What really happened at Infinity Ward? We got answers.

It has been nearly a year since Vince Zampella and Jason West were abruptly removed from their offices by Activision security, and the real story hasn’t been told….until now.

The problem started long long ago between the releases of Call of Duty 4 and COD: World at War. Activision, a very successful (and very smart) publisher, had an agreement that their developers (Infinity Ward {IW} and Treyarch {TA}) would share technology (This was a brilliant move on Activisions part because it would insure that each COD game would progressively get better). Once COD4 was released and cornered the market on first person shooters, all at IW was golden. Everyone was enjoying the success of their game, not only through personal achievements of having the best 1ps ever to date, but also through bragging rights, incentives and bonuses. And as IW worked diligently toward their next big release, Modern Warfare 2 (They no longer wanted the “Call of Duty” label, hence MW2), Treyarch released World at War using much of Infinities technology. And it pissed the people at IW off. Royally.

Suddenly, in a blink of an eye, IW’s hard work was paying off for another developer, and there was absolutely no compensation in it for the Infinity Ward workers. No credit, no compensation, no glory. Just an insult. Many of the IW employees were sickened, insulted, and just plain pissed. Imagine being a recording artist, singing a song for someone, then without your permission they change the lyrics but used your music. And gave you no credit at all. This did not sit well at all with most at IW, and resentment immediately set in towards TA….and Activision. But Big Daddy didn’t care because the setup was perfect for them. So they kind of turned a blind eye hoping that things would settle down….but they didn’t.

Most at IW grew cold toward TA, and even Activision. But they persevered, working on MW2 day and night, dedicated to making MW2 the best ever. And though IW could have used any of TA’s technology from WAW, the thought of doing so would have given TA some satisfaction, and credit. Plus, IW didn’t want to use anyone elses tech.

Then there was the release of MW2, which blew the doors off any video game launch in history. We imagine that, with the huge success of MW2, Jason West, Vince Zampella, and crew were riding a mile high cloud and felt untouchable. We do know IW wanted their own IP. They wanted Modern Warfare for that IP. But there was, and is, no way in hell that Activision would let that happen. So after MW2 broke every sales record in the world, many of IW’s crew were cocky and self confident (wouldn’t we all be?). What happened next is either for the courts to decide, or for an up coming VGheaven update. Beyond this point, it is somewhat speculation. But many believe that someone at IW was trying to shop Big Daddy’s product/code to another publisher. The truth will come out. Maybe. but we will be there when it does.


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