Infinity Ward employees file royalty suit

Claiming $625 million in MW2 bonuses.

A group of 38 current and former Infinity Ward employees have filed a lawsuit against Activision, accusing the publisher of withholding millions of dollars in bonuses related to the sale of Modern Warfare 2.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks payment of anywhere from $75 million to $125 million in royalties as well as an additional $75 million to $500 million in punitive damages, according to a report from G4.

The plaintiffs further allege that royalties are being withheld "in order to force them to keep working for Activision so that Activision could receive delivery of Modern Warfare 3".

"Activision believes the action is without merit," a company spokesman said in response to the suit. "Activision retains the discretion to determine the amount and the schedule of bonus payments for MW2 and has acted consistent with its rights and the law at all times. We look forward to getting judicial confirmation that our position is right."

The lawsuit's 38 plaintiffs include 21 who have left or are leaving Infinity Ward. That number includes ten former employees who've indicated they're signing on with Respawn Entertainment, the new developer being set up by fired IW co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella.

The allegations in this new lawsuit resemble those made by West and Zampella in a previously filed lawsuit seeking $36 million in unpaid bonuses from Activision.

The news comes as two more Infinity Ward employees - lead programmer Robert Field and human resources and recruiting head Kristin Cotterell - have reportedly left the company, according to their LinkedInprofiles (thanks again, G4).

Two other former Infinity Ward employees - senior level designer Jason McCord and senior artist Ryan Lastimosa - have recently announced via LinkedIn that they are signing on with ReSpawn.

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