According to a report from Polygon citing a source "familiar with the case," Activision has delivered a check for $47 million to lawyers representing the so-called "Infinity Ward Employee Group." This group made up of ex-employees of the studio that created the popular Call of Duty series claimed that Activision failed to pay to pay them royalties owed on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Activision reportedly cut the check to the group after reviewing pre-trial evidence and found that its "constituents" were not involved in the shenanigans they allege in their upcoming lawsuit against Jason West, Vince Zampella and Electronic Arts. The $47 million contains a $22 million royalty payment plus 10 percent interest.
While a lawyer for the group confirmed receiving the check, he said that it was not what Activision owed the group and that it was a hollow gesture to make the company look better as it goes to trial later this year. Bruce Isaacs, attorney for the Infinity Ward Employee Group, called the payment from Activision a "cynical attempt to look good before the jury trial."
"I can confirm for you that it happened today," he told Polygon. "I can also tell you that although it is a meaningful payment it is only a small portion of what we are seeking in litigation. It is outrageous that they made us wait, they obviously knew they owed the money and this just shows that they breached the contract."
But the plot gets weirder; Polygon's source says that the payment is not part of a settlement; it is what Activision believes it owes the group. The company opted to pay the amount it believed the former employees were owed and will now focus on its lawsuit against West and Zampella.
But as Isaacs pointed out tonight, the group believes Activision owes them a whole lot more money that just $47 million. In 2010 he told G4TV in an interview that Activision owed his clients somewhere between $75 – $125 million. They are also seeking a massive $75 – $500 million in punitive damage. Despite the payment, Isaacs told Polygon that the group will continue its lawsuit against Activision.
"They are just as interested as they were before hand," he said. "We are seeking all kinds of bonuses per the contract. This payment relates to one particular game and one particular time period and one particular bonus."
More on this story as it develops.