Another year, another Call of Duty! Modern Warfare 3 was unveiled earlier this week and… Well, it looks like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, again. Many people look down on the Call of Duty name due to the fact that it has yearly releases with relatively similar content. But sometimes it’s easy to forget that these titles actually see two years of development, thanks to two separate teams.
This week we ask a ‘what if’ question. What if the other team, Treyarch, didn’t exist? What if there was only one Call of Duty every two years? Do you think your image of the franchise would be different, or would you still view it as a cash in series? Or, if you’re on the flip side, do you enjoy the yearly releases? Would you gladly pick up multiple Call of Duty title each year?
Activision is most likely not very happy right now. Why? 38, yes 38, employees of their all-star developer Infinity Ward are now filing a lawsuit the company.
Activision has been holding back about 75 million to 125 million dollars back from the developers. Activision, using this unpaid money, was trying to “keep the employees hostage,” according to the lawsuit.
Activision, when questioned about the lawsuit by G4TV, replied “Activision believes the action is without merit. 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.”
After the jump, you can find the full list of employees involved. Some of the employees have already left Infinity Ward, but a large chunk are still at the studio. Who knows for how long though.
Continue reading 38 Infinity Ward Employees File Lawsuit Against Activision Over Unpaid Royalties
Prepare to be bombarded with Call of Duty. Including Activision’s yearly release of the franchise, another title will be joining the pile.
Actvision’s Dan Amrich confirmed that the other title is coming from Sledge Hammer Games that we heard started working on the series some time ago. This new entry is going to be in a different genre then that of the core titles.
When we will see this other entry in the series is currently unknown. Maybe at E3.
All three titles are due out in the next 2 years. We can probably expect Treyarch’s most recent entry this Fall and Infinity Ward’s next Fall.
Also, I’m tired of using Modern Warfare 2 pictures because of the whole Infinity Ward imploding thing. This time you get the box art from the original. Because the original Call of Duty is cool like that.
Ex-Infinity Ward founders are setting up their new studio, but the team they left behind is getting smaller and smaller.
Three more employees have left Infinity Ward. Veteran programmer John Shiring, designer Macky McCandlish, and senior animator Bruce Ferriz are all leaving the team.
This sets a total of seven people who have left Infinity Ward recently.
At this rate, Infinity Ward might have a nice chunk of positions they will have to fill. Hopefully this doesn’t cause any issues with the quality of their next title.
(Shiring source: IGN)
(McCandlish and Ferriz source: Kotaku)
While the biggest of the big dogs over at Infinity Ward are gone and suing Activision, two more influential people are leaving the company.
Todd Alderman, Lead Designer, and Francesco Gigliotti, Lead Software Engineer, updated their LinkedIn accounts confirming that they have left Infinity Ward.
The terms on which they left the company is unknown at the moment and whether they left or forced to leave may never be known.
It really have yet to be seen how the absence of these employees will effect the Call of Duty titles developed by Infinity Ward, but the loss of four major employees may be a cause for concern among fans.
Things seemed to be calming down a bit over at Activision after Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella left, but now thing have been kicked up even more.
Now the founders of Infinity Ward are suing Activision over unpayed royalties.
Their lawyer goes into more details. “Activision has refused to honor the terms of its agreements and is intentionally flouting the fundamental public policy of this State (California) that employers must pay their employees what they have rightfully earned. Instead of thanking, lauding, or just plain paying Jason and Vince for giving Activision the most successful entertainment product ever offered to the public, last month Activision hired lawyers to conduct a pretextual ‘investigation’ into unstated and unsubstantiated charges of ‘insubordination’ and ‘breach of fiduciary duty,’ which then became the grounds for their termination on Monday, March 1st.”
The pair said they were “shocked by Activision’s decision to terminate our contract.” Zampella added that “we shouldn’t have to sue to get paid.”
West and Zampella are not only going for their money, but for the Modern Warfare franchise itself. They are asking to get the contractual rights to the Modern Warfare brand. Which would probably not make Activision very happy.
Activision isn’t going to let the loss of two employees stop Infinity Ward from continue riding the Call of Duty train.
According to a company memo G4 received, Activision Publishing president and CEO Mike Griffith wrote “Infinity Ward remains central to Call of Duty‘s future and we rely on the combined talent, expertise and leadership of the team there for its success.”
Fans will probably be happy to hear Infinity Ward will be working away at a new entry in the series alongside Modern Warfare 2 downloadable content. If rumors that Infinity Ward is growing tired of the Modern Warfare series are true though, the developers themselves might not be too happy to be stuck on Call of Duty train.
(Image Source: Newtech)
L.A. times reported that a new development team has joined the Call of Duty development family. While many development teams have played a part in side releases in the Call of Duty franchise, LA times makes it sound like this will be another team to work on the main entries saying “Although Infinity Ward and Treyarch have produced sequels in alternating years since 2005, the publisher now has a third development studio working on future versions.”
This could be good or bad. If the same cycle continues it means Activision plans on flooding the market with Call of Duty. On the other hand they could still release them at the same rate and give each team 2-3 years to work on the next iteration of the series from their team.
L.A. times also noted another interesting tidbit saying ” One person close to the company said it also was considering adapting Call of Duty as a massively multi-player online world.” That definitely would be an interesting take on the franchise. I honestly have no idea how it would work though.