Activision on Call of Duty Duo's New Studio: 'No Surprise' Given 'Myriad of Improper Activities'

By Chris Faylor, Apr 12, 2010 9:57am PDT Following this morning's announcement of Jason West and Vince Zampella--formerly of Call of Duty series creator Infinity Ward--founding a new development studio dubbed Respawn Entertainment, IW owner Activision has issued a strong response:
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.

The formation of Respawn Entertainment and its publishing relationship with EA Partners comes amidst an increasingly complicated legal dispute between West, Zampella and their former employer Activision. The duo allege that Activision fired them to avoid paying royalties and to assert control over the Modern Warfare franchise made popular by the record-breaking Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games, while Activision claims the two "formed an unlawful pattern and practice of conduct that was designed to steal the [Infinity Ward] studio, which is one of Activision's most valuable assets."

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21 Threads | 64 Comments

  • Millionaires bitching about millionaires. Yawn.

    "It has been extremely disappointing to see how this issue is being reported as a ‘little creative artist being stomped on by big ugly corporate giant’. West and Zampelli are certainly millionaires. While it was PC gaming where Call of Duty found its initial success, the two of them turned against PC gaming (remember the ruckus of no dedicated servers for Modern Warfare 2?). I thought the stupid Russian mission was something Activision had put in as the dopey ‘big business guy’ trying to be creative. But it was West and Zampelli who were the ones behind it. And the fact that they were trying to hide it until it couldn’t be taken out was definite grounds of insubordination. That Russian mission could have exploded into a ‘Hot Coffee’ situation and done huge damage to the Call of Duty franchise.

    One thing I do not see anyone reporting is how Infinity Ward did not wish to make Modern Warfare 2 but Activision made them. Activision was correct to make them make the game as Modern Warfare 2 is a smashing success. But I suppose this isn’t being reported because it would show Activision had the correct judgment on that decision and that would ruin the template of ‘poor artists stamped on by big corporate giant’ of a story. It is also not being reported that West and Zampelli have so much money now that they don’t even need a job. They are not like your typical employees. This, too, is not being said because it doesn’t fit the emotional template our little game journalists want to write.

    Activision did help build Infinity Ward. They invested in the company. They funneled in the money. When someone invests in you, they have leverage over you. Period. It is looking like West and Zampelli suffer from the ‘artist disease’ in thinking that they, alone, are cause of the success of Modern Warfare. They probably are so egotistical to think the marketing departments and sales departments are just parasites off of “their” genius."