Infinity Ward, the developers of ‘Modern Warfare 2′ which is the current fastest selling game of all time, has seen thirteen staff walk out of their doors since march 1st with the intentions of working for another studio. Although the game is a massive hit with record breaking content download sales, its developers loss of key talent may be regarded as “how the mighty have fallen”.
It all started with Activision enforcing the removal of Infinity Ward Heads, Jason West and Vince Zampella who are alleged to have breached their contract and commit insubordination. Despite an ongoing lawsuit between themselves and Activision, both West and Zampella have started a new development studio under the name of Respawn Entertainment; this was possible thanks to a deal that granted EA exclusive publishing rights to the studios games in return for millions of dollars. An upcoming game has not yet been announced, but it is expected to be on huge, Summer blockbuster scale with the studio currently in the process of hiring development staff.
Call of Duty lead designer Todd Alderman and lead software engineer Francesco Gigliotti, followed pursuit and left Infinity Ward studios early April. The discovery of their departure was found on the Linkedin website which is a professional network home to the profiles of industry experts, but further staff later resigned making their announcements on popular social networking websites. Whilst designer, Mackey McCandish said his goodbyes to fellow staff on Facebook, his colleague Jon Stirling, a long term programmer on the development of Call of Duty games had posted on twitter:
After almost 6 years at Infinity Ward, I resigned today. I’m incredibly proud of everything we accomplished and I’m going to miss everyone.
By April 13th, two more lead designers, Steve Fukuda and Zied Reike walked out alongside programmer Rayme Vinson, and lead artist Chris Cherubini. As if Infinity Ward wasn’t dwindling enough, yesterday some currently un-named staff as well as longtime Infinity Ward employees Mark Grigsby and Paul Messerly left the studio, who held the positions of lead animator and lead character animator, respectively - taking the total loss of staff to thirteen!
The situation for Infinity Ward is not looking good right now, having lost such key talent who have a long history within the development studio and Call of Duty games, morale with the remaining staff has been reported to be unsurprisingly low - who knows how many more staff will leave within the coming days or weeks.
Playstatic will keep you updated on future developments.
Sourced Info: Kotaku