ward in chicago, and their obvious lack of polish that they used to be fairly famous for (0 beta testing? really guys?).

 

As to the complaint, that felt more like a blatant "woe is us" pr stunt than an actual document. Admittedly I'm running off of stereotypes where Legal documents are supposed to be fairly dry and convey exactly what's going on, with very little personality. And as was mentioned before, we have little evidence of what's being said thus far.

 

I've said multiple times that we don't know the extent of the contract mentioned by West and Zamp. But I highly doubt that any company would take a subsidiary saying "We don't feel like doing the project you want us to. We're gonna do our own project." very well. Particularly after it critically fell short of their previous work, and the multiplayer is buggier than an ant colony, to the point where most of the more competitive teams in FPS, and those who just wanna boot up the game and have fun, are moving to battlefield because the game has less bugs and exploiters who only want to earn points for the leaderboard system. In this months gameinformer one of the guys at IW stated that they'd probably impliment something similar to the subscription service found in WoW simply so that they could keep fixes and patches coming for MW3.

 

And yes, Blizzard is back in china at least with Burning Crusade. I don't know about Wrath of the Lich King.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Activision countersues 'Modern Warfare' execs

 

Apr 9, 12:51 PM (ET)

 

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) - Activision has countersued two former studio heads overseeing the blockbuster game "Modern Warfare 2," claiming they were insubordinate and tried to damage the company.

 

The lawsuit filed Thursday is in response to a claim by former Infinity Ward executives Jason West and Vince Zampella, who sued Activision for more than $36 million earlier this year.

 

Activision's suit claims West and Zampella held up development on other "Call of Duty" games to try to gain more money. The company is seeking to withhold additional payments to the men, who they claim also kept bonuses from Infinity Ward employees.

 

West and Zampella's attorney did not immediately respond to a phone message Friday.

 

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" was one of last year's best-selling video games.

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" The company is seeking to withhold additional payments to the men "

 

I see. they don't want to pay what is owed. Riiiggggghhhhhhhhtttttttt.......

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http://kotaku.com/5513756/the-biggest-brea...eo-game-history

 

Apparently the two were taking close to 1/3rd of ALL the bonus pay generated by CoD (all the games together), and were demanding more. Activision has stated that they're going to give the bonuses to the rest of the studio, but are trying to keep it from west and zamp.

 

According to Acti, both became full of themselves to the point where if they didn't get their way, they'd stop all work on MW2, overall refused to cooperate with Activisions business plan on COD, and openly saying that Activisions execs were incompetent and "openly discussed divorcing Activision", even though they were locked in a contract till 2011.

 

In a return, the attourny for West and Zamp has said that they should still be at activision because

Activision's inaccurate and misguided allegations lose sight of the reality here: None of the false claims of insubordination or breach of duties had any negative affect on Activision

 

Now I'm not sure, but he seems to deny and confirm at the same time, he claims that the claims are false, but they haven't had any negative effects on the Publisher. So either A) the claims are true and the insubordination and breach of duties should be ignored because hey, nothing bad happened eh? or B) Activision making said claims hasn't hurt their profits.

 

anyway link:

http://kotaku.com/5513845/axed-call-of-dut...ive-future-soon

Edited by Calax

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And the full body of the cross complaint is up

 

http://kotaku.com/5513707/modern-legal-war...t-boom-boom-pow

 

Basically Activision states (as I mentioned above) that West and Zampanella decided they were better than this and were openly trying to set themselves up to make/join another studio, as well as take most of the bonus money that the IW team would get for themselves. Activisions move (from their perspective) was primairly financial, and to knock the feet out from under West and Zamanella's attempt to get out of their contract (which still had 2 years on it). Activision was also trying to actually get work done as West and Zamp were using the games they were making as hostages for negotiation leverage against Activision to effectively try to extort money.

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Now I'm not sure, but he seems to deny and confirm at the same time, he claims that the claims are false, but they haven't had any negative effects on the Publisher. So either A) the claims are true and the insubordination and breach of duties should be ignored because hey, nothing bad happened eh? or B) Activision making said claims hasn't hurt their profits.

 

This is very standard, it just means that Acti has to prove that 1) there was a breach in the first place and that 2) if there was such a breach, some damage actually was suffered. So it's more a question of legal and contractual ramifications of some actions, than disagreement over what took place in the first place.

 

So, in this case, they might have refused to do a MW3 straight away, because they have creative control and wanted to do something else instead, with Acti throwing a fit over this. (Speculation on my part, but looks like it...)

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And the full body of the cross complaint is up

 

http://kotaku.com/5513707/modern-legal-war...t-boom-boom-pow

 

Basically Activision states (as I mentioned above) that West and Zampanella decided they were better than this and were openly trying to set themselves up to make/join another studio, as well as take most of the bonus money that the IW team would get for themselves. Activisions move (from their perspective) was primairly financial, and to knock the feet out from under West and Zamanella's attempt to get out of their contract (which still had 2 years on it). Activision was also trying to actually get work done as West and Zamp were using the games they were making as hostages for negotiation leverage against Activision to effectively try to extort money.

Yet the allegation of them trying to take all the money came from Activision, no doubt a result of the Orwellian investigation.

West and Zamp previous moves seems to be to secure the intellectual property and get out of Activision before the sh*t hit the spin offs. They had a strong disagreement with Activision and the result is plans to break up, and legally they haven't done wrong (until proven).

 

Although I gotta say that Activision's case is starting to take form, their strongest platform seems to be that they were planning to "defect" for the competition

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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And the full body of the cross complaint is up

 

http://kotaku.com/5513707/modern-legal-war...t-boom-boom-pow

 

Basically Activision states (as I mentioned above) that West and Zampanella decided they were better than this and were openly trying to set themselves up to make/join another studio, as well as take most of the bonus money that the IW team would get for themselves. Activisions move (from their perspective) was primairly financial, and to knock the feet out from under West and Zamanella's attempt to get out of their contract (which still had 2 years on it). Activision was also trying to actually get work done as West and Zamp were using the games they were making as hostages for negotiation leverage against Activision to effectively try to extort money.

Yet the allegation of them trying to take all the money came from Activision, no doubt a result of the Orwellian investigation.

West and Zamp previous moves seems to be to secure the intellectual property and get out of Activision before the sh*t hit the spin offs. They had a strong disagreement with Activision and the result is plans to break up, and legally they haven't done wrong (until proven).

 

Although I gotta say that Activision's case is starting to take form, their strongest platform seems to be that they were planning to "defect" for the competition

Well, even if they were trying to get out before "the sh*t hit the spin off" they were still locked into contract until at least 2010. As to the orwellian investigation, we don't necessairly know if that's even true. Activision denied it happened, and right now West and Zampnella's complaint has as much evidence to it as Activisions.

 

And the strongest platform would probably end up being "insubordination".

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Well, even if they were trying to get out before "the sh*t hit the spin off" they were still locked into contract until at least 2010. As to the orwellian investigation, we don't necessairly know if that's even true. Activision denied it happened, and right now West and Zampnella's complaint has as much evidence to it as Activisions.

So it was not to early to start negotiations with another publisher for when their term ends, or to secure the rights to MW (which seems to be a favorite of both Activsion and West/Zamp). While is true that West and Zamp are matching their word against Activision's, I am inclined to believe them since they were kicked off from the company and escorted out of the building. Those things usually go with an investigation, otherwise they would had given them a notice in advance.

And the strongest platform would probably end up being "insubordination".

Which is legal talk for: "they were planning to leave us"

 

The more I go over this I feel like this is a divorce and custody battle over MW's rights.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Well, even if they were trying to get out before "the sh*t hit the spin off" they were still locked into contract until at least 2010. As to the orwellian investigation, we don't necessairly know if that's even true. Activision denied it happened, and right now West and Zampnella's complaint has as much evidence to it as Activisions.

So it was not to early to start negotiations with another publisher for when their term ends, or to secure the rights to MW (which seems to be a favorite of both Activsion and West/Zamp). While is true that West and Zamp are matching their word against Activision's, I am inclined to believe them since they were kicked off from the company and escorted out of the building. Those things usually go with an investigation, otherwise they would had given them a notice in advance.

Well, except the part where West and Zamp were flown out from their studio to talk over a quick divorce with Actis competitor. And the constant bitching they did in front of their staff and the discussions about how they're going to divorce Acti, making it sound like they were just gonna up and leave if they didn't get their way.

 

Also, I got the year wrong, they were locked in till 2011 not 2010. They still had MINIMUM of a year with activision before they could think of moving to another employer.

And the strongest platform would probably end up being "insubordination".

Which is legal talk for: "they were planning to leave us"

 

The more I go over this I feel like this is a divorce and custody battle over MW's rights.

Not just "They were planning to leave us". As mentioned in court documents they also refused to continue work on MW2 until they got what they wanted, they openly called their bosses idiots/incompetent (which would get you fired in ANY situation), and seemingly did their best to make acti look as bad as possible while they were there so that they could easily hire their current staff when they moved. I'm sorry, but if ANYONE pulled that sort of garbage in ANY work environment that person would be dealt with... usually with being terminated for insubordination or something similar.

Edited by Calax

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Well, except the part where West and Zamp were flown out from their studio to talk over a quick divorce with Actis competitor. And the constant bitching they did in front of their staff and the discussions about how they're going to divorce Acti, making it sound like they were just gonna up and leave if they didn't get their way.

 

They made the best product of the company and decided to act a diva to squeeze Actvision. There is still a contractual obligation to pay dues, the IP rights of MW and the time to work on a new IP. I do not have knowledge of the actual contract between Acti and IW, so I can't say for sure whether they did or did not breach their contract by negotiating with another publisher. Which I still need more conclusive proof other than a few office emails that actually say nothing.

Also, I got the year wrong, they were locked in till 2011 not 2010. They still had MINIMUM of a year with activision before they could think of moving to another employer.

I though that they were amidst the renegotiation of their contract when they contacted another employer.

 

Not just "They were planning to leave us". As mentioned in court documents they also refused to continue work on MW2 until they got what they wanted, they openly called their bosses idiots/incompetent (which would get you fired in ANY situation), and seemingly did their best to make acti look as bad as possible while they were there so that they could easily hire their current staff when they moved. I'm sorry, but if ANYONE pulled that sort of garbage in ANY work environment that person would be dealt with... usually with being terminated for insubordination or something similar.

They were promised a chance to work a new IP which was not given, they weren't fired because of calling their bosses idiots and did; in fact, went on to work on MW2. What IW did was wrong and rightful terms for termination, but Activision waited until completion of MW2 to terminate them. Now Activision wants to throw them out, after they made them a boatload of money. Not only it brings down their arguments but makes Activsion look opportunistic and greedy; which i'm sure that they are not >_<

Edited by Orogun01
I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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"they openly called their bosses idiots/incompetent (which would get you fired in ANY situation),"

 

Yeah, maybe you'd get fired, but you'd still get paid for the work you already did. What Activision is doing is refusing to pay money they owe for work done. That's illegal. It's not opinion it's fact.

 

It's like if you hired a painte, he did a job, you didn't care for what he did you would still have to poay him for the work he already done even if you fire him. YOU would have to prove that he didn't do the work paid for... which, cosndieirng the success here, this is not an issue.

 

Activision has to pay the money owed. Period.

 

If the contratc caklled for these two guys to get 10% (or whatever) of the game's profits then they get their 10%. NO MATTER WHAT. Even if they were caught red handed negotiating with another comapny, they are still owed that money. Undisputable.

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Well, except the part where West and Zamp were flown out from their studio to talk over a quick divorce with Actis competitor. And the constant bitching they did in front of their staff and the discussions about how they're going to divorce Acti, making it sound like they were just gonna up and leave if they didn't get their way.

 

They made the best product of the company and decided to act a diva to squeeze Actvision. There is still a contractual obligation to pay dues, the IP rights of MW and the time to work on a new IP. I do not have knowledge of the actual contract between Acti and IW, so I can't say for sure whether they did or did not breach their contract by negotiating with another publisher. Which I still need more conclusive proof other than a few office emails that actually say nothing.

Well, in the info released by acti during their investigation, they dug up emails between west and zamp, and their competitor that stated that they were basically jumping into their employees personal files and taking code. Also, they were obligated to do MW2, and while they did do that, they were using threats of turning it into Duke Nukem Forever on Acti to get more money.
Also, I got the year wrong, they were locked in till 2011 not 2010. They still had MINIMUM of a year with activision before they could think of moving to another employer.

I though that they were amidst the renegotiation of their contract when they contacted another employer.

Not that I know of. Contract renegociations I'd think would take place just before the contract was up with a good employee rather than a year+ before the contract ended with a disgruntled employee. And the contract they were under was a 3 year thing (which means it was made in 08).
Not just "They were planning to leave us". As mentioned in court documents they also refused to continue work on MW2 until they got what they wanted, they openly called their bosses idiots/incompetent (which would get you fired in ANY situation), and seemingly did their best to make acti look as bad as possible while they were there so that they could easily hire their current staff when they moved. I'm sorry, but if ANYONE pulled that sort of garbage in ANY work environment that person would be dealt with... usually with being terminated for insubordination or something similar.

They were promised a chance to work a new IP which was not given, they weren't fired because of calling their bosses idiots and did; in fact, went on to work on MW2. What IW did was wrong and rightful terms for termination, but Activision waited until completion of MW2 to terminate them. Now Activision wants to throw them out, after they made them a boatload of money. Not only it brings down their arguments but makes Activsion look opportunistic and greedy; which i'm sure that they are not >_<

Usually you don't get very far by telling your boss "Sure, I'll fulfill my contractual obligation... if you give me more than you're contracted to pay me." They effectively used the game to extort Activision. And Activision has stated that they would pay the bonuses to the employees still at acti, which kills the millions of dollars west and Zamp are asking for. There hasn't been any release of the contract west and zampnella mentioned so we can't comment on that at all. And west and zamp are acting like divas (as you put it) making it sound like they were the only people responisble for the entire game when it was a team that they led. Add to that the fact that they took more than 1/3 of the entire bonus pool FOR THE ENTIRE TEAM ON THE FRANCHISE (which, in the complaint by acti sounds like that includes the bonuses payed to Treyarch for 3 and WaW) and it seems like they've already gotten their bonuses for the entire franchise. I'm sure that Activision wasn't intending for a massive amount of the bonus money to just be stuck into two pockets.

 

 

And volo, to use your painter discussion, it's like you hired a painter, he did your doors and one wall of your house then said "By the way, this'll cost you another 500 bucks at the end of the job" and when you refused started charging you by the hour while he just sat on a lawn chair getting a sun tan.

 

Also, show us where it said that those two men got 10% of the overall profits from MW2. Please. And wouldn't there be a clause of "money already paid"?

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"Also, show us where it said that those two men got 10% of the overall profits from MW2."

 

Embarassing.

 

 

 

"10% was a number he randomly picked."

 

'Nough said.

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"Also, show us where it said that those two men got 10% of the overall profits from MW2."

 

Embarassing.

 

 

 

"10% was a number he randomly picked."

 

'Nough said.

Really? I didn't see anywhere in their complaint that they as a pair of people, got a cut of the profits. The company might have, but not the individuals within the company. Maybe back in the day of 2 man game makings this might have happened but I highly doubt that anyone would be happy if two people got a cut of the profits while the others got a flat rate and a single one time bonus. Heck I highly doubt that any individuals would get a percentage of the profits within the gaming business model now a days. Also, even in groups that do get percentages, the percentage isn't that high (3%?).

 

And again, the company is getting paid. If I do fantastic work at gamestop to the point where the store gets a bonus overall, but end up getting canned for making a racist crack to a black customer, I don't get the bonus even if I had a heavy hand in the earning of that particular bonus. I still delivered my product, but didn't get anything beyond my hourly rate.

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Well, in the info released by acti during their investigation, they dug up emails between west and zamp, and their competitor that stated that they were basically jumping into their employees personal files and taking code. Also, they were obligated to do MW2, and while they did do that, they were using threats of turning it into Duke Nukem Forever on Acti to get more money.

I don't know about the threats, but the e-mails seem inconclusive and could easily be misconstrued as something else. IIRC there isn't anything explicit on those transcript that could; beyond reasonable doubt incriminate West and Zamp.

Not that I know of. Contract renegociations I'd think would take place just before the contract was up with a good employee rather than a year+ before the contract ended with a disgruntled employee. And the contract they were under was a 3 year thing (which means it was made in 08).

Or in 07 right after the release and success of MW which puts them in a good bargaining position. Activsion at the time was pushing for the sequel which was delivered before the dateline that Activision set, for which they were promised bonuses that remain unpaid to the whole of IW.

Usually you don't get very far by telling your boss "Sure, I'll fulfill my contractual obligation... if you give me more than you're contracted to pay me." They effectively used the game to extort Activision. And Activision has stated that they would pay the bonuses to the employees still at acti, which kills the millions of dollars west and Zamp are asking for. There hasn't been any release of the contract west and zampnella mentioned so we can't comment on that at all. And west and zamp are acting like divas (as you put it) making it sound like they were the only people responisble for the entire game when it was a team that they led. Add to that the fact that they took more than 1/3 of the entire bonus pool FOR THE ENTIRE TEAM ON THE FRANCHISE (which, in the complaint by acti sounds like that includes the bonuses payed to Treyarch for 3 and WaW) and it seems like they've already gotten their bonuses for the entire franchise. I'm sure that Activision wasn't intending for a massive amount of the bonus money to just be stuck into two pockets.

They created a really successful series; is it wrong of them to want to capitalize on their success? The game hit gold and a sequel would more than likely amount to a high number of sales.

The case is because of wrongful termination in order to avoid paying dues, or simply put West and Zamp got cut out of the deal which they made. IIRC they hold the IP for the creation of the CoD series, which means that they earn for every title release with that name even if it is WaW. Is not that Activision doesn't want them to have all that money, is just that they don't want them to use that money and fame(of sorts) to decide to split taking away their most successful product.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Not that I know of. Contract renegociations I'd think would take place just before the contract was up with a good employee rather than a year+ before the contract ended with a disgruntled employee. And the contract they were under was a 3 year thing (which means it was made in 08).

Or in 07 right after the release and success of MW which puts them in a good bargaining position. Activsion at the time was pushing for the sequel which was delivered before the dateline that Activision set, for which they were promised bonuses that remain unpaid to the whole of IW.

Well that's the point at which they were locked into the 3 year contract that held them till 2011. The charges of insubordination and hunting for new employers originate from at least a year after they'd signed the contract, meaning that they were trying to get out of the contract during the production of MW2.
Usually you don't get very far by telling your boss "Sure, I'll fulfill my contractual obligation... if you give me more than you're contracted to pay me." They effectively used the game to extort Activision. And Activision has stated that they would pay the bonuses to the employees still at acti, which kills the millions of dollars west and Zamp are asking for. There hasn't been any release of the contract west and zampnella mentioned so we can't comment on that at all. And west and zamp are acting like divas (as you put it) making it sound like they were the only people responisble for the entire game when it was a team that they led. Add to that the fact that they took more than 1/3 of the entire bonus pool FOR THE ENTIRE TEAM ON THE FRANCHISE (which, in the complaint by acti sounds like that includes the bonuses payed to Treyarch for 3 and WaW) and it seems like they've already gotten their bonuses for the entire franchise. I'm sure that Activision wasn't intending for a massive amount of the bonus money to just be stuck into two pockets.

They created a really successful series; is it wrong of them to want to capitalize on their success? The game hit gold and a sequel would more than likely amount to a high number of sales.

The case is because of wrongful termination in order to avoid paying dues, or simply put West and Zamp got cut out of the deal which they made. IIRC they hold the IP for the creation of the CoD series, which means that they earn for every title release with that name even if it is WaW. Is not that Activision doesn't want them to have all that money, is just that they don't want them to use that money and fame(of sorts) to decide to split taking away their most successful product.

There's a difference between capitalize and extort. Capitalizing would be getting a client base (using a real estate example) and using it to earn a larger one that earns you more money. So you sell somebody a house at a low rate and they suggest you to another person and eventually you have a group of regular buyers, then you expand. Extortion is using your success and your next product as hostage. So, you sell a house at a low rate, but on the next one you only show garbage houses in crime riddled neighborhoods who also have the worst schools in the area, unless they pay you 12 grand under the table to see houses in the same economic zone as the one you sold em previously.

 

As to the bonuses issue, IW is trying to cut West and Zamp out of that because they have a tenancy to take gigantic amounts off the top for themselves and let the rest be parceled out to the underlings. IW has said that they're gonna give the pool to IW after all this is worked out.

 

And sure, they completed their game, but if it were a house, the back wall would have fallen off and the customers would have ordered the contractors to come back and rebuild the damn thing to code at no cost. I've yet to see West or Zampnella say that they'd come back and fix the bugs in their software or "bring it up to code", at no charge. They're just as greedy as you're saying that Activision is.

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Well that's the point at which they were locked into the 3 year contract that held them till 2011. The charges of insubordination and hunting for new employers originate from at least a year after they'd signed the contract, meaning that they were trying to get out of the contract during the production of MW2.

Maybe, but the accusations had relevance then. Now they are just being used by Activision to keep the whole shebang for themselves.

 

There's a difference between capitalize and extort. Capitalizing would be getting a client base (using a real estate example) and using it to earn a larger one that earns you more money. So you sell somebody a house at a low rate and they suggest you to another person and eventually you have a group of regular buyers, then you expand. Extortion is using your success and your next product as hostage. So, you sell a house at a low rate, but on the next one you only show garbage houses in crime riddled neighborhoods who also have the worst schools in the area, unless they pay you 12 grand under the table to see houses in the same economic zone as the one you sold em previously.

 

Sorry but it doesn't quite works that way. To keep in with your analogy is like: Real estate agent (Activision) and people who do all the interior design (IW) for the sold houses. Now people like the agent's houses because they are good property on good condition, and because of that success he starts selling mansions. Should the interior design people continue to work for the same wage as before? What's wrong with them trying to renegotiate or get out of an arrangement that doesn't work for them anymore?

 

As to the bonuses issue, IW is trying to cut West and Zamp out of that because they have a tenancy to take gigantic amounts off the top for themselves and let the rest be parceled out to the underlings. IW has said that they're gonna give the pool to IW after all this is worked out.

Like I said before, they are the creators of the series. Usually royalties are paid to the creators of anything.

And sure, they completed their game, but if it were a house, the back wall would have fallen off and the customers would have ordered the contractors to come back and rebuild the damn thing to code at no cost. I've yet to see West or Zampnella say that they'd come back and fix the bugs in their software or "bring it up to code", at no charge. They're just as greedy as you're saying that Activision is.

Yes, when looked at it from a monetary perspective this is a case of the cheap avoiding the greedy. But let's be realist; West and Zamp have no need to come back and fix a game that is making money for the people that are trying to kick them out of everything they worked for. Plus the rest of IW is still with Activision, if the game is buggy the fault and fix lies now with Activision.

 

On an slightly related note; there is still the presence of the MOU that has been violated by Activision. This is where all of West and Zamp dues are stated.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Well that's the point at which they were locked into the 3 year contract that held them till 2011. The charges of insubordination and hunting for new employers originate from at least a year after they'd signed the contract, meaning that they were trying to get out of the contract during the production of MW2.

Maybe, but the accusations had relevance then. Now they are just being used by Activision to keep the whole shebang for themselves.

 

There's a difference between capitalize and extort. Capitalizing would be getting a client base (using a real estate example) and using it to earn a larger one that earns you more money. So you sell somebody a house at a low rate and they suggest you to another person and eventually you have a group of regular buyers, then you expand. Extortion is using your success and your next product as hostage. So, you sell a house at a low rate, but on the next one you only show garbage houses in crime riddled neighborhoods who also have the worst schools in the area, unless they pay you 12 grand under the table to see houses in the same economic zone as the one you sold em previously.

 

Sorry but it doesn't quite works that way. To keep in with your analogy is like: Real estate agent (Activision) and people who do all the interior design (IW) for the sold houses. Now people like the agent's houses because they are good property on good condition, and because of that success he starts selling mansions. Should the interior design people continue to work for the same wage as before? What's wrong with them trying to renegotiate or get out of an arrangement that doesn't work for them anymore?

Well, it'd be more like the interior designer started doing really good job on the early houses, but once you move into mansions, they do half the design and then try to hike their rate.

 

As to the bonuses issue, IW is trying to cut West and Zamp out of that because they have a tenancy to take gigantic amounts off the top for themselves and let the rest be parceled out to the underlings. IW has said that they're gonna give the pool to IW after all this is worked out.

Like I said before, they are the creators of the series. Usually royalties are paid to the creators of anything.

Not necessairly. Activision owns the rights to COD. Not necessairly MW2 (which is one of the things in contention in the court case), but as owners of CoD they're entitled to CoD's money, and if they win and technically own the rights to MW (from everything that's been said, IW just has claim to creating anything in the MW line, not necessairly owning the rights) then they can pay a flat fee to IW and be perfectly legal. It all depends on how the license is handled.
And sure, they completed their game, but if it were a house, the back wall would have fallen off and the customers would have ordered the contractors to come back and rebuild the damn thing to code at no cost. I've yet to see West or Zampnella say that they'd come back and fix the bugs in their software or "bring it up to code", at no charge. They're just as greedy as you're saying that Activision is.

 

Yes, when looked at it from a monetary perspective this is a case of the cheap avoiding the greedy. But let's be realist; West and Zamp have no need to come back and fix a game that is making money for the people that are trying to kick them out of everything they worked for. Plus the rest of IW is still with Activision, if the game is buggy the fault and fix lies now with Activision.

On an slightly related note; there is still the presence of the MOU that has been violated by Activision. This is where all of West and Zamp dues are stated.

Even before they got canned there was no real attempt by IW to fix their stuff. And the MOU hasn't been even shown to exist beyond claims by west and zamp so it's possible it doesn't exist at all and west and zamp just made it up to gouge money from an employer that they hate similar to how guys would claim false disability.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Activision owes tyhem money. How much is unknown but they owe them money. Nobiody is disputing this yet Activision is trying to get out of payibng money they owe. That's theft. And, no, 'insuboridination' or whatever crap line ACT is using justfiies trying to steal money you owe somebody else.

 

They were hired to do soemthing. they did it. Now pay them. Period.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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They were hired to do soemthing. they did it. Now pay them. Period.

That would be the professional thing to do. We're talking about Activision here though. I swear, it seems like publishers are in a competition to see who can be the bigger jerk within legal limits. EA, often cited as one of the nastiest, is ironically looking like the coolest one at the moment.

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Activision owes tyhem money. How much is unknown but they owe them money. Nobiody is disputing this yet Activision is trying to get out of payibng money they owe. That's theft. And, no, 'insuboridination' or whatever crap line ACT is using justfiies trying to steal money you owe somebody else.

 

They were hired to do soemthing. they did it. Now pay them. Period.

west and zamp are asking for "Millions". I'd say they're owed a couple hundred thousand but not millions.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Well, it'd be more like the interior designer started doing really good job on the early houses, but once you move into mansions, they do half the design and then try to hike their rate.

For such a short deadline they did a pretty good job. There are many things that go into making a game and one of the biggest reason as to why a game fails is because of the publisher wanting a unreasonable release date. Also the reviews and public opinion mostly complain about the multiplayer, which is usually a never-ending fight to improve.

 

Not necessairly. Activision owns the rights to COD. Not necessairly MW2 (which is one of the things in contention in the court case), but as owners of CoD they're entitled to CoD's money, and if they win and technically own the rights to MW (from everything that's been said, IW just has claim to creating anything in the MW line, not necessairly owning the rights) then they can pay a flat fee to IW and be perfectly legal. It all depends on how the license is handled.

Agreed, but according to the MOU the rights to every CoD title set on the modern era belongs to IW. The problem is that this rubs ACT the wrong way because their strategy is, "do a bunch of spin offs and cash in" They basically strip mine a video game's success.

 

Even before they got canned there was no real attempt by IW to fix their stuff. And the MOU hasn't been even shown to exist beyond claims by west and zamp so it's possible it doesn't exist at all and west and zamp just made it up to gouge money from an employer that they hate similar to how guys would claim false disability.

I doubt that an MOU wasn't agreed since it's unlikely that West and Zamp stopped the aforementioned whining on '07 without a reason. It's on the name "Memorandum of understanding" without reaching an understanding and putting down in a contract, MW2 production wouldn't had begun.

 

BTW, good luck on your family troubles :bat:

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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