EA Expects "Great Things" From Respawn Entertainment
By now, everyone should be quite familiar with the Activision/Infinity Ward fiasco and the resulting start-up studio, Respawn Entertainment.
Ex-IW bosses Vince Zampella and Jason West are at the head of Respawn ('wink') and since they opened their doors, they inked a big publishing deal with Activision's rival, EA, and also managed to snag more than a few Infinity Ward members. In fact, IW has lost around 35 employees since everything went down, although Activision still says the studio "remains important." We keep picturing EA giggling in a corner during all of this (remember when they said Activision went and "shot their Triple Crown-winning horse?") and now, they're talking again. This time, EA Partners boss David DeMartini told CVG that he believes Respawn "will achieve great things in the future," and he "fears for the future of the Modern Warfare franchise" following the mass exodus from IW. When asked what might have been different if IW had been part of EA Partners, DeMartini said:
"It's kind of hard to answer that question because Infinity Ward was an internal studio of Activision. It's not like they were an independent studio that was just contracted by Activision, they were an internal studio of Activision. But what I'd say is you haven't seen any internal studios up and leave EA. If Infinity Ward was an internal studio at EA would things have been different? I think yes - but I'm biased.
I don't like to see that go on in our industry at all. That was a hugely successful franchise. I'm sure Vince and Jason didn't want to get fired and now looking at it the whole thing's kind of blown up."
He goes on to say that "a franchise is damaged" and it may "never be the same again." He also says that perhaps everything happens for a reason and now, EA really "couldn't be happier to work with Vince and Jason and the team at Respawn." Yeah, we still sense a little chortle beneath all that diplomacy.
5/11/2010 9:24:14 PM John Shepard