ActiBlizz Q1 2010 financials: Kotick – Acti had “no choice but to fire” Zampella and West

Thursday, 6th May 2010 21:51 GMT By Johnny Cullen


Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has just said in the company’s Q1 financial call that the firm had “no choice but to fire” ex-heads at Infinity Ward Vince Zampella and Jason West.

He also openly admitted his opinion on the situation for the first time since the situation began back in March, saying that that he expects more staff to leave the Modern Warfare developer.

“We felt we had no choice but to terminate the Infinity Ward executives. There was no gray area, as talented as they might have been”, said Kotick

“There was nothing that would have allowed us to retain them, we did this to protect the company’s assets and the interest of our shareholders.”

Zampella and West were fired for “insubordination”, and Kotick expects more than the 35 that have already left to leave Infinity Ward, “and we wish we could have convinced some of these incredibly talented people to stay,” he added.

Kotick also said that the firings had nothing to do with not wanting to pay bonuses.

“The decision to terminate the two executives was not done lightly, and was not done to deprive them of their bonuses,” he said. “Nor was it done without a great deal of deliberation about the consequences.

“I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends. Their conduct was a compromise of our friendship, which was equally disappointing.

Infinity Ward is re-hiring staff at the moment, said Kotick, and continues to work on a second MW2 map pack which is slated for release later in the year.



  1. Hunam

    I had no choice to eat that choccy bar just now either. Right on Kotick, I know how it feels dude.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    #2 5 years ago

    So treating them fairly and paying them their bonuses wasn’t an option then?

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Hunam

    If they people who do stay get all the bonus pot meant for everyone else, they’ll not need to work another day of their lives at this rate :P

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Gekidami

    Seeing as Zampella and West tried to walk off with the Modern Warfare IP i doubt ActiBlizz really thought they deserved their bonuses.

    #5 5 years ago

    I doubt Acti will pay a penny of the bonus money until after the case.

    If they did, they might have to pay them twice. Once to the current employees and again to West/Zampela et al at the order of the court.

    They can now use the case as an excuse to leave the bonus money sitting there accumulating more and more interest for Bobby’s fat pockets…

    #6 5 years ago

    Yeah, that’s right.

    Zampella and west were so amazingly happy with Acti and being treated so well but they just inexpliccably decided to mess it all up.

    Yeah right…

    #7 5 years ago
  8. manamana

    I dunno about the detailed Background, but i can remember that the fat man gained tons of money in the first weeks, after MW2 released. Why does he butt-kick IW so lightly? Everyone wants to gain more and the CODcow started to skyrock imo …

    Maybe it was zenith, who knows …

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Hunam

    Even before all this It was obvious that CoD would never repeat the sales of MW2 again, it just never happens in gaming, the games could get better and better but it’s just how the industry moves. Knowing this I guess kotick felt that IW were more trouble than they were worth and gutted them.

    #9 5 years ago

    @ 8: Kotick personally made a cool $50m from selling SOME of his Acti shares a day or two after MW2 was released iirc.

    Maybe it was his love of money that refused to let him share the spoils fairly with IW that made them so keen to go elsewhere.

    @ 9: Obvious??

    How could it be obvious when more and more consoles are being sold day by day and more and more copies of MW2 continue to be sold?

    If you’re releasing a game to a bigger fan base on a bigger install base, the sales sould naturally be higher, no?

    #10 5 years ago
  11. manamana

    Likely. And maybe he had talkings with Bungie in mind. And thought: “ah well, those guys can do pretty MP to. They can build whole universes. I’ll give them a coin and freedom to playaround. But for the next ten years they are MINE! Muaharhar!”

    Or so.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. mojo

    “I felt I had no choice but to suck more dicks for money. There was no gray area, as talented as I might have been”, said Kotick

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Blerk

    I hope one day we can finally find out what they did.

    #13 5 years ago

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