According to an ex-Infinity Ward staffer, it seems EA were definitely headhunting now ex-bosses of the studio, Vince Zampella and Jason West.
A recommendation left by Jesse Heinig, production coordinator between 2004 and 2005 on Call of Duty 2, on Zampella’s LinkedIn states:
“In short, Vince hardly needs my recommendation. He’s a prime example of ‘having it all together,’ a rare commodity in the increasingly stressful and delivery-driven video game development marketplace. But don’t just take my word for it.
“Rumor in the industry is that EA placed a million-dollar bounty for snapping up any IW studio lead, like Vince. Just the fact that the rumor is out there should speak volumes about how badly people want Vince working on their products.”
Both Zampella, West and fellow Infinity Ward founder Grant Collier founded the studio after leaving the firm when they developed several Medal of Honor games on PC under 2015 Inc, which echoed similar circumstances over the Zampella/West situation.
Zampella and West are now suing Activision for $36 million in unpaid royalties and full control of the Modern Warfare IP, with a hearing set for June.