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Kotick “betrayed” by Zampella and West

Monday, 27 September 2010 13:02 GMT By Johnny Cullen

respawn

Activision boss Bobby Kotick has told Edge he felt “betrayed” by ex-Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West.

West and Zampella were famously fired from the Modern Warfare developer in March for “insubordination.”

The pair went on to form Respawn Entertainment, who have teamed up with EA Partners for its first game, which seems to be a multi-plat title.

But Kotick says what they apparently did “shook my belief in two specific people.”

“The frustrating thing about that is, the stuff that these guys did, I never would have expected them to do,” he told Edge.

“We’re a public company, we’ve got ethics obligations, and the things they did were… I would go to jail if I did them.”

He added he knew several staff would leave Infinity Ward following what happened, but Kotick says the team is still “focused and engaged,” with 70 people still at the studio and over 5,000 resumes sent in from those who’d like to work at the studio.

Infinity Ward is currently working on another Call of Duty title, speculated to be Modern Warfare 3.

Via EG.

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31 Comments

  1. M2Kx

    Ok, that’s kinda bizarre…
    But that:
    “He added he knew several staff would leave Infinity Ward following what happened, but Kotick says the team is still “focused and engaged,” with 70 people still at the studio and over 5,000 resumes sent in from those who’d like to work at the studio.”

    Sounds promissing, looking foward to MW3 :)

    #1 4 years ago
  2. EscoBlades

    Like i said beofre….Kotick had friends??!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Freek

    4999 were from fans aplying for test jobs, “I can haz MW3, pulease?”

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    @2 he also have a wife and kids (two daughters) if i’m not mistaken :)

    #4 4 years ago
  5. M2Kx

    (two daughters)

    pix plz

    #5 4 years ago
  6. freedoms_stain

    @4 Thai bride? :s

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Blerk

    So when are you going to tell us what they actually did, Bobby?

    #7 4 years ago
  8. KrazyKraut

    @6 XD
    Her name is Mai. She is very obsequious and keeps the house clean.

    Wtf…I would like the true story about this whole shit….but no one really wants to talk.. :(

    #8 4 years ago
  9. troyx

    didn’t actvision file trademark for “future warfare” ? i thought there next game would be that not mw3

    #9 4 years ago
  10. M2Kx

    They have three CoD Dev-Teams at the moment, I guess one of them will develop mw3 for 2011 ;)

    #10 4 years ago
  11. back_up

    they also did same things with EA

    #11 4 years ago
  12. freedoms_stain

    I was under the impression that Zampella and West were planning to take IW to EA and take the Modern Warfare brand with them.

    Dunno if that’s rooted in truth or pure speculation I read somewhere (probably here :p)

    The fact that Respawn are EA affiliated lends some support to that, as well as the lawsuit over the Modern Warfare brand.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. RETARDED VIKING

    Ha! he has my facial hair! :D

    #13 4 years ago
  14. AHA-Lambda

    @7 – exactly he can boohoo all he wants he’s being terribly vague about what they did

    #14 4 years ago
  15. G1GAHURTZ

    Totally betrayed.

    All those millions…?

    They’re meaningless.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. theevilaires

    Ok ummm can we find a different headline pic for these fuckers really? Its getting annoying seeing the same two dudes sitting side by side like they are a couple.

    WE KNOW WHO THEY ARE BY NOW!

    #16 4 years ago
  17. CptKurk

    “I would go to jail if I did them.” Is Bobby implying that the law treats him differently compared to Zampella and West?

    #17 4 years ago
  18. spiderLAW

    I wonder what happened. I know Kotick is a dick but that doesnt mean that West and Zampella are angels. They could have very well done some f’d up things too.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Shokaku

    @11 no they didnt http://www.moh-center.com/articles.php?article_id=55

    #19 4 years ago
  20. spiderLAW

    @17
    He could mean that knowing he is the BOSS (a dick one) and head of the company, had he done what they had done, he would have been ratted out for sure. Obviously there were people from IW that were attached to West and Zampella.
    And, he might not want to mention what they had done for that very reason. I know that if i were in his place, i would want to avoid having them serve time for complete idiocy. I would just want them to leave what i own alone and go out and start something new.

    Thats all just theory.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. AHA-Lambda

    kotick bashing aside for a moment i’d really like to know what they did that could send them to jail!? O_o

    cos they wanted to move to EA?

    #21 4 years ago
  22. DSB

    Old news are old.

    The theory is that West and Zampella were shopping around looking to sign to another publisher, and putting together heavy duty representation, to make sure they got as much as possible for leaving Activision.

    Supposedly Activision got wind of that, and that would be the logical explanation for security goons and all the other measures that were taken. West and Zampella claim nothing was going on.

    Nevertheless, no one has confirmed anything, except the fact that West and Zampella did get representation, and I doubt we’ll ever know unless the trial goes ahead.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. AHA-Lambda

    i wonder what gave them the idea to do so actually. Contractually they couldnt right? IW is owned wholly by activision after all.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. DSB

    @23 It’s all theory, but the idea was that Activision were pushing for more Modern Warfare/CoD stuff, and Zampella and West were looking to do something new.

    I don’t know how that holds up. They already convinced Activision to go with their idea of Modern Warfare, when the suits wanted more WW2.

    And I don’t think they were planning on bringing the company itself with them, just choice folks. The company is owned by Activision, but the people aren’t. They could’ve been looking to take some assets though, or even the Call of Duty name. I don’t know.

    It’s all rumor and speculation.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. AHA-Lambda

    “They could’ve been looking to take some assets though, or even the Call of Duty name. I don’t know.”

    I’ve heard this rumour before and thats the part i’ve never got. From a legal standpoint i can’t see how that is possible in any way O_o

    Also to play devils advocate for a second kotick did benefit from this: Acti now own the rights to CoD titles in modern warfare eras and beyond whereas before they belonged to Zampella/West

    #25 4 years ago
  26. DSB

    @25 I guess you’d try to file a suit claiming that since they were the creative minds behind the works, they were allowed to take them. Or maybe they’d argue that the works weren’t part of any active project under Activision.

    Or maybe they’d just sneak them out on their laptop. Since Activision doesn’t know every file they’re working on, they could never prove it originated in that studio.

    You can do some very crazy stuff in American courts, but you’re right, I don’t see how they would pull it off.

    As far as I know, most creative companies, whether it’s Pixar or advertising, make you sign a contract that says any thought you have under their roof, belongs to them.

    I’m not a lawyer though, thank fuck :P

    Are you sure about the rights though? I’ve never seen Zampella and Wests names on any disclaimer. The current one says it was filed in 2009. This all happened in March 2010.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. AHA-Lambda

    @26 – thats what i heard somewhere i believe it was in the zampella/west lawsuit

    http://www.gamerlaw.co.uk/2010/03/more-thoughts-on-activisioninfinity.html

    #27 4 years ago
  28. DSB

    @27 Great article.

    As I read it, they’re only argueing for creative control. As I understand that term, that just means they have the final say on how the games turn out in terms of editing content. I don’t know where it stands in terms of starting or stopping projects. They don’t own the franchise or the name, though.

    I’d guess that creative control would be terminated through their contract once they’re fired, but like the guy says, they don’t have to put their cards on the table before the trial.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. AHA-Lambda

    @28 – hmm right ok then, if thats the case zampella/west havent got a chance of getting the rights to MW in a court case imo

    in that case actv has only benfited by not paying royalties and not letting IW play about with a new IP =/

    #29 4 years ago
  30. tontsa91

    That’s how karma works, Bobby.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. DSB

    @29 Yeah. I don’t see any reason why they’d want to keep Call of Duty and not keep Zampella and West. They basically built it from the ground, and made it into a 20 million game.

    Anyone would want those guys running their studio. That’s why I find their claim of having done absolutely nothing hard to believe.

    #31 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    We’d really appreciate it if you could fill in this survey about the websites you read and the games you buy. It massively helps! You can fill out the survey right here and obviously all the information you supply is confidential. It helps us build a better picture of the people who read our site […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium: here’s everything you get for $50

    Battlefield Hardline’s Premium membership will give players access to 4 new features, early access to expansion packs and more. EA detailed the offer today – it costs $50 in total (£40 in the UK) and gives players a whole bundle of new gear and content. Check it all out in handy list form below: Masks […]

  • Hayter’s gonna hate: the voice of Solid Snake wouldn’t answer my Metal Gear question

    Voice actor and Hollywood writer David Hayter discusses the differences between movies and games. And politely declines my leading question. “It might be fun to do a crazy, over-the-top film version of Saint’s Row.” Yeah, that headline is a bit cheap but you’re reading the work of a man who once asked the maker of […]

  • Xbox One bundle gets £100 price cut in UK

    Microsoft has knocked up to £100 off Xbox One bundles in the UK. The Xbox One with Kinect Assassin’s Creed bundle is now £100 cheaper and comes with a free £20 voucher to be spent on the official Microsoft online store. Over on the Xbox online store there’s a £70 price cut on the white […]

  • Pokemon Shuffle downloaded 1m times, free stuff given out to celebrate

    Free-to-play 3DS title Pokemon Shuffle has been downloaded over 1 million times. As a reward for playing the match-3 puzzle game Nintendo has gifted players a Complexity -1 item for free. The item reduces the difficulty of a level, according to Eurogamer. By all accounts Pokemon Shuffle is a cynical game with poorly implemented microtransactions. […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power sure is pretty

    FrozenByte Games has revealed Trine 3, due for release in 2015 And what better way to reveal a new side-scrolling adventure than with a very pretty trailer full of gameplay? The latest in a series that has already sold 7 million copies is earmarked for PC and “other” formats. Trine 2 released on PS3, PS3, […]

  • Dying Light takes UK number one

    A month since it was released on digital platforms, Dying Light’s physical release has topped the UK charts. Techland and Warner’s zombie survival game has proven to be one of the big hits of the year so far. It was released on digital formats a month ago but has only just been released on good-old […]

  • GTA 5: that’s some seriously accurate grenade throwing

    Think you can take down a jet plane with a grenade throw? This guy can. In fact, he can do it twice. This is in a variation on the player-created deathmatch “Stunters Versus Snipers” which seem to be all the rage in GTA Online at the moment. One team has a sniper rifle (and grenades) […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Mother Base turns pink in the morning sun

    The Phantom Pain looks nice even when Kojima just takes a quick pic with his phone. Look at that beauty. We get nice reflection in pink at the first gray of dawn. pic.twitter.com/aERTBoZT9z — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 2, 2015 The game doesn’t have a release date yet, which makes us a bit nervous for it […]

  • Dying Light: Underpant Gnomes and 9 other secrets you missed

    Dying Light still has legs – maybe because it’s crammed full of secret things to discover. Ten of those have been highlighted by TerraMantis’ latest YouTube video, including reference to the Underpant Gnomes, guitar lessons, farting zombies and well, we don’t want to spoil it for you. Even if you think you’ve seen everything in […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Raid Mode dance gestures are deadly

    Why blind ‘em with science when you could kill ‘em with dance moves? revelations raid When I say Resident Evil: Revelations 2‘s Raid Mode dance gestures are deadly, I’m not being figurative. If you finish the first chapter of Revelations 2 you can unlock Gina for use in Raid Mode. All characters can use gestures […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition mod enables male Blackwall romance, terrific joke

    “Male Inquisitors can now scale the wall,” says a clever Redditor. A new Dragon Age: Inquisition mod removes Blackwall’s romantic restrictions, allowing male Inquisitors to chat up the fuzzy-faced warrior. Blackwall doesn’t have any race preferences, so you’re good to go there. Dragon Age: Inquisition romance mods are pretty common by now, and to be […]

  • Destiny: it is possible to solo the Weekly Heroic

    Destiny players willing to faff about with their system clock can solo the Weekly Nightfall if they prefer. The Weekly Heroic is one of Destiny‘s toughest challenges. Responding to player feedback Bungie implemented matchmaking for the Weekly Heroic, but there are players who genuinely prefer to go it alone. There’s now no legitimate way to […]

  • Clayfighter remaster on the way, says Interplay

    A Clayfighter remake is inbound, apparently. Interplay has announced a Clayfighter remaster, combining the content of all past games into one package. Features include: Characters such as Bad Mr. Frosty, Blue Suede Goo, Earthworm Jim, Hoppy, Boogerman, Tiny – and more with over 20 characters total Over 20 familiar environments from the series to duke […]

  • The quickest way to climb in Dying Light

    Dying Light players! Are you sick of picking your way carefully up the sides of tall towers? Have I got a trick for you. The parkour system in Dying Light is okay, but climbing anywhere especially high can be a bit tedious. Enter Jesse Lester, who took a look at the tools available and worked […]

  • Bungie “always” looking at Exotic changes for Destiny updates

    Destiny developer Bungie won’t stop tinkering with Exotic weapons. In Destiny, Exotic weapons are supposed to be the best of the best – and to feel unique. Guns like Ice Breaker and Gjallahorn definitely hit the mark there (although less so when everyone has one), but unfortunately, there are a few that just don’t strike […]

  • Is Uncharted 4′s first trailer a tribute to Crash Bandicoot?

    Uncharted 4′s first proper trailer bears some remarkable similarities to the opening moments of a much earlier Naughty Dog game. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has more in common with Crash Bandicoot than you might think. It’s Naughty Dog’s first game on a new console, yes – but if you compare Uncharted 4′s E3 2014 […]

  • Sonic console games will continue, says Iizuka

    Sonic Team leader Takashi Iizuka has said there are no plans to stop making Sonic games. Sonic hasn’t retired from the ranks just yet. “Please rest assured, I personally have no plans to stop making Sonic games for home consoles,” Iizuka told 4Gamer [Japanese]. The comment arose after the site asked if Sonic would become […]

  • Stealth Inc. 2 coming to PSN, apparently

    Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones will soon be available on PlayStation platforms, if a trophy list is to be believed. Stealth Inc. 2 initially launched as a Wii U exclusive, disappointing fans of Curve Studios’ tough action game. We’ve heard nothing to contradict this, but Exophase, a generally reliable source, has dug up […]

  • Runescape developer has an “undisclosed MMO” in the works

    Runescape developer Jagex is working on something new. According to Jagex’s careers page, the developer has a new, unannounced game in the works. Its advertisement for a lead programmer makes explicit mention of an “undisclosed MMO”. The ad mentions the new title is in “the preliminary stages of redefining the cross platform MMORPG genre” and […]

  • Destiny PvP rewards system to be addressed

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it will change the way Crucible rewards work. Destiny players are always complaining about the perfidy of RNGesus, but there’s one area where it particularly hurts: the Crucible. PvP players often receive nothing at all for excellent performances, and sometimes Guardians receive the best drops merely for logging in as […]

  • Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 in the works for 3DS

    Azure Striker Gunvolt is getting a sequel. Azure Striker Gunvolt developer Inti Creates has confirmed that the sidescroller has been popular enough to warrant a second instalment. The sequel will also be released on 3DS, the team said on Facebook. Very little information is available at present, unfortunately. “As time goes on we will have […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 not delayed, says developer

    Life is Strange developer Dontnod Entertainment has said the second episode is on track for release this month. I guess it would know. Life is Strange Episode 2 has been expected on March 13, but late last week Square Enix told Destructoid it had been delayed. Dontnod has since denied this report, describing it as […]

  • First SteamVR game reveal is Job Simulator

    Job Simulator is the first game to be announced specifically for SteamVR, Valve’s virtual reality tech. Shoot Many Robots and Aaaaa! For the Awesome! developer Owlchemy Labs is the first team to put its hand up and say it’s worked with SteamVR. In a blog post, the studio unveiled Job Simulator, which will be playable […]

  • HTC, Valve partner for Vive VR headset

    The first SteamVR announce is a headset a manufactured by HTC, the Taiwanese mobile company revealed over the weekend. Valve told us last week it planned to unveil virtual reality hardware at GDC, calling it “SteamVR” at the time. Now HTC has pre-empted Valve by revealing Vive, a headset developed thanks to a collaboration between […]

  • Watch the Evolve Chappie Challenge tomorrow on Twitch

    Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2K and Turtle Rock Studios have announced a tournament being hosted by ESL, which will see Evolve players take on newest movie robot, Chappie. The ESL has teamed up with Twitch for the live 4 on 1 competitive event, and you can watch as it all unfolds tomorrow, March 1 at 3pm […]

  • If you’re attending PAX East, stop and have a look at Necropolis

    We haven’t heard much on Harebrained Schemes’ latest since it was announced in November, but today, the team has seen fit to release some interesting gifs of its a new project, Necropolis. Necropolis is a third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated which can be “re-rolled mid-playthrough” and is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online really is lovely, as these screenshots prove

    More Dragon’s Dogma Online screenshots have been released, and this batch is just as lovely as the last gallery we posted. Since this game will likely never leave Japan, the images are a bit of a salt rub for fans of the IP, but hopefully another entry in the series will be released at some […]

  • Action-RPG Death’s Gambit has a classic-Castlevania feel to it

    How would you like to become an agent of Death and rid the world of immortals? Then Death’s Gambit may just be the game for you. Announced by LA-based studio White Rabbit, the action-RPG with platforming elements tasks players with fighting gigantic enemies on an alien, medieval planet. Players will also encounter formidable beasts, knights, […]

  • Modder adds offline co-op into Resident Evil: Revelations 2

    PC users lamenting the lack of local, offline co-op in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 will be pleased to know a modder has remedied the omission. The mod, created by FluffyQuack, adds offline co-op mode to Episode 1 but the only caveat is players will need to use gamepads instead of mouse and keyboard (via Gamespot). […]

  • Number of Steam accounts with Dota 2 installed hits over 42 million

    Dota 2 has seen its installation rate jump 85% year-over-year, resulting in the MOBA now having close to 43 million installations worldwide. The figures were published via a report from video game research and consulting firm EEDAR, which studied Steam accounts daily to better understand the service’s player behavior and title performance. According to statistics […]

  • Nintendo issuing Eon Ticket codes for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

    Nintendo is handing out an Eon Ticket to Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire owners which will allow them to visit the Southern Island. Once a player arrives, depending on which version of the game they own, Pokemon Latios and Latias are able to be caught. The Eon Ticket was originally issued via StreetPass, but […]