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EA announces new development studio headed by Zampella, West

Monday, 12th April 2010 14:11 GMT By Johnny Cullen

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EA’s just announced the formation of a brand new studio headed by ex-Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West called Respawn Entertainment.

It comes as the pair were fired from the Modern Warfare developer last month by publisher Activision.

The new studio will have full control of whatever IPs it develops, while EA will handle worldwide publishing and distribution rights to whatever it creates via EA Partners.

“For the past decade we led a great development team and poured our hearts into creating an epic game franchise,” said Zampella. “. 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.”

“Now that the team is in control of the games and brands, we can ensure that the fans are treated as well as they deserve,” added West.

“Jason and Vince are two of the top creative leaders in the entertainment industry. At EA, we’re honored to be their partners and to give them the support they need to hire a team and return to making incredible games,” said Frank Gibeau, President of EA Games.

It comes as West and Zampella are knee-deep in a lawsuit with Activision, which the firm’s countered as of last week. The publisher stated previously the pair were looking to move from Acti to another publisher, including EA.

PR below.

Jason West and Vince Zampella Form ‘Respawn Entertainment’

All-New Independent Development Studio Signs Exclusive Worldwide Publishing Agreement with EA

LOS ANGELES, Apr 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, Jason West and Vince Zampella, creators of the multi-billion dollar Call of Duty(R) franchise, announced the formation of a new development studio — Respawn Entertainment. The move positions the Respawn Entertainment leadership team as the owners of the intellectual property they create. The company will focus on creating state-of-the-art gaming experiences for global audiences. The studio is currently assembling a world-class team of designers, artists and engineers. Applicants can submit resumes to jobs@respawn.com.

Respawn is pleased to also announce that it has awarded Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), through the distinguished EA Partners program, exclusive worldwide publishing and distribution rights to future games. Terms were not disclosed. West and Zampella are represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

“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.”

“We’re excited,” added Jason West, President of Respawn Entertainment. “Now that the team is in control of the games and brands, we can ensure that the fans are treated as well as they deserve.”

Frank Gibeau, President of the EA Games Label commented, “This is the start of a great publishing partnership – one that I expect will develop blockbuster game franchises. Jason and Vince are two of the top creative leaders in the entertainment industry. At EA, we’re honored to be their partners and to give them the support they need to hire a team and return to making incredible games.”

About Respawn Entertainment

Founded in 2010, Respawn Entertainment is an independent videogame development studio based in Encino, California. The studio was formed by Jason West and Vince Zampella, former co-founders of Infinity Ward and creators of the multi-billion dollar franchise Call of Duty(R). More information about the company will be available soon at www.respawn.com.

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46 Comments

  1. subversus

    wow, it’s on!!!

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Johnny Cullen

    HOLY SHIT! 8O

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    Ha Ha :D

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Broncanus

    And this WASN’T the plan all along? And Activision DIDN’T find out about it? Right? Anyone?

    #4 4 years ago
  5. subversus

    @4 Fuck Activision :D

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    It’s hot in here. Anyone else hot in here?

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Broncanus

    @5 That’s neither here nor there, but the way little people on the Internet sided with the two guys was VERY funny! Let’s call it Robin Hood syndrome :)

    #7 4 years ago
  8. fdelfino

    Just bring another BF with a similar engine from MW2 and dedicated servers and we’re on!!

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Razor

    Respawn…hohoho.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. cookiejar

    Oh this will be good.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. subversus

    @7 it’s not about Robin Hood, it’s about a fresh new IP which Acti didn’t want to finance. They “sabotaged” MW3 because they wanted to create new IP and now they can. And that’s good. And Acti sucks.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Raining_Upwards

    Shit just got real.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Broncanus

    @11 I don’t think ANYONE comes out of it smelling of roses… just some maybe slightly less shitty than others ;)

    #13 4 years ago
  14. subversus

    @13 I don’t care how they smell, I want a great game from them.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Broncanus

    @14 Oh me too, just from an industry perspective it’s a big old unprofessional mess. But that’s what you get eh? Good luck to them and Acti.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Erthazus

    But what they can do?

    I really don’t know. Look.

    EA have Battlefield + Medal Of Honor. So we are going to see another Modern Warfare clone? Gosh…………….

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Patrick Garratt

    News story of the year. In April. Impressive.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Goliath

    West and Zampella are a bunch of idiots! This will only add credence to Activision’s assertions. They should have waited for the legal process they started to take its course.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Bulk Slash

    Good for West and Zampella. Kotick wanted them on the assembly line churning out bi-annual updates to Modern Warfare and they wanted to create something new.

    Once upon a time it would have been deeply ironic that they’d gone to EA to get the freedom to create new IPs.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. AlmightyDogbert

    Whoever finds out what game they are developing would have an even bigger story than this… eh Pat?

    I thought these guys were likely to be intergrated into the medal of honour studios, guess I was wrong. However, another modern day military shooter for EA? they are going to have trouble fitting into all of them into a schedule.. expect delays a plenty.

    Maybe, they are going to try something a little bit different? – maybe a futuristic shooter especially since Halo is coming to an end.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. CptPlaceholder

    Well…. slap? http://img532.yfrog.com/i/slap.jpg/

    #21 4 years ago
  22. BillyBatts

    The EAmpire Strikes Back

    #22 4 years ago
  23. AlmightyDogbert

    lol @ 22

    #23 4 years ago
  24. blackdreamhunk

    personalty I think it’s not smart move by EA. there are other better game devs out there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TJ3Yv_vgUc

    as for infinity ward I don’t see them ever making a come back. there is a lot of people that donot respect even the old game devs.

    By the way NG4 website is a dictatorship and has a lot of religious haters. Ng4 is another site I have proven to be not creatable. They have people trash talk Christians when I get in there and start posting proof NG4 mods they delete what had to say.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJMIzpkbChE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6ddf00iqDM

    christian hate

    don’t make subjects that you can’t handle then delete what people have to say about it. It’s a dictatorship!

    another reason why people should trust media they tell you stuff they only want you to hear.

    this another reason I hate the gaming industry media

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Suikoden Fan

    whats that? EA get the 2 Call of Duty people under their wing? whats that? I need not bother with another activision title again? ooooooooo.

    I expect thats going through alot of minds right now.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Anders

    I love BDH.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Blerk

    Heh heh – and we didn’t see this one coming, did we? How long before Infinity Ward employees start mysteriously resigning, then?

    #27 4 years ago
  28. blackdreamhunk

    the only company i like from actvision is blizzard other than I will not be buying any games from them. I will not be buying any games from ex infinity ward too.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. AlmightyDogbert

    Without call of duty, all activision really bring to blizzard is bad spiderman games. Blizzard is the money maker, activision is it’s little bitch. This is going to be exaggerated by the time catacylism comes out.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. DeSpiritusBellum

    Let’s see if they can take some time out of their bitchfighting schedule to actually make some games, err, money, sorry EA.

    It is going to be very interesting once they actually start working again though. If either IW or Respawn end up making a crappy game, they’ll look like the biggest idiots on the planet.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. locus2k1

    Things are just going to get more and more interesting. I am intrigued to see what happens over the next 18 critical from this… from both EA and Activision.

    IW staff go to Respawn?

    Completely new IP or a MW clone under a new name?

    How will Activision counteract with MW3 and Ghost spin off?

    More importantly, how many average Joes will know about everything that has happened when it all comes around again in 2011? (“IW”‘s Release of CoD/MW)

    I’m off to get the popcorn out :)

    #31 4 years ago
  32. The Hindle

    Holy shit that was sooner then i expected. Now Infinity ward staff all have to leave and thinks are gonna get fucking A.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. AlmightyDogbert

    What engine would they use for their games?
    Will they have to take the time to make a new one or will they be using unreal or maybe EA lends them frostbite?

    #33 4 years ago
  34. AlmightyDogbert

    @32

    too soon perhaps?

    #34 4 years ago
  35. AbolfazlA

    Yes . Go EA

    #35 4 years ago
  36. rainer

    Haha Activison cannot be pleased at all with this, go EA indeed.

    I wonder what kinds of games they will do, they wanted to take a break for CoD which was part of the fall out with Activision.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. Zonejeu

    That’s huge… Funny thing is that Respawn Studio opens in the very same city where IW is, so we can expect many employees leaving Activision now as they just have to move across the street.

    I’ll watch the Activision stock in the next few days, no doubt it will go down down down…

    #37 4 years ago
  38. G1GAHURTZ

    Cool! I just applied!

    #38 4 years ago
  39. theoperator

    As if EA will have them making something new. Go “Medal of Duty 7: Call of Honour”.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. No_PUDding

    TERATON!

    As far as news goes, this is entertaining to read. Wowee.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. mington

    Maybe they want to do something more outlandish

    MW2 went as far as they could go in a believable real world setting

    i think they’re gonna turn it up a notch BAM

    #41 4 years ago
  42. endgame

    fuck yeah! this is awesome. i’m so glad for u guys. :) and fu actipiece of sh1t!

    #42 4 years ago
  43. Dralen

    I’m interested to see what kind of games come out of all this. Personally, I’m hoping a complete new direction.

    #43 4 years ago
  44. JimFear666

    So… Basicly, activision was right when they said that they were talking to the competitor?

    #44 4 years ago
  45. The_Red

    BEST, NEW, 2010 (So far). In your face Kotick.

    #45 4 years ago
  46. Reconzero

    @16 / Erthazus
    Lol at ignorant codkids.
    To clear up your gaming history;
    Battlefield: First game made in 2002
    Medal Of Honor: First game made in 1999
    Call Of Duty: First game made in 2003
    ————
    Battlefield: First modern game made in 2005
    Call Of Duty: First modern game made in late 2007/ early 2008.

    So much for CoD knockoffs.
    By the way, don’t forget to tighten the drool cup on your helmet. It spilled last time.

    #46 4 years ago

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