Vivendi: Treyarch Has 'Done Better' Than Infinity Ward, IW Finished Restructuring

By Alice O'Connor, Nov 22, 2010 9:40am PST Call of Duty: Black Ops developer Treyarch has bested series creator Infinity Ward, IGN reports Activision parent company Vivendi declared last week. IW will get to fire back, though, as it has finished restructing after its major staffing losses this year.

"The Treyarch studio, which made this year's game, has done better than what the Infinity Ward studio could achieve a year ago," said CEO Jean-Bernard Levy at the Morgan Stanley TMT Conference on Friday. He's certainly right sales-wise, as Cod Blops broke the entertainment industry-wide launch day and five-day sales records set by Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 last year. Cold Blops sold-through over $650 million in five days after launching on November 9.

Levy also reveals that "We have reconstructed Infinity Ward," adding that the company is "very happy" with the result. IW suffered a mass exodus of staff after Activision fired co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella in March for allegedly trying to "steal" the studio and using its resources for personal benefit. Around thirty-five had left as of May, with a number joining West and Zampella at their new studio Respawn Entertainment.

Infinity Ward will head back down the Cod mine, joining Treyarch and fledging studio Sledgehammer Games. "We believe this set up of studios working on Call of Duty has demonstrated it can do very well," Levy opined. It's been rumoured, bizarrely, that Sledgehammer might be working on an instalment starring space marines.

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25 Threads | 66 Comments

  • "We are pleased to announce that all of Infinity Ward left. So we got a bunch of losers from recently imploded studios, formerly from AAA-class studios like GRIN and Realtime Worlds.

    "We expect nothing but hits called Call of Duty from this new and improved--same great ability to make a game and call it Call of Duty, less attitude or requests for royalties or game franchise control--Infinity Ward!"

    Then again, the last time I remember someone doing this was when a certain publisher bought Guitar Hero franchise owner, Red Octane, and flipped the bird to the developer who actually made the game a hit.

    Oh wait, that was Activision, too, wasn't it? Haha. I can't believe Bungie got in bed with them. I guess watching Activision milk every franchise they can get their claws into just wasn't enough reason to say no. I'd blame them more if Blizzard hadn't sold out to the same temptation already.

  • This is an old story by now, but I think something needs to be said:

    The new CoD was always going to sell well, regardless of quality. It's very easy for a publisher to shape the media around a game pre-release.
    Have a terrible game? Don't let anybody review it, or give it to one of those magazines that will give it a 8.5 and a glowing text review with the reviewer's real opinion only subtly inserted between the lines. (You advertise with this magazine)

    There is no way for the next game bearing the CoD name to do badly. The execs know this, and since the industry seems to place a shortsighted high emphasis on quarterly profits, Infinity Ward got shat on.

    Lets see how many people are waiting in line for the next two or three installments of this series. Remember when people cared about Medal of Honor? That's when Infinity Ward (2015) was behind it.

    I'm not implying that Treyarch's game isn't any good, I haven't played it. The industry does suffer from decisions like this though.