Infinity Ward execs leave Activision

March 2, 2010

(AP) -- Activision Blizzard Inc. said Tuesday that Jason West and Vince Zampella, executives at "Call of Duty" developer Infinity Ward, are no longer with the company.

Zampella had served as CEO at Infinity Ward, and West as chief technology officer, among other titles.

Activision also said it plans to form a new business unit around the "" franchise, focusing on online content and expanding the brand.

The shake-up comes a day after Activision said it was looking into breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at its Infinity Ward studio.

Activision did not name West and Zampella in Monday's regulatory filing. But the filing said the company expected the "departure of key personnel" as a result.

Infinity Ward did not make every "Call of Duty" title. But it was behind the original game and the latest installment, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," which broke entertainment records last fall when it made $550 million in worldwide sales during its first five days. By January, it crossed the $1 billion mark.

Activision said Tuesday it plans to release a "Call of Duty" game developed by Treyarch this fall. That studio had been behind less successful games in the franchise.

The company also plans a new "Call of Duty" for 2011 from another studio.

Philip Earl, who currently runs Activision Publishing's Asia Pacific region, will head the Call of Duty business unit.

Activision Publishing executives Steve Pearce, and Steve Ackrich, head of production, will lead Infinity Ward on an interim basis, the company added.

Shawn Milne, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets, said while having the top developers leave the company is "a new risk."

"A greater risk would be whether or not the two heads end up taking more talent away from (Activision), or the whole team leaves," he said in a note to investors.

Still, he said that given Activision's compensation model - based on a franchise's profitability - "we would believe there would be no shortage of top development talent looking to work on such a valuable brand."

Shares of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision slid 2 cents to $10.79 in after-hours trading.

Explore further: Activision posts 3Q profit, backs 2009 outlook

0 shares

Related Stories

Activision posts 3Q profit, backs 2009 outlook

November 5, 2009

(AP) -- It's been a rough year for the video game industry, but Activision Blizzard Inc. reported a profit for its third quarter because of a good response for games such as "Guitar Hero 5" and "World of Warcraft."

New 'Call of Duty' could set entertainment record

November 6, 2009

(AP) -- This holiday season's biggest entertainment blockbuster likely will be a sequel to a popular franchise, with jarring depictions of war and an intricate story of good versus evil. It could easily rake in more than ...

Eager gamers line up for 'Modern Warfare 2'

November 10, 2009

(AP) -- Ryan Norwalk has cleared his schedule. The 26-year-old California State University student plans to spend Tuesday gunning down foes in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," the highly anticipated first-person shooter ...

'Call of Duty' sells $310M in N Amer, UK in 24 hrs

November 12, 2009

(AP) -- First-day sales of Activision Blizzard Inc.'s "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" broke records, raking in an estimated $310 million in North America and the United Kingdom alone.

Activision Blizzard: 'Call of Duty' has made $1B

January 13, 2010

(AP) -- Video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. said Wednesday that the game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" has brought in more than $1 billion in revenue since it went on sale in November.

Recommended for you

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation

August 28, 2015

To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sci_Fi_Si
not rated yet Mar 03, 2010
breaches of contract and insubordination... Insubordination? This isn't the Army you know. Activision were probably screwing them out of every penny they could and so they started to look 'elsewhere' for work - which would be the breach of contract...

If you honestly think that these hundred-million to billion dollar companies have made all their money by being sweet, upstanding, decent people think again.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.