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Activision: Infinity Ward Still 100 Strong As Pearce, Ackrich Take Interim Leadership

Infinity Ward is still 100 members strong under the interim leadership of CTO Steve Pearce and production head Steve Akrich, says Activision exec Thomas Tippl, stressing the publisher's support for the studio.
Following the departure of founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, much scrutiny has fallen on Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward amid a flurry of reports of developers leaving, possibly to join the pair at their new project, Respawn Entertainment. And analysts have voiced the possibility that loss of key talent could hurt future installments of the lucrative Call of Duty business, but in an LA Times interview, chief financial officer and chief operating officer Thomas Tippl stressed the brand's continuing strength. "We’ve had multiple studios working with the franchise so we can come up with innovative, new content every year," he said. "Nobody should be surprised that we will continue to focus disproportionately against the franchise." And as for Infinity Ward, it still has nearly 100 members under new interim leadership, Tippl said. "We have two senior execs currently: Steve Pearce, our chief technology officer, and Steve Ackrich, who is the head of production for the company," Tippl explained. "We are currently in the process of configuring the new leadership team there." He also said that the "change of guard" at the studio "will provide an opportunity for some of the rising stars to put their own stamp on the Call of Duty franchise," adding that Activision "will provide them with all the resources internally and recruit talent from the outside." A handful of key staff has left Infinity Ward in the wake of the firings West and Zampella. Programmer Jon Shiring and senior animator Bruce Ferriz left the studio following the shakeup, as did lead designer Todd Alderman and lead software engineer Francesco Gigliotti. Late last week, it was revealed that longtime employees Mark Grigsby and Paul Messerly also left the company.

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