Infinity Ward has seen no small number of changes since the departure of studio founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, as the duo went on to form Respawn Entertainment, taking with them a very sizeable chunk of IW’s workforce.
Now, Call of Duty
-affiliated Infinity Ward is rebuilding, according to Activision EVP of studios Dave Stohl. In an interview with weblog VG247
, he also hinted that the rebuilt studio would eventually work on new franchises. “Recruiting at IW is not a problem,” he says.
“What we’re trying to do is say that IW is a culture, it’s a way of doing things, there’s a lot of people there and there’s still a lot of passion for doing it. We’re trying to rebuild, trying to help them and support them to rebuild. So people are stepping up, new people are coming in and we’re setting the bar so high.”
Through his discussion of aggressive recruiting, Stohl has effectively confirmed the rumors of a massive exodus of IW employees to Respawn. He emphasized the importance of preserving the company culture, but Gamasutra sources also suggest that there are still a lot of seats to fill in the organization.
Stohl indicates the new recruits won’t be going it alone – “We’ve got a lot of good people that are helping to support them get back to hopefully where they’ll get to, and I think that they will,” he said.
In a drive to humanize the monolithic nature of Activision as a publisher, Stohl talked about the desire of IW to succeed from the developer side. “There’s a real desire to do it. I think they’ll get there” he said. “And we’ve got a ton of hard-working super-talented people. People say ‘Activision,’ but it’s Neversoft and Treyarch and it’s [Vicarious Visions] in Albany and it’s Bizarre Creations; it’s people all over. There’s just a ton of talented development."
So what will this group work on next? “We’re not saying right now,” Stohl rebutted. There is definitely a strong shooter philosophy there, for sure. And I think that there’s a short- and long-term view on the whole thing. But I think we’re rebuilding a studio that can go off and build great new franchises in the future.”