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Author Topic: Infinity Ward studio heads no longer with the company  (Read 7473 times)
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« Reply #160 on: April 23, 2010, 11:27:06 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on April 23, 2010, 05:38:12 AM

looks like the remaining employees will make some extra cash.

Dirty pool. Attempting to buy their loyalty. Bet it doesn't work
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« Reply #161 on: April 23, 2010, 01:57:09 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on April 23, 2010, 05:38:12 AM

looks like the remaining employees will make some extra cash.

Talk about bribery.

Makes me wonder how much of their lives they had to sign away to get said money.
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« Reply #162 on: April 23, 2010, 03:38:04 PM »

As pointed out elsewhere, that isn't what it seems.  As part of their counter-suit Activision stated they would pay out West/Zampella's bonuses to any remaining employees once the matter is resolved.  Given that the suit probably won't be resolved for a year or more, that's a long time to wait.  And if it ends in a settlement instead of an outright victory then they probably won't have to pay out any of it to the remaining employees.
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« Reply #163 on: April 23, 2010, 10:03:05 PM »

i don't wanna sound like a broken record but....

another 4 bites the dust ...etc etc


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Senior designers Mohammad Alavi and Chad Grenier are out, along with programmer Chris Lambert and designer Jason McCord.
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« Reply #164 on: April 23, 2010, 10:11:10 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 23, 2010, 03:38:04 PM

As pointed out elsewhere, that isn't what it seems.  As part of their counter-suit Activision stated they would pay out West/Zampella's bonuses to any remaining employees once the matter is resolved.  Given that the suit probably won't be resolved for a year or more, that's a long time to wait.  And if it ends in a settlement instead of an outright victory then they probably won't have to pay out any of it to the remaining employees.


Those will or won't come down the line eventually.  In the meantime, they still have the standard royalty bonuses, and from what I hear, they're insanely large.  But they come with the strings that you have to stick around for X period of time.  It will be interesting to see how many people stay and what happens.  IW probably had a hundred people total.  I'd wager somewhere between 50-70 elect to stick it out, particularly if they haven't been there since the founding days like a lot of the leads.
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« Reply #165 on: April 27, 2010, 02:21:40 PM »

26!
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« Reply #166 on: April 27, 2010, 11:43:52 PM »

And it gets even worse for Actizard:

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Group of 38 developers allege publisher withheld $75-$125 million in royalties, bonuses, and stock options related to Modern Warfare 2 sales and technology during Q1 2010; massive punitive payout also sought; Activision says case "without merit."

Following Activision's dismissal of Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella in March, the two executives responded with a $36 million lawsuit. Weeks later, Activision responded in kind, filing a countersuit accusing the two developers of being "self-serving schemers" trying to set up a new studio with the help of an unnamed Northern California publisher.

Now, two weeks after West and Zampella announced the formation of independent studio Respawn Entertainment with seed money from Electronic Arts, a third lawsuit has apparently been filed by members of the Infinity Ward rank-and-file. G4 reports that 38 members of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 team are now suing Activision, claiming the publisher withheld $54 million of $82 million in Modern Warfare 2009 royalties it was due to pay out.

Go Infinity Ward devs.
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« Reply #167 on: April 28, 2010, 04:10:03 PM »

those guys we all trust(!)-yup,thats right the Analysts,say that Activision are (likely)to shut Infinity Wards after the second MW2 map pack is out

CVG

Quote
Activision is likely to close Infinity Ward following the completion of the second Modern Warfare 2 map pack.

That's according to Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey, who predicts that Modern Warfare 3 development will be handled by two other studios.

"Continued defections from their Infinity Ward studio have created meaningful uncertainty around the future of their Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise," he said in an investor note.


of course all this with IW can't be good for Activsion and them closing the studio and sweep it all under the carpet doesn't sound too far from what i expect

i remember reading somewhere a month or two ago that Activision were gonna split IW up and put them all in different Activision owned companies...that is if they wanted to stay with Activision
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« Reply #168 on: April 28, 2010, 04:21:35 PM »

With the amount of talent lost its certainly possible but it would really mess with their plans.  Treyarch still has to finish the CoD game for this year so they couldn't start on MW3 until early 2011 and Acti wants it for 2011.  I guess they could kill off the other CoD game that Sledgehammer is working on and try to put them on MW3.

I think they will probably just try and restaff IW up and push MW3 out the door.
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« Reply #169 on: April 28, 2010, 04:25:05 PM »

there was already a rumor I posted awhile back that IW wasn't doing MW3 anyways
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« Reply #170 on: April 28, 2010, 04:48:13 PM »

Does the developer even really matter, if the publisher intends for them to follow a specific design pattern? For example, when Ensemble Studios was closed, how difficult would it be for another top tier developer,like Relic for example, to come in and re-create a very solid Halo Wars 2? Couldn't a quality developer like Crytek (of Crysis fame) or Epic create an extremely competent Halo?

Do gamers even care about the developer if the end product is a home run? I find it difficult to believe that a Modern Warfare 3, created by Epic, and designed to be similar to the other games in the franchise, would not sell like gangbusters. I could only see complications if you mismatched the developer's strengths to the game genre. (For example, hiring Obsidian to create an FPS)
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« Reply #171 on: April 28, 2010, 04:56:32 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on April 28, 2010, 04:48:13 PM

Does the developer even really matter, if the publisher intends for them to follow a specific design pattern? For example, when Ensemble Studios was closed, how difficult would it be for another top tier developer,like Relic for example, to come in and re-create a very solid Halo Wars 2? Couldn't a quality developer like Crytek (of Crysis fame) or Epic create an extremely competent Halo?

Do gamers even care about the developer if the end product is a home run? I find it difficult to believe that a Modern Warfare 3, created by Epic, and designed to be similar to the other games in the franchise, would not sell like gangbusters. I could only see complications if you mismatched the developer's strengths to the game genre. (For example, hiring Obsidian to create an FPS)

that's up to you and you alone on whether it matters...well,matters for you that is

what did you think of Treyarch's offering of Call of Duty 3 or Call of Duty:World at War?

all depends on that big boss as well,Obsidion got a lot of shit over KOTOR2 when taking over from Bioware,even though if they hadn't of been rushed from Lucasarts it could of been quite the game

one of my favourite games of all time Star Wars Battlefront has been getting thrown from developer to developer,at this point in time i would just be happy if the game came out...hopefully Activision will have more patience than Lucasarts
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« Reply #172 on: April 28, 2010, 05:48:26 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on April 28, 2010, 04:48:13 PM

Do gamers even care about the developer if the end product is a home run? I find it difficult to believe that a Modern Warfare 3, created by Epic, and designed to be similar to the other games in the franchise, would not sell like gangbusters. I could only see complications if you mismatched the developer's strengths to the game genre. (For example, hiring Obsidian to create an FPS)

I think one of the issues is that there aren't many high profile third parties left that are independent.  Epic isn't going to work on a franchise where they don't have a stake in the IP.  Same applies to Valve, Crytek, etc.  In your example of Relic and Halo Wars, Relic is owned by THQ so MS would have to agree to some sort of revenue sharing agreement with another publisher.  

So its probably either another internal Activision team (and offhand I can't think of a superstar dev left there except for Blizzard) or an unproven startup like Sledgehammer.  
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« Reply #173 on: April 28, 2010, 06:30:40 PM »

It's always interesting trying to figure out if it's the devs that bring magic to a title, or is it just the franchise itself? Dev teams are so monstrous today, it's difficult to pin a game's success on anyone one, or even a dozen persons.

I can't count how many games came out tagged as "from the makers of <Insert Popular Game Title Here>" and flopped over the last decade and a half. I used to joke how often the truth was that a game might have like "a color artist that worked on Diablo" and somehow that would translate into "from the makers of Diablo!" I don't think Respawn sounds like that, but you never really know how integral individuals are to the process. It's like, what did they program, what did they design, did they create a favorite mission, etc.

I felt like the Medal of Honor: Allied Assault team all but dissolved (guess they thought it was their ticket out of Oklahoma, where dev 2015 was based) after that game's breakthrough success, dev 2015 hired a bunch of, well, scabs, and went into Medal of Valor: Vietnam oblivion, while EA moved MOH development to in-house studios and never really got close to the MOHAA sales success.

And I do get the feeling in the long term, Activision Blizzard's committing that sort of mistake of Pride, that oh, we HAVE the franchise and we'll just hire a bunch of new people and it'll be just as good. And maybe OTOH the former Infinity Ward folks feel like they're development geniuses and they'll just join a new company or start one and boom (which, to be fair, is what they did with the first Call of Duty, forming Infinity Ward, and billing themselves as "the product leads on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.").
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« Reply #174 on: April 28, 2010, 07:00:39 PM »

Yeah, maybe the next CoD game will sell well based on name recognition alone.  Just look at how many MoH games came out after Allied Assault.  They'll see it dry up pretty quickly, though.

Think of where Activision was last year:  They had the three of the most powerful IPs in gaming:  Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and WoW.  Call of Duty is going to fizzle, Guitar Hero has dried up, and WoW is slowing-ish.  The "let's sell mounts" thing was a quick cash grab for a company that's a little scared right now.  This year should be very interesting.
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« Reply #175 on: April 28, 2010, 07:13:17 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on April 28, 2010, 07:00:39 PM

Yeah, maybe the next CoD game will sell well based on name recognition alone.  Just look at how many MoH games came out after Allied Assault.  They'll see it dry up pretty quickly, though.

Think of where Activision was last year:  They had the three of the most powerful IPs in gaming:  Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and WoW.  Call of Duty is going to fizzle, Guitar Hero has dried up, and WoW is slowing-ish.  The "let's sell mounts" thing was a quick cash grab for a company that's a little scared right now.  This year should be very interesting.

I agree with most of that, but WoW's mount sell was not a cash grab, imo.  Blizzard makes money for nothing.  They may affect the Activision bottom-line, but otherwise might as well be two different companies.
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« Reply #176 on: April 28, 2010, 07:19:18 PM »

Kotick commented on the 26 deserters about half-way down in the comments.
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Robert Kotick  04/27/10 - After reading some comments, there are a lot negativity towards Activision. We treat our employees with a lot of respect but after the success of MW2, West and Zampella gained a huge ego. They pushed us into to a corner and we were forced to relieve them of their position. We just didn't anticipate their influence over their current members. Even after this fiasco is over, Activision and IW will be able to recover and bring forth more critically acclaimed games.
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« Reply #177 on: April 28, 2010, 07:27:11 PM »

 icon_lol at Kotick.
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« Reply #178 on: April 28, 2010, 07:51:13 PM »

"there are a lot of negativity"?
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« Reply #179 on: April 29, 2010, 12:39:48 AM »

a 3D realms dev on his twitter says another 4 have left

http://twitter.com/georgeb3dr/status/13027466181

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4 more people leave Infinity Ward today. Near 50% of dev staff. ETA till IW closure? Activision earnings report in a week.

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« Reply #180 on: April 29, 2010, 02:05:49 AM »

Quote from: Purge on April 28, 2010, 07:19:18 PM

Kotick commented on the 26 deserters about half-way down in the comments.
Complete baloney.  Even Kotick knows he can't comment on stuff when there's active litigation, much less on Kotaku with terrible grammar.  Fake.
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« Reply #181 on: April 29, 2010, 02:16:48 AM »

Quote from: kathode on April 29, 2010, 02:05:49 AM

Quote from: Purge on April 28, 2010, 07:19:18 PM

Kotick commented on the 26 deserters about half-way down in the comments.
Complete baloney.  Even Kotick knows he can't comment on stuff when there's active litigation, much less on Kotaku with terrible grammar.  Fake.

That being said, it's about all they COULD say. Tongue
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« Reply #182 on: April 30, 2010, 08:58:31 PM »

Gamasutra had an interesting "what do analysts and gamers think?" type article about all this:
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28305/Analysis_How_Does_The_Infinity_Ward_Fiasco_Affect_Call_Of_Duty.php
I found this quote amusing...
Quote
Asked if the dispute between Activision and Infinity Ward tainted his perception of the franchise, gamer Tohon Mink summed up the thoughts of many Call of Duty fans by replying, "What dispute?"
I have this vision of the guy looking like Sean Penn in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

"Duuude, there's a dispute? Woah. Cosmic. What's Activision?"
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« Reply #183 on: July 10, 2010, 04:49:11 PM »

it's been awhile, time for a lawsuit update.
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« Reply #184 on: December 22, 2010, 11:06:29 AM »

the drama llama returns, this time Activision is targeting EA.
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« Reply #185 on: March 17, 2011, 12:38:14 AM »

Judge rules $400 million lawsuit against EA can move forward
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« Reply #186 on: April 04, 2011, 03:33:07 PM »

now Zampella and West are trying to regain control of the Modern Warfare franchise.

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Speaking to GameSpot, a lawyer representing West and Zampella indicated that in addition to actual and punitive damages, the two are seeking a rescission of the MOU. If granted, Activision would co-own the Modern Warfare brand with Vince and Zampella, which would give the two the right to release their own copies of the game. A voided contract would also give West and Zampella the right to create new games in the Modern Warfare franchise, he said.
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« Reply #187 on: May 25, 2012, 07:18:55 PM »

West And Zampella talk about the upcoming lawsuit.
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« Reply #188 on: May 31, 2012, 08:49:42 PM »

Settlement...er..settled


no use clicking on the link yet,no details have been released
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« Reply #189 on: June 01, 2012, 02:17:13 AM »

Quote from: metallicorphan on May 31, 2012, 08:49:42 PM

Settlement...er..settled


no use clicking on the link yet,no details have been released

And there won't be as its confidential. Safe to say Activision was the one writing the checks though.
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« Reply #190 on: June 01, 2012, 03:10:55 AM »

Quote from: Jumangi on June 01, 2012, 02:17:13 AM

Quote from: metallicorphan on May 31, 2012, 08:49:42 PM

Settlement...er..settled


no use clicking on the link yet,no details have been released

And there won't be as its confidential. Safe to say Activision was the one writing the checks though.

Reading the blurb on at the link proves that to be true.

So, yeah, there was some use clicking on the link.
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« Reply #191 on: June 01, 2012, 04:13:02 AM »

Yeah, I'm sure Activision wrote some pretty hefty checks to put this behind them and avoid any more terrible press with confidentiality clauses.  Everything that had been found/said/leaked so far was pretty damning.
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