NEWS - Sunday, April 25, 2010

Infinity Ward Exits Continue, Four More Depart

With Jason West and Vince Zampella long gone, the bleeding is continuing unabated at Infinity Ward. Kotaku is reporting that four more developers have departed the Modern Warfare studio.
Senior designers Mohammad Alavi and Chad Grenier have reportedly submitted their resignations, as have programmer Chris Lambert and designer Jason McCord. They join a list that includes some 17 employees, at least five of whom have joined West and Zampella at the newly-formed Respawn Entertainment.

In an apparent effort to plug the talent drain, Activision is spreading Zampella and West’s bonuses among the remaining staff. Activision blogger Dan Amrich conceded that there will likely be even more departures despite the additional incentive to say.

"Maybe they will join Respawn, maybe not. I’m confused, because by leaving, they are giving up their bonus -- and the more people that leave, the bigger bonus gets for the people who stay," Amrich said.

Analyst Michael Pachter expressed doubt that the departures will prompt consumers to avoid future Call of Duty games, "The majority of consumers will either not know or will not care enough to shun future games."

However, Pachter did say that he believes additional competition from Respawn, EA and DICE will mean that future titles will sell fewer units than before.

Zampella and West were terminated at the beginning of March, and have since formed a new studio and signed an exclusive distribution deal with Electronic Arts. For its part, Activision will continue publishing one new Call of Duty per year, with Treyarch rumored to be working on a game set during the Vietnam War that’s due this holiday season.



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