As part of the ongoing legal battle between Activision and Infinity Ward founders Vince Zampella and Jason West over an alleged breach of contract regarding the Call of Duty
franchise, it has been revealed that nearly half a billion dollars has been paid out in bonuses to Infinity Ward employees since 2003.
In March 2010, West and Zampella were fired from Infinity Ward, the Activision subsidiary studio that created the multi-billlion-dollar Call of Duty
franchise, with the publisher accusing the two of "insubordination." After being fired, the pair quickly filed a lawsuit against Activision
for breach of contract. The lawsuit is set to go to court on June 1.
Activision lawyers said
in a recent hearing at a Los Angeles Superior Court that $493 million has been paid out in bonuses to Infinity Ward staffers since the release of the original game in 2003, reports Polygon.
The studio received $3.8 million in bonuses for the first game, and $74.5 million for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
. The largest bonuses were given out for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
-- $147.46 million in total, $42 million of which came from a check cut earlier this month
These bonuses were awarded for the success of Call of Duty
games made by Infinity Ward, games that used Infinity Ward-developed software and assets, and Call of Duty
At the time of West and Zampella's dismissals, Activision said that their bonuses were redistributed among the other Infinity Ward employees
, rather than taken back by Activision.