The team working on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the “real” Infinity Ward, according to Activision Publishing head Eric Hirshberg.
“A lot of the guys working on Modern Warfare 3 are the same guys who worked on Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare,” the executive told IndustryGamers.
“A lot of them are Infinity Ward sort of lifers and have been there from the beginning.”
Some have questioned Infinity Ward’s credit following the forced departure of studio leads Frank West and Vince Zampella, along with an unknown number of colleagues, now at the EA-backed ReSpawn Entertainment.
“A lot of the turmoil, it all happened before I got here, so I never got to work with the old Infinity Ward,” Hirshberg admitted.
“I only got to work with the new Infinity Ward, and all I can tell you is while they went through a huge transition, and while there was a lot of rebuilding that had to happen and they had to bring in some new talent to replace some of the people that had left, this is one of the most dazzlingly creative group of people I’ve ever met in my life.
“And so anyone who tells you, ‘This is not the real Infinity Ward’ is wrong. This is an unbelievable developer, an unbelievably talented studio… and they’ve got something to prove, too. I think they’ve taken a lot of pride in proving the skeptics wrong and so far, the reception of Modern Warfare 3 has been pretty great.”
Sledgehammer is on board Modern Warfare 3, but Hirshberg said the game is benefiting, rather than suffering, from more than one cook eyeing the broth.
“They welcomed in a partner and that was probably a decision born out of necessity – nobody probably would have designed it that way proactively, but because they were going through a rebuilding right in the middle of this development, they welcomed a pretty high octane partner into their creative process.
“And Sledgehammer truly has treated them as partners, and the game is a reflection of a combined vision between those two studios. And to my great delight it is a one plus one equals three situation. The game has gotten better because of these two very strong, creative forces working together,” he explained.
Modern Warfare 3 is expected on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November.