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Activision awards $42M to former Infinity Ward staff, though trial will commence

A source close to the matter tells Gamasutra this sum is not an admission of guilt; the trial over fraud allegations from Vince Zampella and Jason West's sacking is still set to take place May 29.
Game publisher Activision cut a check for $42 million dollars to the lawyers representing a group of former Infinity Ward employees, a source close to the matter has confirmed to Gamasutra. This sum comes on top of the $22 million already paid to the group as part of the launch bonus for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. According to our source, the sum was determined as part of a review of the available evidence leading up to the trial, which is set to take place May 29. It is not, we're told, a settlement to West nor Zampella, or an admission of guilt. While they are the catalyst for the case against Activision, the payment does not go to West and Zampella, but to the 40 former employees of Infinity Ward who filed suit against Activision. West and Zampella are seeking damages on allegations of fraud, saying that Activision fired the duo to avoid paying substantial royalties to them, as well as others at developer Infinity Ward, following the success of Modern Warfare 2. The group still plans to go to trial against Activision, calling the sum "only a small portion" of what it is seeking in litigation. Activision recently hired former assistant U.S. attorney Beth Wilkinson to beef up its defense. [UPDATE: We've corrected the article to make clear that the award goes to former Infinity Ward staff, not to West and Zampella. Apologies for the confusion.]

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