Jason West and Vince Zampella fired from Infinity Ward/Activision

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Squilliam, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Squilliam

    Squilliam Beyond3d isn't defined yet
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    I cannot believe this is happening today. To me Call of Duty Modern Warfare is dead as a franchise going forward. Theres just no way that Infinity Ward is going to survive these dramas intact. On a positive note, Repi and his gang have an opportunity to fill these shoes as I doubt that much of the significant talent is going to remain at Activision for much longer.

    So where do you think they'll go? New Studio they set up? Join an existing place or exit the industry entirely? Also what will this mean for the staff members who are there? Will they jump ship too?
     
  2. eastmen

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    MS should snap them up for their halo team.

    Or sony should grab them to breath life and get that missing ingredeant for thier fps franchises they are trying to grow
     
  3. Rangers

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    I'm pretty sure they were fired because they wanted to make their own studio (and, take other IW employees with them, hence Activisions move), not work for the man again.
     
  4. corduroygt

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    Yeah I think zipper would have benefited from these guys when developing mag
     
  5. Squilliam

    Squilliam Beyond3d isn't defined yet
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    Wouldn't in sour relations between Activision and either Sony/Microsoft if they gave employment to any person currently employed at Infinity Ward? Although Activision doesn't have a claim over these two, if they started wholesale poaching of the remaining Infinity Ward staff it would make things pretty tense, wouldn't it?
     
  6. obonicus

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    There's also talk that Activision hadn't paid IW bonuses yet, and that IW might be trying to sign up with a different publisher when their contract expires. That second rumor doesn't make much sense, though: the idea is that Activision doesn't own IW, it just has an exclusive contract with them. So how did ATVI manage to fire people?
     
  7. Zaphod

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    I think that last rumor somehow got turned around. When you acquire something of which a substantial part is the value of the employees/people, you'd want to secure that they just don't say thanks for the money and walk out the door. It's been posted that the contracts of core people at IW were about to expire (and may have been shopping themselves around), which makes more sense.
     
  8. obonicus

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    That does make a lot more sense.
     
  9. NathansFortune

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    So?

    Activision can't afford not to put games out on either console. With around 35m 360 users and 30m PS3 users out there investors would start asking questions if Activision went on some type of crusade against MS/Sony if they decided to take West and Zampella into their fold.

    The tide has changed enough so that third parties need the console manufacturers rather than the other way around. Especially since Sony are actively expanding their first party and MS hiring internally to enlarge. Third parties don't want to end up like they have on Nintendo consoles on PS3/360.
     
  10. NathansFortune

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    Well what we were hearing over the last few months is that IW had been looking for a private investor to buy the studio from Activision so they could go independent. The Call of Duty brand is wholly owned by Activision, but Modern Warfare is partly owned by IW.

    I wouldn't be surprised if this was the end result of West/Zampella finding a likely bidder and making an offer to Activision and this is their response. Basically firing them before they quit in October.

    The result is largely academic though, with the two founders of the studio gone and replaced with random publishing/distribution heads internally from Activision the natives at IW won't stick around too long after their contracts expire...
     
  11. obonicus

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    Gamasutra has a good summary of the rumors flying around:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/27482/Analysis_Infinity_Wards_DoubleEdged_Sword.php

     
  12. tuna

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    Why not?
     
  13. NathansFortune

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    Have you ever been put in a situation like this before where old friendly management has been thrown out and replaced with glorified beancounters? :wink:

    Believe me it isn't good, especially since Activision is mostly full of idiots who care about the bottom line rather than quality which seems to be the opposite of IW. Key workers at IW won't have any difficulties in finding a job anywhere else in the industry and I highly doubt they would want to stick around with the company that fired their founders and basically told them 'do what we say or we'll fire you'.
     
  14. tuna

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    How do you know the old management was "friendly"? Also, this opens places at the top that has to be filled, some with promotions from within. And if Activision is smart it could be very friendly to the staff that remains (in terms of wages and perks).

    Also, 'do what we say or we'll fire you' is how it normally works. You can try to persuade the person who decides, but the decision very often is not yours to make. And if you sell something it is not yours anymore.
     
  15. upnorthsox

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    I'd say that West and Zampella have a short window of opportunity to draw people out, but once the next game cycle starts it'll be alot harder. One thing on this though is that it sounds like MW3 may be caught up in litigation for a while which may give them more time.

    Well if it's true that activision wanted them to fire people for little more than to put them in a better bargaining position then that'd go long way to making the "Old" guys friendlier, woudn't it?
     
  16. assen

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    Dunno about the distribution guy, but Steve Pearce is not a beancounter, and most definitely not an idiot. He's a Activision veteran, rising through the ranks from programmer to Activision's CTO:

    http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/by_title/developerId,3941/
     
  17. tuna

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    Looking back at my comments I sound a bit to harsh....I feel sympathy for the two fired, I'm sure they had a lot of friends and a good relationships with their colleges. Hope they get through it allright!
     
  18. Tap In

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    Infinity Ward's Jason West And Vince Zampella File Lawsuit Against Activision
     
  19. Laa-Yosh

    Laa-Yosh I can has custom title?
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    What, Activision actually wants to avoid paying the guys for their work in the 1.5 billion blockbuster videogame? Have they gone completely mad?
     
  20. Rotmm

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    If, after promoting the living shit out of the Modern Warfare games to ensure that success, they discover that the studio heads are out there looking for new bidders for their services, then Activision may feel aggrieved enough to both (a) terminate the contracts and (b) withhold royalties of those individuals who are already looking for employment elsewhere.

    I'm not saying that it's the case they were offering their services to the highest bidder, but there are two sides to every story and it would be remiss of us to take either the assertions of Activision or Jason/Vince at face value.
     
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