West and Zampella's New Studio

EA and Respawn Entertainment announce oustered former Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella have formed a new development studio called Respawn Entertainment to operate under the EA Partners program. They do not have details on what they are up to, but they do say: "The move positions the Respawn Entertainment leadership team as the owners of the intellectual property they create," an obvious reference to West and Zampella's legal tussles with Activision. "Respawn Entertainment marks a fresh start for Jason and me," said Vince Zampella, General Manager of Respawn Entertainment. "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."
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32.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 13, 2010, 01:09
32.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 13, 2010, 01:09
Apr 13, 2010, 01:09
 
^Drag0n^ wrote on Apr 12, 2010, 13:59:
Like them or hate them, they do have the largest selling videogame ever under their belt. Not a bad resume.

Doesn't that distinction belong to the Sims?

Creston
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31.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 23:20
31.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 23:20
Apr 12, 2010, 23:20
 
But wouldn't it make for some seriously wild irony if they developed "Medal of Honor: Modern Warfare"?

^D^
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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30.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 23:13
30.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 23:13
Apr 12, 2010, 23:13
 
^Drag0n^ wrote on Apr 12, 2010, 20:28:
An interesting thought, as Treyarch has announced they are keeping dedicated servers in their next foray into CoD....but I'd tend to doubt it. I honestly think they were more than likely streamlining the code accross platforms in a way that would help with the rapid development cycle Activision was pushing.

^D^

Yeah, it's very unlikely I know, but it does make you wonder as more and more details start to float to the surface. As improbable as it is, them sabotaging MW2 for the PC, the same userbase that made the first title a huge success, could have been a devious way of turning gamers against Activision. Who knows?
29.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 20:28
29.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 20:28
Apr 12, 2010, 20:28
 
An interesting thought, as Treyarch has announced they are keeping dedicated servers in their next foray into CoD....but I'd tend to doubt it. I honestly think they were more than likely streamlining the code accross platforms in a way that would help with the rapid development cycle Activision was pushing.

^D^
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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28.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 19:55
28.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 19:55
Apr 12, 2010, 19:55
 
Honestly as soon as it hit the news that these 2 guys were no longer working for Activision I'm sure every major publisher was on their doorsteps with offers. EA is the 'logical' publisher to go after these guys with tons of money and offer them to be owners of any IP's the create (which is pretty much unheard of in this day and age).

What will be interesting to watch is how many people from Infinity Ward join Respawn Entertainment.
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27.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 18:59
27.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 18:59
Apr 12, 2010, 18:59
 
Yes, this whole situation is a mess and that's probably the only fact anyone outside of the parties involved knows.

Makes me wonder though, did IW botch the PC version of MW2 on purpose to create gamer animosity towards Activision? Silly thought, I know, but with all this mess I guess everything's possible by now.
26.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 16:51
26.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 16:51
Apr 12, 2010, 16:51
 
In a more serious note, the two developers going to EA will only strengthen Activision's case massively and they may see themselves driven to bankruptcy. I mean, if you are the target of a countersuit that hints that you might have defected to another company, you don't actually do that before the case has ended!

This whole case doesn't make sense unless Activision broke the contract when they began developing CoD7. (And assuming the contract details for IW are true) If you're West and Zamp, you've apparently been given exclusive rights to CoD franchise games made during Vietnam and later, or maybe it's after vietnam and that time period is still available. And if that isn't enough, you've also got exclusive rights to anything with the modern warfare title in it. So between those 2 items you just took control of the biggest franchise in gaming. No one can make a modern CoD at Activision, and no one, anywhere, can make a "modern Warfare" game without your permission/approval. (This wasn't a trick, Activision agreed to this, supposedly)

West and Zamp (IW) had activision over a barrel. They put all their leverage behind CoD:MW2 and it worked, HUGE. Now they were set to just sit back making amazing games and having activision have to share profits when them off games that rode their coat tales.

Why the FUCK would anyone think they'd blow that AMAZING situation for a new job with EA? You get to set the terms for activision making any games in the CoD franchise set in modern times. Does it get any better than that? Who gives a rats ass if your boss sucks, that guy needs your approval before he can make games that ride off your coat tails! (And you're coat tails are SOLID FUCKING GOLD)

Activision realized they screwed up with this agreement and fired west and zamp. They probably would have done it back in 2009 when MW2 launched but Legal likely through a shit fit about needing to CYA and forced them to find something to fire them for.

I'm sure this wasn't a surprise to the heads of IW and they had known long before MW2 shipped that Activision wasn't planning on honor'ng the terms of this contract. The fact that west and zamp delivered MW2 is the nail in the coffin. By doing that they held up their end of the bargain and the ball was in Activision's court to break the contract.

Can't wait to read more about this whole mess. I'd love to see Activision forced to work with zamp and west (who will be running their own studio outside of activision) in order to make modern CoD games.
25.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 16:35
25.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 16:35
Apr 12, 2010, 16:35
 
Yeah yeah...typo.

Plus, their reasons for leaving 2015 are separate for their reasons that they ultimately ended up with Activation rather than EA.

This comment was edited on Apr 12, 2010, 18:22.
24.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 15:41
Wolfen
 
24.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 15:41
Apr 12, 2010, 15:41
 Wolfen
 
Ruffiana wrote on Apr 12, 2010, 14:10:
You didn't get there until a few months after the fact, but that was the story I heard from Matt and Olnick.

I was told first hand one reason why they left by one of the individuals who was leaving, and I was there when the suit with EA finished. There is probably truth in your statement. Like I said. Thats not "all of it". =)

Edit: And obviously I cant discuss any more then that. I do not want to upset either of those companies. (and you spelled his name wrong hehe)
23.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 15:05
23.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 15:05
Apr 12, 2010, 15:05
 
It's the battle of the assholes! Activision, a big asshole, is sued and counter-sues two bigger asshole douches.

I'll remake AvP movie tagline, whoever loses we all win. Even if in sheer entertainment.

In a more serious note, the two developers going to EA will only strengthen Activision's case massively and they may see themselves driven to bankruptcy. I mean, if you are the target of a countersuit that hints that you might have defected to another company, you don't actually do that before the case has ended!
22.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 15:05
22.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 15:05
Apr 12, 2010, 15:05
 
PHJF wrote on Apr 12, 2010, 14:47:
Wowee, an Unreal engine shooter! I was just saying how we don't have enough of those!

Wowee, I clearly made this in the wrong thread!

ROTFLMAO....happens to the best of us, mate.

^D^
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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21.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 14:47
PHJF
 
21.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 14:47
Apr 12, 2010, 14:47
 PHJF
 
Wowee, an Unreal engine shooter! I was just saying how we don't have enough of those!

Wowee, I clearly made this in the wrong thread!

This comment was edited on Apr 12, 2010, 14:57.
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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20.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 14:10
20.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 14:10
Apr 12, 2010, 14:10
 
You didn't get there until a few months after the fact, but that was the story I heard from Matt and Olick.

This comment was edited on Apr 12, 2010, 18:23.
19.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 13:59
19.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 13:59
Apr 12, 2010, 13:59
 
Verno--

I hear you.

Gotta admit, there is a weird ring of Karma (or irony, depending on how you look at it): Activision sniped the Deadspace team to work on COD, then EA snipes back with the whole West/Zemp thing. Like them or hate them, they do have the largest selling videogame ever under their belt. Not a bad resume.

I'm tending to believe there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than what we're seeing, though.

^D^

(edited to correct typo)

This comment was edited on Apr 12, 2010, 14:42.
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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18.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 13:37
Wolfen
 
18.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 13:37
Apr 12, 2010, 13:37
 Wolfen
 
Ruffiana wrote on Apr 12, 2010, 13:26:
The bigger irony here is that these guys let the EA umbrella for Activision in the first place. To be fair though EA Partners is a bit different from their old structure with EA back then.

They 'left' the EA umbrella because Tom Kudirka of 2015 was in the process of suing EA for poaching all of his employees.

Im absolutely positive there is more to it then that.
17.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 13:26
17.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 13:26
Apr 12, 2010, 13:26
 
The bigger irony here is that these guys let the EA umbrella for Activision in the first place. To be fair though EA Partners is a bit different from their old structure with EA back then.

They 'left' the EA umbrella because Tom Kudirka of 2015 was in the process of suing EA for poaching all of his employees.
16.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 13:10
Rigs
 
16.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 13:10
Apr 12, 2010, 13:10
 Rigs
 
Sleep wrote on Apr 12, 2010, 12:44:
Anyone involved in MW2 deserves only bad things.

You know, I find it funny that most gamers root for the downfall of major developers or 'the man', as so often said. What makes it particularly hypocritical is when they yell for the developers head and then bitch when a new version of the game they were working on is canceled/ported/buggy...Obviously, MW2 wasn't everything to everyone, but the original was lauded as an FPS masterpiece and at the time, I remember many pushing for more...


=-Rigs-=
"...you're always 'Winner!' with BIG ****** RIGS!"-James Rolfe, 'AVGN'
"...for that, we salute you, you big glorious ****** RIGS!"-Matt McMuscles, 'Wha Happun?!'
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15.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 13:09
Verno
 
15.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 13:09
Apr 12, 2010, 13:09
 Verno
 
Cutter wrote on Apr 12, 2010, 12:44:
It is if they signed anti-competition clauses - which I'd be surprised if they did not. I wonder what's going on with that angle. Awww, I really don't care, they're all selfish douchebags really.

Non-compete clauses are only enforceable when there is potential harm to an employer as a result of the ex-employee being employed elsewhere. So you cannot be prevented from working just for the sake of doing so because you signed a piece of paper. The employer has to prove that the company would be damaged by you working for a competitor. In this case they would probably have a hard time proving that given that the CoD franchise is a goldmine with or without these two.
Playing: Xenoblade Chronicles DE, Ys IX, God of War
Watching: Lupin, You me and the Apocalypse, Days of Thunder
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14.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 12:51
14.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 12:51
Apr 12, 2010, 12:51
 
BobBob wrote on Apr 12, 2010, 12:28:
Doesn't this justify Activision's suspicions all along?

Yep.

Plus Kotaku is reporting today that they were refusing to put the Activision logo at the start of the game despite being told in no uncertain terms to do so, then shipped the gold master with no logo to "stick it to" Activision (the people who paid for the game to be made, of course).

Sounds like these two are big-headed assholes, frankly. So is Activision upper management though, so really we're just watching a bunch of assholes fight, there is no one to root for.
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13.
 
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio
Apr 12, 2010, 12:44
13.
Re: West and Zampella's New Studio Apr 12, 2010, 12:44
Apr 12, 2010, 12:44
 
Here's hoping they last long enough to cause activision grief before crashing and burning themselves. Anyone involved in MW2 deserves only bad things.
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