When Jason West and Vince Zampella were fired from Infinity Ward by Activision, the former studio leadership were also losing out on substantial bonuses from development on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. There's a ongoing lawsuit about that money, but Activision social media manager (and former games writer) Dan Amrich told Facebook users in an anti-Activision group the bonuses owed to West and Zampella would be "redistributed" throughout Infinity Ward.
"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," said Amrich, referencing allegations made within lawsuit. "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."
Since Zampella and West moved on to form Respawn Entertainment, a steady drip of veteran employees at the developer have turned in their resignations. The departed have not announced where they're headed yet, but it's likely some will rejoin Zampella and West over at Respawn.
Amrich believes more staff will leave Infinity Ward before the bleeding ends, but couldn't understand why folks would want to leave the studio, given the potential future bonus payout.
"More people will probably go too, looking for new situations," he said. "Maybe they will join Respawn, maybe not. I'm confused, because by leaving, they are giving up their bonus -- and the more people that leave, the bigger the bonus gets for the people who stay. 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."
As it stands, it seems the fate of Infinity Ward remains to be written.