There’s been some strange goings on this week between publisher Activision and Modern Warfare developers Infinity Ward.
Following claims of “insubordination”, Activision have terminated the contracts of Jason Ward and Vince Zampella, senior executives at Infinity Ward. The reasoning behind this remains sketchy, but there has even been speculation that the pair were forcibly removed from Infinity Ward HQ.
Activision cited “breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward” and said that “this matter is expected to involve the departure of key personnel and litigation”.
Tuesday then saw Activision announce that they would be creating a new unit to take over production of the franchise, taking Infinity Ward (whom Activision bought in 2003) out of the Modern Warfare picture altogether. Could this have something to do with rumours that the Modern Warfare games are set to go down the MMO route?
Either way, why would you kick out the brains behind the biggest entertainment launch in history, one that saw Modern Warfare 2 sell 1.8 million copies in its first week of sale in the UK alone? Well perhaps Activision feared that the Infinity Ward duo were beginning to splinter away from Activision rule, which may have eventually seen them take their talented team to pastures new.
They wouldn’t be the first to depart from Activision either. Last month Guitar Hero’s Dan Rosensweig left after helming the franchise for just about a year.
For the sake of those who work for Activision at least, lets hope the board have made the right move here, especially when you consider the bulk of their revenue comes from just three franchises, despite having a massive catalogue of titles.
Guitar Hero and Warcraft are two, and the third? Yep, Call of Duty/Modern Warfare.