THQ's Danny Bilson has said the ex-Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella would have been signed with the firm if not for the duo wanting to retain ownership of their own IP.
Speaking during THQ's Games Day in New York, Bilson said this was the deciding factor for the two who formed Respawn Entertainment and subsequently signed on with EA Partners.
"I believe we have the best place to work for creative people," Bilson told Eurogamer. "And if you ask those two guys you just mentioned where they would have preferred to work but for one deal point in a contract, they would have liked to join our team, too. But I couldn't give them a certain thing that EA could in the deal.
"It has to do with IP ownership and some stuff around that."
Zampella corroborated Bilson’s revelation to Wired, stating:. “It should come as no surprise that, after Activision fired us in March 2010, the other major videogame publishers contacted Jason and me about working with them. I’ve known Danny Bilson for many years, so THQ was one of the publishers who approached us. We had serious discussions with them.
“As for the IP ownership, frankly, after what we’d just been through with Activision, owning the IP we were going to create was important to us. Unfortunately, THQ did not want to agree to that."
Bilson went on to tell Eurogamer that the firm had better luck signing on Ubisoft's Patrice Désilets, who is now the studio head at THQ Montreal.
"What we did was build a culture and a system that supports creative first. That's all we did," said Bilson, explaining how the firm retained Désilets. "We said, 'We're going to support your vision and we're going to build out from that. We're not going to impose our vision on you.'"
In other Games Day news, THQ announced today it was to release DLC for its upcoming shooter, Homefront, on Xbox 360 first and that the platform would also have an exclusive map.