West and Zampella’s bonuses handed out to remaining Infinity Ward staff

Thursday, 22nd April 2010 15:23 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Actvision has handed out the bonuses due to Jason West and Vince Zampella to the Infinity Ward staff that are still with the company.

According to a post made by Dan Amrich over on the Facebook Page “Gamers against Bobby Kotick & Activision”, the ex-game journalist who now blogs for Activision revealed that the bonuses the duo would have gotten were redistributed to the employees.

“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,” writes Amrich.

“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?”

Amrich did admit that he didn’t think departures from Infinity Ward would stop, which we reported earlier.

“More people will probably go too, looking for new situations,” he wrote. “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.”

Amrich also said he respects Bobby Kotick as “a businessman”, but wishes that he did not “shoot from the hip so often”, due to the gaming press having “willfully misinterpreted” Kotick’s comments over the years.

“But at the same time, he [Kotick]has to understand that the whole world is listening,” he offered, “not just the people in the banking community that happen to be in the room when he says stuff.”

You can read the full thread through here.

Thanks, Gamasutra.



  1. Robo_1

    Ooooof, that’s gotta sting. I hope the lads sue them into oblivion.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. DeSpiritusBellum

    I’m pretty sure Z-dog and West-man got a purdy nice bonus for jumping ship to EA, but that’s still a classy move.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Goliath

    That’s some nasty, underhanded shit and those guys who stay, should know that soon they’ll be just as disposable.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. DeSpiritusBellum

    @3 Wait, what? You’re supposed to reward guys for negotiating with your main competitor?

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s likely going to court whether they’re legally entitled or not, but Activision aren’t the ones who made the breach of trust here.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Bulk Slash

    So the remaining team got West and Zampella’s money, but what about the royalties/bonuses they were already owed that Activision were holding on to? Has that been paid as well or is it still being withheld?

    #5 5 years ago
  6. abot

    This is very disingenuous because they are not rewarding people they just don’t want them to leave. Notice that bonuses were not handed out right after they sacked West and Zampella but only after people started to leave IW.

    Activision is just trying to stop the bleeding from IW.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Goliath

    @ DeSpiritusBellum

    Activision had stalled for months in rewarding the Infinity Ward team royalties. Now that there has been a mass exodus of staff they’re suddenly generous? This has nothing to do with what is owed or deserved, this is a desperate attempt to retain what’s left of Infinity Ward’s core team. I hope all those persons at Infinity Ward realize that regardless of how the studio evolves, they’re disposable to Activision.

    #7 5 years ago

    Quick grammar lesson.

    “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,”

    The relevant time reference here is actually present continuous (passive voice), which refers to something which is on-going.

    Lets continue…

    West and Zampella’s bonuses handed out to remaining Infinity Ward staff

    Here we clearly see that the time reference is past simple. As in something that has happened and is now finished. This sentence (headline) obviously suggests that the bonuses have been distributed and that’s the end of the matter.

    So how did we go from ‘It is happening (no timescale given).’ to ‘It happened before.’?

    That’s what I’d like to know…

    [Edit: This is Kotaku's headline: "Activision Dividing Modern Warfare 2's Booty".
    Much more accurate. In any case, I would imagine that Acti has been telling IW staff that they were going to get their bonuses for a long time now.]

    #8 5 years ago

    On another note…

    The longer Acti holds onto the very probable multi-million dollar bonuses, the more tens of thousands of dollars in interest Mr Kotick will be accumulating.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. blackdreamhunk

    @7 I so agree with you

    #10 5 years ago
  11. DeSpiritusBellum

    @7 Well, you should keep in mind that the details surrounding royalty-gate are still very sketchy at best.

    But apart from that I agree with you, it is most likely an attempt to keep as many employees as they can. I’m pretty sure they saw that exodus coming though, they aren’t exactly shocked by it. But do you really think they intend to tell them “We’re gonna not pay you, now fucking stay with us”? I just don’t see that happening.

    Most developers have an eye for money just as much as anyone else, and they know it’s in their interest to see what’s gonna happen, because there’s no doubt Activision will be throwing some major moolah their way if they choose to renew. I think it’s worth noting that the guys who have left are upper tier employees. It’s not unlikely that they will get a nice chunk of dough from EA if they’re jumping ship to Respawn.

    And come on, every peon in those kinds of organisations is more or less expendable. You can always find a person with the same skillset. Of course some are worth more than others, and Infinity Ward is obviously the most valuable studio on the planet, but people in those volatile types of industries aren’t blind, they know the risks.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    What they don’t tell you….the bonus is a one year subscription to the jelly of the month club…

    #12 5 years ago
  13. theevilaires

    How low can you go activision. Total boycott from me. I’m never buying another activision game ever.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. The_Deleted

    Sounds like damage limitation to me. Keep the few left on side and it also looks good that bonuses have been paid when it comes to court hearings.
    Kotick’s still a class A cunt, though.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. endgame

    I’ll tell u how long u have to work there to get those bonuses: Forever! :)

    #15 5 years ago
  16. frostquake

    First off Dan Amrich is working for Activision, he is on their payroll, as their official blogger he clearly states that he works for them on Facebook! So anything he says has to go through Activision before it is posted. This is nothing more the PR by Activision to make Acti and Bobby K look soft.

    Second I have had personal dealings with Dan Amrich. He is a HUGE ASS! He is one of those friends where it is always about him and him getting praised. You know one of those friends where it is always about them, and if you start talking about your day or what happened to you they just turn and walk away. On top of that when Dan has determined what is “truth” it is the truth according to Dan Amrich and no matter what. If you disagree with him, he goes out of his way to try and make you look bad.

    When people criticized him for his loose journalism on OXM he took the law into his own hands and deleted posts that criticized him while leaving posts that praised him. He got into quite a bit of trouble for that.

    He claims he left OXM to be the Editorial Chief of the New World of Warcraft Magazine that was to be published every quarter. I suspect it was for more internal reasons he left.

    Just remember he collects a paycheck from Activision…so when he talks about Activision it is under the guise of his own words, when in truth every thing he types about Activision has to be approved by Activision…WHAT AN ASS!!

    #16 5 years ago
  17. mojo

    But at the same time, he [Kotick]has to understand that he cant suck the whole worlds dicks.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. IL DUCE

    yeah i know what a bunch of nazis…i hope infinity ward implodes because they will never make anything as successful as modern warfare 2 even if retards buy into their bullshit clone game 2 years down the road…i hope respawn entertainment puts out an amazing game down the road and show activision why IW was so successful in the first place…

    #18 5 years ago

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