Published in Games

Activision created a police state

by on12 July 2010

Sounds like it has the makings of a good game

The court case over the row between Activision and the makers of its highly successful Modern Warfare 2 game has escalated into something like a game plot.
If you looking at Game Mag Kotaku you will see an intro which looks like the back of a box for an Activision game.

“Guarded doors, secret interrogations and broken promises are just the latest allegations laid out in the ongoing saga about the break-up between the world's largest game publisher and the people in charge of creating Modern Warfare 2,” it wrote According to the developers of Modern Warfare 2 Activision created a "police state" where they conducted secret "interrogations" of employees.

The outfit held $54 million dollars hostage as they tried to threaten and cajole the team behind Modern Warfare 2 into making the next Modern Warfare game. More than 40 past and present Infinity Ward developers have banded together in April to sue the publishers of Modern Warfare 2 for half a billion dollars, alleging breach of contract and unpaid royalties.

Orginally they wanted half a billion from the company in punitive damages and unpaid bonuses but now it seems that they want $216 million. In March Activision paid 40 percent of the Modern Warfare 2 bonus money to the team, but withheld the rest, demanding that Infinity Ward develop, produce, complete and publish Modern Warfare 3 by November 2011 to get the rest of the cash.

Activision conducted secret interrogations of staff and told the employees not to tell anyone about them. The outfit was so scare they paid for security personnel to man the office exits, according to the suit. Later that month, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick promised the full bonus at the end of the month, but that never happened. When a group of employees met with CFO Thomas Tippl they were told to "Get over it." Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, who were fired want $36 million unpaid royalties. Their suit claims there was an "Orwellian," "pre-ordained" investigation designed to "manufacture a basis to fire" the studio founders.

This one looks like it will be a lot of fun.
Last modified on 12 July 2010
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