The games industry is all a buzz over the strange doings at the software developers Infinity Ward.
The outfit which turned out the highly successful and acclaimed Modern Warfare 2 appears to have seen a coup taken place with its parent company taking over.
Security guards have stormed the developer and forced studio heads to clean out their desks.
Infinity Ward leads Vince Zampella and Jason West are reported to have met with Activision and have not been seen since.
Infinity Ward has had a troubled relationship lately with its owner/publisher and that might be the cause. However a SEC ruling said that Activision was wrapping up an investigation into “breaches of contract and insubordination” by senior employees at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare studio Infinity Ward. It warned that senior executives were expected to be given their marching orders .
Infinity Ward’s main communicator Robert Bowling has been uncharacteristicly quiet on his Twitter account today. A screen shot surfaced from Infinity Ward CTO Jason West’s Facebook page at Kotaku with the status update “Jason West is drinking. Also, unemployed.”
West also updated his Linkedin profile to appears to reflect a change in employment. “President/Game Director/CCO/CTO Infinity Ward January 2001 – March 2010 (9 years 3 months)”
While Activision has shut down its owned development studios before, Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty games is making millions. It would be hard to see what the company has against its star developers.
An internal memo distributed to members of Infinity Ward says that while the “brains” of the operation, Vince Zampella and Jason West are no longer in the building.
Activision said that “Infinity Ward remains central to Call of Duty’s future and we rely on the combined talent, expertise and leadership of the team there for its success.”
Of course this could backfire. The last time Zampella and West cleaned out their desks from an outfit it was 2015 and they took most of the talent with them.