Beyond a statement released by ex-Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella's lawyer yesterday detailing the lawsuit the two are filing against Activision, we've seen little in the way of back history on the various events that lead us to the debacle we're seeing this week. This morning, though, Joystiq obtained the entire 16-page court document (gallery-ized below for you) that details, among many other things, the ex-employees' complaints about Activision in the wake of their untimely departure.
The initial claim of unpaid royalties is represented in the documents, even going as far as to claim that the publisher fired West and Zampella just weeks before having to pay out said royalties. "Activision fired them in hope that by doing so, it could avoid paying them what they had rightfully earned, and to seize control of the Infinity Ward studio, to which Activision had previously granted creative control over all Modern Warfare branded games," the document reads. In the history lesson portion of the complaint, it's revealed that Activision allegedly purchased the studio for just $5 million originally (in two different chunks), and the Call of Duty franchise (including Treyarch-developed titles) has earned over $3 billion since 2003.
Finally, the complaint claims that, before Infinity Ward agreed to develop Modern Warfare 2, the then-studio heads "were not eager to extend their employment" as Activision had apparently begun demanding a more constant development pace at the studio. "Despite assurances by Activision that West and Zampella would have complete freedom to run Infinity Ward as an independent studio, Activision had begun to intrude upon Infinity Ward's ability to create quality games. For example, Activision forced Infinity Ward's employees to continue producing the games at a breakneck pace under aggressive schedules, and West and Zampella were concerned that Activision was emphasizing quantity over quality."
Regardless of the veracity of these allegations, it would certainly appear that the gloves have come all the way off. We'll have a more thorough breakdown of the entire document later today, but for now you can see it in its entirety below.
- Key specs
- Game format Optical disc, Downloadable
- Online features Multiplayer, Voice chat, Store, Browser
- Drive capacity 512 MB
- Controller type Wired, Wireless
- Motion controls Accelerometer, Camera / optical
- Video outputs Component, RCA / composite, S-Video
- Weight 2.65 lb
- Released 2006-11-19
Microsoft Xbox 360
Sony PlayStation 3 (late 2012)
Microsoft Xbox One