Wow, talk about a big story. Infinity Ward has made a boatload, and I mean a boatload of money for Activision. Along with Blizzard, they are probably up there as the top earner for the company. There have been rumors of some little tense relationships between the two but everything might have come to a head yesterday.
G4 has a nice wrap up
of what.s going down at Infinity Ward studios. It started with a source informing G4 that some bouncer types have shown up at the offices of Infinity Ward. Usually when this happens, it's not a good sign. Vince Zampella and Jason West, two studio heads of IW, met with Activision and then the bouncers showed up later. I'm guessing the meeting did not go well.
Later on, Jason West's LinkedIn page says: President/Game Director/CCO/CTO Infinity Ward January 2001 – March 2010 (9 years 3 months). Well, that doesn't bode well now does it? Pretty much crystal clear what happened there.
An SEC Filing
is uncovered about a HR investigation into two senior employees at Infinity Ward citing insubordination and breaches of contract. Again, this pretty much sets the table as to what happened but still we don't know the exact details.
I know IW wanted to something other than Modern Warfare but could that meeting be the subject and perhaps Activision didn't want IW doing anything but another Modern Warfare like game? The story just got started and I'm sure all the juicy details will come out in the near future but this is pretty big news.
I'm sure the two guys won't have any problems getting a new job as you have to be pretty damn talented to have led the Call of Duty/Modern Warfare series. It just sucks that they were ousted after starting the company nine years ago. Good luck to Vince and Jason as they move on to their next adventure. I wouldn't want to be in Activision's shoes right now in the eyes of the community after this one.