Kotick “betrayed” by Zampella and West

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


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.



  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

    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

    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.


    #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

    #19 4 years ago
  20. spiderLAW

    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

    #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

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