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Bonuses of departed IW employees will be "redistributed"

Activision blogger says studio will be reinvented by those that remain

Activision employee Dan Amrich has said the bonuses due to Infinity Ward employees that worked on Modern Warfare 2 but have since departed the company will be "redistributed to everybody else."

Speaking on the Facebook page for a group called "Gamers Against Bobby Kotick and Activision", Activision community site editor Amrich added that studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella were owed "very large bonuses" which would now be given to those who "did not allegedly attempt to steal company secrets."

"Vince and Jason had very large bonuses; those bonuses are being redistributed to everybody else, to the people who did not allegedly attempt to steal company secrets. (Please see Activision's countersuit for details about Vince and Jason's surreptitious attempts to photocopy and scan sensitive documents)," he wrote.

"Activision is not pocketing that bonus money; it's still going to the people who work at IW. But you have to work at IW to get it, see? :) I don't want to see talented people screwed out of a paycheck any more than you do."

Amrich added that he expected still more people to leave the troubled Infinity Ward studio, some of which could end up at West and Zampella's new Respawn studio.

"More people will probably go too, looking for new situations," he said. "Maybe they will join Respawn, maybe not.

"I'd think if you are young and hungry and have a vision for a new game, IW would be a really good place to be right now. There are so many young and hungry designers, programmers, and developers out there, and I suspect some of them are already employed at IW, just waiting for their shot. When the dust settles, I expect to see some talented people step up and redefine the studio."

"IW still exists; obviously its identity and company culture are going to go through huge changes in the coming months and years," he continued.

"But can we agree that change also means opportunity? When stuff happens and a situation changes, we all have the same core decision: Stay the course and reinvent, or move on to something else.

"The people who stick at IW will have to reinvent the studio, but it may well be that some of these people who cut their teeth on MW and MW2 are now ready to step up with their own ideas. AND they are getting a bigger chunk of the bonus money than they expected for what they already did."

Amrich also addressed the issue of creative freedom within Activision's internal studios, saying that he wanted to "bust the myth" that the publisher exercised too much control over their output. "The way it works at Activision is pretty simple and decentralised. Activision foots the bill; the developers follow their muse [...] They have creative freedom," he said.

The number of staff now thought to have left Infinity Ward following the sacking of its heads Zampella and West is thought to have reached 11.

Activision COO and CFO Thomas Tippl said earlier this week that there was interim leadership currently in place at the studio and nearly 100 people remained working there.

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Kath Brice