Just about everyone knows what’s been going on with Activision lately. The questionable departures and ousting that’s been taken place as of late has left the industry in bewilderment as no one really knows what the hell’s been going on. But this time around it seems as though things might be getting a bit more… sour, I’d say. Former lead creators of Modern Warfare 2, Jason West and Vince Zampella, have formed a new company, Respawn Entertainment, which is being backed by their formal rivals Electronic Arts. Talk about the irony here. “Respawn” Entertainment? EA? Shock value? Extremely high.
This news announcing the company follows a juicy Friday that saw gargantuan publisher Activision, who fired Vince Zampella and Jason West from their lead positions at Infinity Ward, suing the terminated creators for subterfuge and misdeeds designed as an alleged attempt to “steal the studio.” I’m pretty sure that Activision is just a tad sore from the suing that went a month prior by both West and Zampella.
Today, however, the two ex-leads of Infinity Ward are announcing a new company and an exclusive publishing deal with Electronic Arts. The newly established company, which is based in Encino, California, will make games for the EA Partners label, an arrangement that will keep the company independent from EA. Infinity Ward, West’s and Zampella’s former studio, is still owned by Activision.“Respawn Entertainment marks a fresh start for Jason and me,” Zampella said in a statement. “For the past decade we led a great development team and poured our hearts into creating an epic game franchise. We’re very proud of what we built – and proud that so many millions of fans enjoyed those games. Today we hope to do it all over again — open a new studio, hire a great team, and create brand new games with a new partner, EA.”
“We’re excited,” West stated. “Now that the team is in control of the games and brands, we can ensure that the fans are treated as well as they deserve.”
This isn’t a new ground for West and Zamepella, however. The duo was once affiliated with EA as both took part in the Medal of Honor series before handling Modern Warfare and Call of Duty for Activision. What are they working on next? As of now, it remains in mystery. But you can expect great things from the two guys responsible for two of the most successful releases this generation – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2.
As this story continues to break, DualShockers will make sure to have all the coverage up for your reading convenience, so stay tuned.