Modern Warfare devs start new studio, more staff leave Infinity Ward


“Respawn Entertainment marks a fresh start for Jason and me,” said Vince Zampella, who’ll act as general manager. Respawn Entertainment was founded with Electronics Arts as publisher.

Frank Gibeau, President of the EA Games Label commented, “This is the start of a great publishing partnership – one that I expect will develop blockbuster game franchises. Jason and Vince are two of the top creative leaders in the entertainment industry. At EA, we’re honoured to be their partners and to give them the support they need to hire a team and return to making incredible games.”

As you may recall, Vince Zampella and Jason West, founders of Infinity Ward, were fired recently for “insubordination” according to Activision. Soon after, the pair launched a lawsuit against their former employer for US$36 million and control over the Modern Warfare franchise. Hot on the heels of their ousting, many Infinity Ward key staff members have started jumping ship, some over to Respawn, others off to start their own thing.

“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”. says Jason.

It’s worth it to note that the people leaving Infinity Ward now, before their contract is up in October, are opting to forgo their hefty royalties from the sales of Modern Warfare 2. West added: “We’re excited. 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.”

People who have left Infinity Ward so far:

* Steve Fukuda — Lead Designer
* Zied Reike — Lead Designer
* Rayme Vinson — Programmer
* Chris Cherubini — Lead Artist

* Todd Alderman
* Francesco Gigliotti
* Mackey McCandlish
* Jon Shiring
* Bruce Ferriz (for a start-up, Big Red Button Entertainment)

It may be pure irony that now the team is back at EA, who they left in the first place to go found Infinity Ward, which was then picked up by Activision.