PS3 News: Ex-IW Bosses Open New Studio, Announce Deal With EA - PS3 News

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Ex-IW Bosses Open New Studio, Announce Deal With EA

The Activision/Infinity Ward blowup isn't about to go away anytime soon but that hasn't stopped the two ex-IW leads from moving on with their lives.

Today, as reported by GameSpot, EA has announced a deal with Vince Zampella and Jason West; the publisher will be the sole distributor for any games the duo's new studio pumps out. That's right, a new studio: called Respawn Entertainment (get it?), the new development team, headed by the embattled duo, will be "in the same part of Los Angeles as Infinity Ward," which contributed greatly to the $3 billion Call of Duty franchise (Modern Warfare 2 alone generated $1 billion). "For a cut of the sales proceeds," EA Partners often teams up with talented studios, including Valve Software (Left 4 Dead 2), Crytek (Crysis 2), and Epic Games (Gears of War, Bulletstorm). All of this within days of Activision filing a countersuit against Zampella and West, accusing them of "breach of contract and insubordination" and of being "self-serving schemers." You may also remember that the publisher said the two had embarked on a "secret trip" to Northern California...well, EA's HQ is in San Francisco and now we have this deal, here. Therefore, in an update, Activision responded quickly to this turn of events by saying:

"This agreement comes as no surprise to Activision given the myriad of improper activities detailed in the cross-complaint filed on Friday against Jason West and Vince Zampella. We look forward to continuing to work with Infinity Ward’s deep bench of proven talent on exciting new projects."

Not surprisingly, given the current struggle, Respawn Entertainment emphasized that they will retain "full control of all intellectual properties it creates." Of course, that's part of the whole battle with Activision; Zampella and West have claimed that the publisher promised them control of the Modern Warfare brand before unceremoniously firing them. The former IW bosses also seek some $36 million in damages from (apparently) unpaid royalties. And by the way, Respawn made it abundantly clear that they're currently hiring, and EA has promised to help them assemble "a world-class team of designers, artists and engineers."

And so, the saga continues. Who wants to bet that the first game from Respawn Entertainment will feature some little Easter Egg that that involves a not-so-subtle jab at Activision...?

4/12/2010 3:06:54 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (56 posts)

MyWorstNightmar
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:29:25 PM
Reply

Seems Activision was correct to think something was rotten in Denmark.

People have the right to seek employement where ever they choose. I just hope they weren't in some sort of breach of contract when talking to EA. That would just be a sleezy move.

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rell
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:30:18 PM
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EA is grabbing all the talented companies. Thats good EA is doing this too keep companies on there feets.

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Nynja
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 4:55:50 PM

I agree.

btw - Feet is already plural. It does not require an "s".

I'll give myself a thumbs down for being an anal prick.

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rell
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 5:00:12 PM

@Nynja my mistake lol.

Last edited by rell on 4/12/2010 5:01:28 PM

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Nynja
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 10:43:16 AM

Yeah, on that note please don't refrain from pointing out any typos, grammatical, or spelling errors I make. Since I opened the can of worms...

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Zorigo
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 1:03:38 PM

and EA have a knack of publishing great games. Burnout and Mirror's Edge instantly spawn (respawn?) to mind.

I will look ou for the easter egg. it'd make us all laugh

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Tim Speed24
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:31:38 PM
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This is great news...more excellent games on the way from two very talented people who know how to get the most out of a virtual experience.

Best of luck Respawn Entertainment!!

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Rings of Uranus
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:42:17 PM
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i wonder why the developers from infinity ward didn't follow their ex-bosses to EA. i'm sure they'd be compensated handsomely.

and when did game companies become so cut-throat? well, actually i guess nintendo kinda always was...

anyways, stick it to activision, respawn entertainment! make a new road rash! lol

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Nickjcal
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:56:39 PM

Well i believe they have contracts. So i dont think you can just leave

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Rings of Uranus
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 4:13:25 PM

ah, i see.

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BlackBriar
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:42:44 PM
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Ha! take that activision, You suck

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Nynja
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:45:33 PM
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"Who wants to bet that the first game from Respawn Entertainment will feature some little Easter Egg that that involves a not-so-subtle jab at Activision"

Even if it were a game where you just watched paint dry, I'd get it just to see the dig at Activision.

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jimdude99
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:53:45 PM
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I think that if Zampella and West win their case EA's gonna be publishing Modern Warfare 3.

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jimdude99
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:54:13 PM

BTW Bad Company 3 will still be better

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manofchao5
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 7:49:56 PM

if ea publishes mw3 then we may actually see something new and better
but yet battlefield 3 will still be different but mw will be much better with ea

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Nickjcal
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:55:52 PM
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Ha activisons gnna go running around now looking for worlds class developers. Thats not very smart of the to fire the 2 guys that are the heart and sole of their money. But i've always loved EA games over Activison so im very happy to hear this

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Jawknee
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 4:01:17 PM
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BUUUURRRRNNNNN!!!

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calculator
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 4:05:46 PM
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I have a feeling that Activision will be pretty pissed about this....

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BeezleDrop
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 4:17:46 PM
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Oh how the "mighty" have fallen.

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mike rlz
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 4:22:57 PM
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maybe they had some sort of agreement in their contract that they would be with activision for a certain amount of time?

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Jawknee
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 4:33:08 PM

Activision fired them. they can't stop them from seeking employment elsewhere.

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mike rlz
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 6:20:33 PM

sure i'm saying when they cited that "mysterious" flight or whatever maybe it could have been classified as a breach of contract if they had one in place like that

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Deathb4Dishonor
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 4:53:30 PM
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Well i think EA would give them more liberty making their game,therefor making another game even better than their modern warfare franchise... Now EA has both the creators of modern warfare and bad company... Wonder what activision gonna do now, dumb move on their part firing them

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ace_boon_coon
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 5:37:20 PM
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wow. so EA will have bebc, MW, and MOH? holy s***

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Gregory Freeman
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 5:50:52 PM

Not to mention Crysis, Half-life, L4D, etc...

Currently, EA doesn't have much competition in the FPS genre, because they own most of the franchises... Just like sports games... 2K is their only competition in that field.. EA is a powerhouse of a company now...

Its weird how they were once in the Spotlight for being an A-Hole company not that long ago...

(I still don't forgive them for what they did to Command And Conquer 4 >:(... they completely tarnished WestWood's dream.. I've been a C&C fan since I was a wee lad)

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xnonsuchx
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 6:03:59 PM

Well, EA just has publishing rights to all those, not IP rights to all of them. They could easily lose some of that within 2-5 years (depending on contract) if they don't keep their partner devs happy. Not trying to screw them like Mr. 'Kotex' @ Activision seems to like doing is a good start. ;-)

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Gregory Freeman
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 5:52:16 PM
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I love their name they chose...

It's like they knew they were going to die, so they ran to EA, planted a Tactical Insertion, Took the bullet, and "Respawned" in EA's base...

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Xplicit
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 5:55:43 PM
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EA > Activision

Best of luck to both EA and RE.

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NeoHumpty
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 5:56:32 PM
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What a perfect name for a company that will most likely focus on FPS's. I'm not a huge fan of MW, but this could be promising. I'm sure they have the knowledge and a few tricks up their sleeves. Great news.

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NeoHumpty
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 6:18:55 PM

It would have been EPIC if they went with a ps3 only dev, though. Oh, well. I'd hate to see talent wasted.

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LightShow
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 5:57:29 PM
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Called it!

looks like activision did too, got pissed, and decided that filing a slew of lawsuits would scare them away from seeking employment at EA, or scare EA from seeking them for employment.

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Scarecrow
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 6:25:01 PM
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imo EA's garbage as well

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BigT_1980
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 1:36:23 AM

Scarcrow can you elaborate on why EA is garbage. I understand that during the first year and a half that the PS3 came out they gave us some inferior ports of 360 games. EA admitted to their shortcomings and pledged to provide us with a comparable product to what they provide on the 360 and from what I have seen they have been keeping their promise. They have even had a couple of games that they have had the PS3 as the lead platform such as Burnout Paradise and Mirrors Edge. The only thing that EA has done that made me upset was when they bought exclusive rights to the NFL.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 3:54:45 AM

Yea I'm not a huge fan of EA but they are a way better company then Activision.

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Wage SLAVES
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 6:25:05 PM
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Damn, EA, Vince and Jason pulled a tactical insertion! All while delaying development on Mw3! They are on a creative Killstreak! Well played, well played.

Just mount a mass-exodus of Infinity Ward staff and it'll be the last of Acti...

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AStiffyIffy
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 6:28:24 PM
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Pretty much, Activision screwed itself over. They're going to be in for a real firefight with Respawn's first game.

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shaydey77
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 6:36:38 PM
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Kinda sad how people continually fight over money...even sadder when such companies are already billionaires.

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Darwin1967
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 6:38:22 PM
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Easter eggs....oh what could it be...personally, I'd love for one of the bad guys to resemble a certain Bobby K....perhaps in the sniper level.

I hope Zampella/West prevail on their suit...that would be a most appropriate donkey punch to Activision's arrogance.

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Alienange
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 6:54:03 PM
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Well it takes more than two guys to make a billion dollar franchise. They would be wise to silently recruit their team away from Activision using some of EA's money.

First and foremost, go for the level designers. Those guys are fps multiplayer geniuses. Then swoop in and grab anyone who ever mentioned "leveling up."

When you think about it, this is pretty much an opportunity of a lifetime for anyone who designs games for a living. Damn... I wish my CV had more than "Eats nachos" on it.

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www
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 7:25:43 PM

Well my CV.......uuuuummmm....well.....my CV.......well its got "plays games a lot and goes out in the night to look for chics," hope I get hired ;)

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Alienange
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 7:30:50 PM

Sorry, it's in San Francisco. You can't go out at night there.

Next!

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Club80
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 7:06:44 PM
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I have a feeling that Activision is unfortunately on it's way out of business. It's such a shame, too. Bobby Kotick can rot in hell.

Has David Crane chimed in on any of this BS at Activision and IW? I'd love to hear his thoughts on how the company he co-founded is quickly going to shit.

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Cesar_ser_4
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 8:37:56 PM

probably be like wtf bob i went to play some rounds of golf for a sec and come back and half the income source is gone???....i dont know wtf im talking about i dont even know those guys hehehe or what they like doing...

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Snaaaake
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 7:13:05 PM
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Now I think EA is gonna join in the fight to help RE win the right to MW.

Expect things to get way even more extremely OMG nastier........

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Snaaaake
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 7:13:18 PM
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Now I think EA is gonna join in the fight to help RE win the right to MW.

Expect things to get way even more extremely OMG nastier........

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Wage SLAVES
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 7:30:19 PM

Possibly, if they win they get to publish all MW titles. That is one of the things Vince and Jason are fighting for...

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www
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 7:30:33 PM
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"Not surprisingly, given the current struggle, Respawn Entertainment emphasized that they will retain "full control of all intellectual properties it creates." "

Kotick has to realize you can't steal intellectual property with his so-called "fear".

Glory be to God the boys got a job again!

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Snaaaake
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 7:32:41 PM
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Now I think EA is gonna join in the fight to help RE win the right to MW.

Expect things to get way even more extremely OMG nastier........

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iGraves1
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 8:07:50 PM
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So I guess if they win their case we will be getting Medal Of Honor:Modern Warfare 3.

Although I would like to see what they can come up with, other than just another modern shooter.

Last edited by iGraves1 on 4/12/2010 8:09:06 PM

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Cesar_ser_4
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 8:41:48 PM
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ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo do a cross over game between shooters mw2 vs..... i dont know...

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Dancemachine55
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 8:54:12 PM
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Like Justin Timberlake once said...

"What goes around comes around"

Good luck Respawn Entertainment.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 12:16:59 AM
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Although I wish Sony had swooped down & plucked both of them up so they become an 1st party exclusive, I'm still glad to hear they've now siding with a much better company than those other backstabbers of old.

Now I want to see them both win their case against anti-vision & then come out with.....

"COD:Future Gaming Warfare: The Taking Of HQ Activision".


(But if for no other reason, let's make this one a multi-plat, just so that the whole entire gaming nation can also celebrate too in their glorious win).

Last edited by BikerSaint on 4/13/2010 12:18:05 AM

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___________
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 3:00:08 AM
Reply

well maybe the stories activision are telling are not hog wash after all!
just seems a little coincidental that they happen to sign with the company they were allegedly meeting with.

wonder what effect this will have on the next IW game, but than if ive learnt anything its that brand name is all that matters.
IW just like bungie could make a game of a goat taking a dump and it would sell millions as long as the title COD or halo is on it.

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D1g1tal5torm
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 6:14:37 AM
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Bye, bye Bobby.

serves him right.

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Lobosabio
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 3:29:38 PM
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Activision losing their slaves in masse...

Todd Alderman (designer chief) 7 years in IW
Francesco Gigliotti (software eng.) 8 yrs
Jon Shiring (Programing) 5 years in IW
Mackey McCandlish (designer) 6 years in IW
Bruce Ferriz, Senior Animator. 1 year in IW

MW3:alone at home


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Deathb4Dishonor
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 3:54:46 PM
Reply

yea... if sony would've scooped them up it would definitly would have been the icing on the cake for sony exclusives

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