Tippl: Activision treats its developers “extremely well”

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:45 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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Thomas Tippl, Activision’s COO, has revealed to the L.A. Times that not only does the company treat its developers “extremely well”, but that it’s currently configuring the new leadership team for IW.

Speaking in an interview posted yesterday, Trippl said that being able to work on a successful franchise like Call of Duty is an “opportunity many would crave”.

“If you put yourself in the developer’s shoes, the ability to work on the biggest franchise in the industry and bring your creative product to an audience the size of the Call of Duty franchise is an opportunity many would crave,” he said.

“It’s not a secret that Call of Duty has been one of the most successful franchises in the industry. The franchise plays an extremely important role within the overall plans for Activision.

“A couple of weeks ago, we announced we will get more focused with a dedicated Call of Duty business to rally the best talent of the company against the opportunity that Call of Duty presents for the company. We’ve had multiple studios working with the franchise so we can come up with innovative, new content every year.

“Nobody should be surprised that we will continue to focus disproportionately against the franchise.

“Today, we have three studios working on Call of Duty. We have Infinity Ward, which made Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Then we have Treyarch, which will be releasing a Call of Duty game in the fall of 2010. Treyarch also developed Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty 3.

“Most recently, we’ve added Sledgehammer in the Bay Area. We haven’t yet announced the content of their game, but it’s going to be an innovative take that will further broaden the audience for Call of Duty”.

As far as Infinity Ward is concerned, Trippl said that there are plans in place to get things moving along, and that Activision’s “independent studio model” provides the team with not only creative freedom, but monetary benefits as well.

“We have interim leadership in place [for IW]”, he revealed. “We have two senior execs currently: Steve Pearce, our chief technology officer, and Steve Ackrich, who is the head of production for the company. We are currently in the process of configuring the new leadership team there.

“Infinity Ward still has nearly 100 people. They’ve built a deep bench, and the change of guard will provide an opportunity for some of the rising stars to put their own stamp on the Call of Duty franchise. In addition, we will provide them with all the resources internally and recruit talent from the outside.

“We treat our developers extremely well. We have an independent studio model that provides them a lot of creative freedom while we take care of the back office stuff so they can focus on making games. If their games are successful, they are compensated better here than anywhere else. We’ve been paying our talent millions of dollars for their work. Our setup provides a win-win opportunity. We ensure your work will reach a wide audience.

“Therefore, we have attracted, and we will continue to attract, the top talent in this industry”.

Yesterday, an anonymous source at Infinity Ward told Kotaku that the studio as we knew it “was dead”, causing another IW staffer to claim that it wasn’t.

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