Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, acknowledged during the quarterly earnings call of the company that since top two executives were dismissed, Infinity Ward has seen 35 employees quitting their job.
He says the resigning of so many executives have “obviously disappointed” the publisher. He also said that he expects more will be leaving the troubled studio.
Well, Kotick still stands with the decision of Activision to remove the two executives in March, Jason West and Vince Zampella. He said, “We felt that we had no choice.”
He said further that the studio “remains an important part” of its future plans for the CoD franchise and will also continue to support the remaining employees of the company.
West and Zampella, after their dismissal, sued the publisher. They claimed that they were owed royalty payments in MW2 sales.
Activision counter-suit the two for breach of contract. It claimed that both the executives secretly flew to Northern California for meeting the closest competitor of Activision. However, Acitivision did not mentioned the name of the competitor. Well, the largest publisher in the region is Electronic Arts.
Modern Warfare 2
The two lead designers of MW2, Steve Fukuda and Zied Rieke, are set to quit the studio.
Earlier it was reported that Modern Warfare 2 studio has fired the directors Jason West and studio head Vince Zampella. The exit of the two lead designers now leaves Infinity Ward inundated. The developer may have to do a lot of work to fill up the vacancies.
The list of resignations does not stops here. The multiplayer lead designers Todd Aldermann and Mackey McCandlish also tabled their resignations.
Report also comes that Rayme Vinson and Chris Cherubini have left for good.
All these resignations no doubt says that there has been a major withdrawal of talent.
The news does not ends here. It is reported that another set of departures are also there, which includes software engineer lead Francesco Gigliotti, Bruce Ferriz and programmer Jon Shiring. All of them were posted at high levels in the company.
To avoid all these resignations, the company also had decided earlier to provide bonuses to the contributors of the game, but this step did not support to retain the employees.
Recently two of the former studio heads were fired for insubordination apart from also trying to poach Activision’s key employees according to the allegations filed in court by the gaming giant.
On Thursday Activision countersued former Jason West and Vince Zampella, Infinity Ward executives, who had earlier sued the company for over $36 million. According to West and Zampella’s lawsuit, the former studio heads were fired and hence they should not be getting hefty royalties for their work on the franchise of “Call of Duty”.
The filing done by Activision in fact seeks of showing that the firing of those were justified and the company also claims that the men met with a key gaming rival and this is violations of employment contract.
According to breach of contract, the two former studio heads, West and Zampella, held up further developments on other CoD games in the series in order to gain more money. Activison is also seeking for withholding their additional payments.
However, Robert M. Schwartz, the attorney of West and Zampella, had called the countersuit’s claims as “false and outrageous.”
In a statement Schwartz said, “None of the false claims of insubordination or breach of duties had any negative affect on Activision — none… Modern Warfare 2 has been the world’s most successful video game.”
When the two top executives of Activision, who were responsible for the success of Modern Warfare 2 that helped in generating $1 Billion, were expelled by the Company last Monday, everybody was expecting a lawsuit. As predicted, the suit came on Wednesday, and it could have repercussion for publisher and contestants.
Jason West and Vince Zampella are in a process of suing Activision for unfair decision and looking for $36 Million.
They also declare that, no such game with name of Modern Warfare cab be published without their written permission.
In reply, Activision has called the suit meritless and consider itself right in dismissing West and Zampella due to their misconduct and behavior and announced that it will keep on releasing thrilling and inventive game.
But if West and Zampella proved themselves right, they are going to put Activision’s most precious franchise in danger.
Call of Duty holds over $3 Billion sale till date and Modern warfare has been pronounced the top selling game of 2009.
Even Activision keeps hold of game, there is always a danger that the development team of infinity ward might join West and Zampella in new project.
The matter will be settled amongst the Company executives they will be beneficial in terms of money for West and Zarnpella
Here is an interview of Vince Zampella, the CEO of Infinity Ward. This video was available on the site of GameTrailers.com
Infinity Ward is working dedicatedly and sincerely on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (MW2), which is supposed to be released on November 10 this year. Activision has already launched a teaser web site, a teaser trailer and also the logo. Brand manager Simon Wells told to the media after judging by the franchise’s trajectory through preceding launches that it is expected this game will become the highest selling in the history of video games.
The statement of the brand manager comes when the NPD group reported that the March revenues for the video game industry have come down by 17% as compared to last year. This is the first time in the present recession that video games business sales had fallen.
The CEO of infinity Ward, Vince Zampella said further on the MW2 that no detail is too small for them and every finishing touch that is imaginable is on the way to make MW2 to be the best ever. He also mentioned that he can’t make the fans globally wait further after November 10th to play it.
About the team he said that everyone is laser focused on making the most gripping experience that they have ever created.