NEWS - Wednesday, May 5, 2010

EA Says Respawn Deal Fell Into Our Laps

When Call of Duty creators Jason West and Vince Zampella were very publicly let go from Infinity Ward, Activision cited "insubordination" in the form of secret meetings with an unnamed rival publisher. Then, West and Zampella formed Respawn, and signed a publishing deal with Activision rival Electronic Arts. Coincidence? According to EA, yes.
"[The Respawn deal] was something that fell into our laps, after they were terminated and announced they were free and independent, and we went for it," said EA Games label president Frank Gibeau to Gamasutra. "The fact that those guys are doing what they’re doing, we’re very excited."

While Gibeau didn’t specifically address Activision’s previous allegations about secret meetings, West and Zampella have strongly denied the charges in the past. And according to Gibeau, EA’s role in the entire ordeal was simply seizing an opportunity only after West and Zampella departed from Activision.

"The fact that we were able to take advantage of an opportunity that came our way and partner with Respawn and create a relationship with them has been spectacular, something that we’re very excited about," Gibeau said. "It’s a key part of how we’re growing our EA Partners business going forward."

And it’s also a part of how EA intends to reclaim the first-person shooter genre from Activision, along with the forthcoming reboot of Medal of Honor. "From an overall shooter portfolio standpoint, we fully intend to go into the shooter category to shake it up," Gibeau said.



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