Activision pays $42m to Infinity Ward staff

Activision has handed a check for $42 million (£26.1m) to lawyers representing former staff at Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward.

Polygon reports that the figure includes ten per cent interest and has been handed over in addition to a previously paid $22 million. The sum, a source claims, has been paid to 40 individuals – a curious number given that the original Infinity Ward legal complaint came from 38 former members of staff.

Bruce Isaacs, attorney for the Infinity Ward Employee Group, said the payment showed Activision knew it was in the wrong, calling it a "cynical attempt to look good before the jury trial," which kicks off at the end of this month.

"I can confirm for you that [the payment] happened today," he added. "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."

Polygon's source claims that this was not a settlement payment – rather, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick agreed that the evidence it holds against former studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella didn't implicate the staff who followed them out of the door.

This, Activision believes, gives them a clear run at West and Zampella, who accuse the publisher of a laundry list of legal wrongdoing including breach of contract and wrongful dismissal. Activision argues that the pair were fired because they were holding secret talks with rival publisher EA about setting up a new development studio. The case goes to trial on May 29.