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Infinity Ward Suffers Key Losses After Recent Debacle

Ex-Infinity Ward bosses Vince Zampella and Jason West have founded their own studio and announced a deal with EA, Activision sees this move as proof of "improper activities," and amidst all this, the IW studio has lost many key members.

As noted by this Golgotron article, the list of departed employees has grown long and worse, it features some very important individuals. Lead Designers Steve Fukada, Zied Reike and Mackey McCandlish followed Zampella and West out the door, followed by a string of programmers, artists, engineers and animators. Now, Activision still claims that Infinity Ward has a "deep bench of talent" but the losses are clear. But although you might think some of those ex-IW members might jump on board with their former bosses at Respawn Entertainment, Zampella won't make any such confirmations now. And despite all this, Activision's stock continues to rise so investors apparently aren't too worried about this escaping talent. On the other hand, analysts have said it could indeed affect the quality of future Call of Duty installments.

This whole mess has really shaken things up, hasn't it? Who knows where the pieces will fall? Well, to be honest, we're more interested in seeing what Respawn produces than another CoD from IW at this point.

4/14/2010 10:53:15 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

MyWorstNightmar
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 11:10:08 AM
Reply

Hold on while I pick my jaw up off the floor.

Shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. The two main bosses boogie out the door, only a matter of minutes before others follow. These folks worked in principle for Activision, but their allegiance is with Vince and Jason. That is who has always buttered their toast.

Infinity Ward will be a ghost town before long.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 11:12:27 AM

Maybe Respawn will hire them

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Darwin1967
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 11:30:38 AM

Depends on their contractual agreements. By firing west/zampella, their contract is basically null and void. HOwever, those leaving on their own accord are still bound to those agreements which usually include a non-compete clause.

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Zorigo
Thursday, April 15, 2010 @ 9:02:25 AM

I just find it funny that Actiivision has taken a huge blow. hahaha they deserve it after firing the guys. Activision are obviously greedy bstrds as they ramp up the price of everything. the game cost 45 and the DLC 10? bullshine!

Respawn should hire them. Ce serait très intéressant

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 11:12:09 AM
Reply

Way to go Activison! Alienate all the talent that landed you the biggest success in gaming history. I really don't like MW2 but I'm happy these people are going else where. Kotex and Activision needed to be taught some humility.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 2:39:40 PM

facking right!

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Tim Speed24
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 11:13:53 AM
Reply

I won't but another Infinity Ward Call of Duty. Too much of the talent is gone.

I want whatever Respawn comes up with....should be epic.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 11:19:10 AM

If Respawn can take the character models, gun models, and performance quality from MW2 and make it as fun as Bad Company 2 then that would be awesome. Bad Company 2 is a lot more fun to play then MW2. It just doesn't hold up well in the graphics and performance debt. Screen tearing. eeeek!

Hopefully EA will encourage them to add some color as well. Everything in MW2 looked like pastel card board city.



Last edited by Jawknee on 4/14/2010 11:20:58 AM

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Tim Speed24
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 2:18:08 PM

Bad Company 2 still continues to impress me at times....gameplay and graphics. On my third play thru now and I have dabbled in the multi-player - which, so far, is better than MW2.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 6:10:58 PM

I haven't played the campaign, I've only played the mulitplayer at a friends house. So far it's a lot more fun then MW2.

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Alienange
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 11:44:59 AM
Reply

I hope Kriegler followed them out the door too. With this much talent headed to EA's money, CoD is in store for a world of hurt.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 12:20:49 PM

Who are you kidding, you'll continue to buy every new installment regardless of the actual content.

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Alienange
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 1:04:17 PM

You do realize there's more content in MW2 than there is in L4D2, right?

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 1:11:23 PM

That's like saying there is more content in a 4hour Uwe Boll movie than a 2hour Scorsese film. More doesn't result in higher quality.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 3:49:33 PM

Yea i can give you a 5 pound bag of crap or a 10 pound bag of crap, it's still a bag of crap.

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Alienange
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 4:43:48 PM

There were more brains behind MW2 than there was behind L4D2. The result was a higher quality game.

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SnipeySnake
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 5:39:06 PM

Funny...brains....L4D2...zombies lol ¬_¬

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 5:42:18 PM

Alienage I'm willing to bet you have never even played Left 4 Dead 2. Why would you since you seem to hate it so.

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NeoHumpty
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 11:58:08 AM
Reply

I'm not into the series, but all of this news is entertaining the hell out of me. I'm gonna go ahead and jump on the Team Respawn wagon. Not that EA's much better, but I'm happy it looks like it may work out for them.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 12:21:14 PM
Reply

F*ck them all, literally.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 2:41:15 PM

but not without a half a dozen condoms on.

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LightShow
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 1:11:30 PM
Reply

pretty sure itll end up like Harmonix did, with the talent going to EA and activision following the advancements made by their former employees, yet still making gobs of money.

COD wont be making any advancements for the industry like it used to, but the name will still sell, just like Guitar Hero. I wonder what the next splintering studio will be. what else does activision have?

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Hezzron
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 1:14:24 PM
Reply

This is kind of telling as far as who's at fault here. Activision fires 2 guys.....and the rest of the studio follows the 2 guys out the door?

I wouldn't quit my job and follow my fired supervisor out the door.

Activision must be just as good at turning off their employees as they are turning off gamers.

Last edited by Hezzron on 4/14/2010 1:15:29 PM

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JackC8
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 1:15:37 PM
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"we're more interested in seeing what Respawn produces than another CoD from IW at this point"

Count me in on that.

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BTNwarrior
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 1:44:43 PM
Reply

What I'm hopeing for is that they win the rights to COD in the lawsuit. Then Activision will stop mass producing it, and Respawn can take their time to make a quality game like the original MW

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Darwin1967
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 1:58:39 PM

Activision owns COD outright, the controversy is over the "modern warfare" title, which Activision desperately wants total control.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 2:43:52 PM
Reply

This news makes me happy, now that EA is back in the saddle I understand they have a better relationship with their devs than Acti ever did. Respawn will be able to hang onto their stuff and probably work on whatever they want.

Let us not forget that the IW team got the massive pressure because they wanted to take a break from the MW stuff for at least one game. I can't wait to see what THAT is, it might not even be an FPS.

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LightShow
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 2:56:08 PM

count me in on wanting to see what IW (ahem, i mean Respawn)turns out next.

just think of what could come out of an action/adventure game made by one of the worlds foremost FPS studios...

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Underdog15
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 3:32:01 PM

Are the following scenarios comparable?

Scenario 1: A traditional Western FPS tries to create a new title that will appeal to more than the FPS market.

Scenario 2: A traditional JRPG company tries to create a game that will appeal to a non-JRPG or Western audience.

EDIT: missed an 'i' in one of the "traditional's"

Last edited by Underdog15 on 4/14/2010 3:32:39 PM

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oldmike
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 5:13:00 PM

how true you make a better game
if you love the idea behind the game

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Imagi
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 3:57:04 PM
Reply

This is a surprise? Why would talent stick around to work for a company that would not hesitate to screw them over given a chance.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 5:03:17 PM
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Remember when Boobie Kotex already stated in a earlier interview that if he had his way, he'd make the games even more expensive???

Well, in that same interview, he also stated that all his developer's & employees should not being having fun making a game, and that all of them should also "fear" him.

So why would there be any mass exodus by any of those same developers & employees??? <sarcasm>

I wish all parting developers & employees well & that they find better companies who will praise & reward their them for their talents.
And may Respawn shove it right up anti-visions
hemorrhoids!!!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 4/14/2010 5:07:13 PM

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Deathb4Dishonor
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 5:39:23 PM
Reply

I hope they all went to respawn with their former bosses... it's a big hit for activision, but they deserve it... Kotex needs to get his head outta his ass and realize he can't screw over everyone... He's a f*cking nazi

Last edited by Deathb4Dishonor on 4/14/2010 5:40:04 PM

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www
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 6:10:48 PM
Reply

Hmph....The JOB world!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 6:11:47 PM

huh?

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Alienange
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 6:35:31 PM

I've never heard of it either...

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www
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 8:11:38 PM

Lol c'mon World you know it wasn't a reply to you, am talking the world of jobs and its issues. Damn I was on cloud 9 and didn't know what to write ;)

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kraygen
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 6:30:48 PM
Reply

Lets hope this brings about something other than shooters.

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Banky A
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 7:12:47 PM

Hooters?

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Banky A
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 7:14:27 PM
Reply

Well well well...

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booze925
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 7:27:45 PM
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i CANNOT bring myself to believe that west and zepella aren't at fault.
they HAD to have done something bad for activision to fire them. u cant just assume activision is the complete bad guy.

Last edited by booze925 on 4/14/2010 7:28:04 PM

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Darthvintage
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 8:00:15 PM

I Can Almost completely Laugh At This statement

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www
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 @ 8:55:40 PM

Well we can assume... Kotick and his infamous "fear" and "removal of the fun in making games" statement is enough to make him the "bad guy".

Journalists are already betting Respawn will input some easter eggs in their new games making fun of Activision somehow. I wouldn't be surprised to see a fat last boss in MW4 or any game they plan on making.

Last edited by www on 4/14/2010 8:56:11 PM

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Imagi
Thursday, April 15, 2010 @ 1:14:57 AM

Even if they talked to EA about employment there is nothing wrong about that, I expect that they would have worked out their contract with Activision. I don't know the in's and out but it looks like a knee jerk reaction from Activision so to secure the Modern Warfare brand and stop IW from keeping there own baby.

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___________
Thursday, April 15, 2010 @ 2:45:23 AM
Reply

hmmmmm wonder how this will end up effecting the franchise?
wonder if this will end up being a good thing for treyarch, because they have not exactly been the most popular devs lately.

hopefully EA are smart enough to put the ex IW devs in with DICE to create a new IP.
now imagine a game with the SP greatness of IW, mixed in with the greatness of DICEs MP modes.
all they need now is to update the frostbite engine, to actually have the physics effects THQs ego engine has.
BFBC2 was a massive disappointment in all areas, but especially in the destructive environments.
breach, a freaking budget XBLA title does better destructible environments than BFBC2.
now thats embarrassing!!!!!

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Mr Diamond
Thursday, April 15, 2010 @ 4:32:25 PM
Reply

I think my dream of seing the end of the MW2 story (as we know the end of the game lets you know theres a third installment comming at some point) has gone out the window! Unfinished stories suck. Activision suck!! Nazi Boss at Activision suck donkey ass!!!
I hope he burns in hell and get a pineapple stuck in his ass crown first!!

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