||This article may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. (March 2015)|
|Industry||Computer and video games|
|Headquarters||Woodland Hills, California, United States|
|Products||Call of Duty series (2003–)|
Infinity Ward, Inc. is an American video game developer. They developed the video game Call of Duty, along with six other installments in the Call of Duty series. Vince Zampella, Grant Collier, and Jason West established Infinity Ward in 2002 after working at 2015, Inc. previously. All of the 22 original team members of Infinity Ward came from the team that had worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault while at 2015, Inc. Activision helped fund Infinity Ward in its early days, buying up 30 percent of the company. The studio's first game, World War II shooter Call of Duty, was released on the PC in 2003. The day after the game was released, Activision snapped up the rest of Infinity Ward, signing employees to long term contracts. Infinity Ward went on to make Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Ghosts and most recently Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
Co-founder Collier left the company in early 2009 to join parent company Activision. In 2010, West and Zampella were fired by Activision for "breaches of contract and insubordination", they soon founded a game studio called Respawn Entertainment. On May 3, 2014, Neversoft was merged into Infinity Ward.
- 1 History
- 1.1 2010 employee firings and departures
- 1.2 Respawn Entertainment
- 1.3 Departure of Robert Bowling, 2012
- 2 Reception
- 3 Game engines
- 4 Games
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Infinity Ward was founded in 2002.
2010 employee firings and departures
Dismissal of senior employees
On March 1, 2010, Activision amended its report with the Securities and Exchange Commission to add notification that two senior employees of Infinity Ward were being fired due to "breaches of contract and insubordination". This coincided with Jason West (Infinity Ward president, game director, co-CCO, and CTO) and Vince Zampella (CEO and co-founder of Infinity Ward) editing their profiles on the website LinkedIn to list Infinity Ward as a former employer as of March 2010. Reportedly, a meeting between Zampella, West, and Activision staff occurred on March 1, after which neither Zampella nor West were seen; this was followed by the arrival of security guards at the studio. It was later confirmed by Activision that West and Zampella had been dismissed, and had been replaced on an interim basis by Activision CTO Steve Pearce and head of production Steve Ackrich.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick addressed Infinity Ward studio heads on March 2, 2010 about Zampella and West's dismissal. A second meeting was held with all of Infinity Ward's employees on hand. The outcomes of those meetings are currently unknown, but Activision has explained that Infinity Ward is still "central" to the future of the Call of Duty franchise. Activision has used a new studio, Sledgehammer Games, to create an "action-adventure" installment of the Call of Duty franchise. However, Activision halted the production of the action-adventure game which was reportedly 2–3 months into production and requested Sledgehammer Games to work side-by-side with Infinity Ward to make Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 instead.
Following West and Zampella's firings, nearly half of the remaining Infinity Ward employees resigned. Throughout April and May 2010, 46 employees, among them lead designers and programmers who worked on Modern Warfare 2, abruptly left Infinity Ward. All of them have so far declined to comment on their reasons for leaving.
Infinity Ward "Fully" Reconstructed
Vivendi chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy stated that Infinity Ward "got over" their problems and are fully reconstructed and that Activision is very happy with the result. The executive went on to say that there will be three studios working on the Call of Duty franchise including the newly formed studio Sledgehammer Games.
West and Zampella v. Activision
Following the initial news of West and Zampella's departure, it was reported that Infinity Ward has not received royalties from the sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and that the developer may have breached their contract with Activision by holding meetings with other video game publishers including Electronic Arts. This was revealed to be the reason behind the firings when West and Zampella filed a lawsuit against Activision on March 4, 2010 over "substantial royalty payments" that Activision failed to pay them in the weeks leading up to their firing. According to their attorney Robert Schwartz, Activision had hired lawyers to investigate West and Zampella on charges of insubordination and breaches of contract in February, which culminated in their dismissal. West and Zampella's lawsuit was filed to force Activision to compensate West and Zampella for the unpaid royalties, and to secure contractual rights over the Modern Warfare branch of the Call of Duty franchise, among other things. If their lawsuit is successful, West and Zampella could retain the power to halt the development and release of any future games and downloadable content in the Modern Warfare setting.
On April 9, 2010 a countersuit was filed by Activision stating their actions in firing Zampella and West were justified, calling the two "self-serving schemers". Zampella and West's attorney responded to the countersuit the same day saying the publisher's claims are "false and outrageous". The trial date for this case was revealed on July 9, 2010 to be scheduled for May 23, 2011 but was rescheduled for December 14, 2011. It was then rescheduled again for March 29, 2012, and further rescheduled for June 1. On March 31, 2012, the two parties agreed to a confidential settlement. The countersuit mentioned that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was in development; it was released on November 8, 2011.
Infinity Ward Employee Group v. Activision
On April 27, 2010, 38 current and former employees of Infinity Ward brought a lawsuit against Activision. Calling themselves the "Infinity Ward Employee Group" (IWEG), the plaintiffs seek between $75 million and $125 million in compensatory damages from Activision for unpaid bonuses for work on Modern Warfare 2. The lawsuit alleges that Activision withheld compensation from the plaintiffs in order to force them to stay with the studio and develop Modern Warfare 3. In addition, the plaintiffs are also seeking between $75 million and $500 million in punitive damages. The trial date for this case was revealed on July 9, 2010 to be scheduled for May 23, 2011. Activision issued a check for $42 million although an Infinity Ward Employee Group lawyer, Bruce Isaacs, stated that "although it is a meaningful payment it is only a small portion of what we are seeking in litigation".
Lawsuits against EA, West, and Zampella
Activision amended its lawsuit against West and Zampella to join Electronic Arts (EA) as a defendant on the grounds that EA began a conspiracy with West and Zampella. In the complaint, Activision accused Electronic Arts of intentionally interfering with contracts, engaging in unfair competition, and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by West and Zampella. The complaint also alleged that West and Zampella refused to sign standard exit documents representing that they had returned all Activision property, including computer code. Activision alleged West and Zampella were "motivated by envy and personal greed" and intentionally released game trailers for Modern Warfare 2 the same day Treyarch posted promotional videos for downloadable content for Call of Duty: World at War. The article also showed a transcript of text message between West and an unnamed Infinity Ward employee. In January 2011, the court was to rule on Activision's petition to join EA as a defendant. The trial date between Jason West and Vince Zampella vs. Activision was set for June 14, 2011 at the Central Civil West Courthouse at 9:00 am, case number SC107041. However several delays pushed the court hearing to the May 29, 2012. Due to problems assembling a jury pool the date was pushed back even further to June 1, 2012, with 22 days to reach a conclusion. The public trial did not go through, and instead a private settlement was made.
On April 12, 2010 the LA Times reported that West and Zampella were forming a new independent gaming studio known as Respawn Entertainment. They are seeking funding from EA through the EA Partners Program. West and Zampella will incorporate the rights to all intellectual property produced by them in the future. As of July 10, 2010, 38 of the 46 Infinity Ward employees who resigned from that studio following the firings of West and Zampella revealed through their LinkedIn and Facebook profiles that they had signed on with Respawn Entertainment. Respawn's first project, Titanfall, was released in March 2014.
Departure of Robert Bowling, 2012
On March 27, 2012 Robert Bowling issued the following statement on his Twitter account: "Today, I resign from my position as Creative Strategist of Call of Duty, as a lead of Infinity Ward, and as an employee of Activision". In response to this, Activision issued the following statement, "We sincerely thank Robert for his many years of service. He's been a trusted and valued member of the Infinity Ward team. We wish him all the best on his decision to pursue future opportunities". Bowling allegedly left because he was unhappy with the slow evolution of the game, as he responded with "Too much 'pew pew' not enough new new" to a question on the subject.
Signs of disagreement between Bowling and Infinity Ward arose in a live interview with Machinima when he is quoted as saying the following: "I feel like we are in a fucking era where everyone is so focused on subscriber numbers and all that stuff that we need to get back to what I feel like we did so much better in the old days of just plain good will, like stuff like the LAN patch, yeah it is lower priority but let’s get it out the fucking door. Let’s just do it." This could be a contributing factor to his resignation. Another factor could have been from the amount of harsh criticism the fans and players of Modern Warfare 3 gave him when certain aspects of the game occurred such as bugs and tweaks. The community was in such an uproar for treatment on Modern Warfare 3 and the players targeted Bowling since he was the employee who was communicating with the public most of the time.
Infinity Ward's first title, Call of Duty won 90 Game of the Year awards and 50 Editor's Choice Awards. It also continues to be among the highest-rated games, according to GameRankings. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has also enjoyed massive commercial and critical success, selling over 13 million copies from its release in November 2007 through May 2009.
In 2010, Infinity Ward was ranked third by Develop 100 only running up to developer Nintendo and Bungie for the top 100 developers based on the sales of their games in the UK.
Infinity Ward's sequel to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, earned over $550 million in sales in its first five days on the market, with $310 million of those sales made in the first 24 hours after the game's release.
The sequel to Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, sold 6.5 million copies in the US and UK alone and grossed $400 million within 24 hours of going on sale. Despite good sales, the game was criticized for being too similar to its predecessor.
All of Infinity Ward's Call of Duty games use the id Tech 3 (Quake III Arena) engine. The first two games used a proprietary license of the engine with the sequel featuring more powerful visuals and DirectX 9 support. Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare runs on a proprietary game engine (from a version of id Tech 3) with features that include true world-dynamic lighting, HDR lighting effects, dynamic shadows and depth of field. Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and the James Bond video game Quantum of Solace were developed by Treyarch using modified versions of Infinity Ward's engine.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, uses an upgraded engine dubbed "IW 4.0", which is a generation more advanced than the engine used in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 uses the MW3 Engine, an improved version of the IW 4.0 engine. Improvements on the engine allow better streaming technology which allows larger regions for the game while running at a minimum of 60 frames per second, improvements to the audio of the engine have also been made.
|Call of Duty||id Tech 3||October 30, 2003||Windows, Macintosh|
|Call of Duty 2||IW 2.0||October 25, 2005||Windows, Macintosh, Xbox 360|
|Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare||IW 3.0||November 6, 2007||Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii|
|Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2||IW 4.0||November 10, 2009||Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Call of Duty: Classic||id Tech 3||December 2, 2009||PlayStation 3 (PSN), Xbox 360 (XBLA)|
|Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (with Sledgehammer Games)||MW3 engine||November 8, 2011||Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii|
|Call of Duty: Ghosts||IW 6.0||November 5, 2013||Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One|
|Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare||IW 7.0||November 4, 2016||Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
- "The Modern Warfare Fight: Your Guide to Activision Vs. Infinity Ward". Kotaku. April 15, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
- "IGN Presents: The History of Call of Duty". IGN. November 6, 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
- McElroy, Griffin (May 24, 2012). "Activision v. West and Zampella case pushed back to June 1st". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Crecente, Brian (March 3, 2013). "Respawn Entertainment co-founder Jason West retires". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Klepek, Patrick (May 3, 2014). "Infinity Ward, Neversoft Merging into Single "Super Studio"". Giant Bomb. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- Thorsen, Tor (March 2, 2010). "Top Infinity Ward devs fired for 'insubordination,' lawsuits 'expected' - News at GameSpot". Gamespot. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Fahey, Mike (March 3, 2010). "Report: Modern Warfare Dev Head Leaves Company". Kotaku. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
- Gonzalez, Annette (March 2, 2010). "Activision's Future Plans For Call Of Duty Call For New Developer - News". GameInformer. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Kollar, Phil (March 1, 2010). "UPDATE: Infinity Ward Vs. Activision". GameInformer. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Who Remains At Infinity Ward ?". Cynicalsmirk.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Tor Thorsen (November 19, 2010). "Infinity Ward 'reconstructed' - Vivendi CEO". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- Tim Bradshaw (November 19, 2010). "Vivendi sees continued success for COD franchise". Barcelona: Financial Times. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Walker, Richard (March 4, 2010). "Future Modern Warfare Releases Could Be Vetoed By West and Zampella". Xbox360Achievements. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Reilly, Jim (March 4, 2010). "Infinity Ward Founders File Lawsuit Against Activision". IGN. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Reilly, Jim (April 9, 2010). "Activision Countersues Former Infinity Ward Execs". IGN. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Reilly, Jim (April 9, 2010). "West and Zampella Respond To Countersuit". IGN. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Los Angeles Superior Court - Civil Calendar". Lasuperiorcourt.org. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- Rain Anderson (May 25, 2012). "Activision vs West/Zampella trial delayed by a few days | That VideoGame Blog - Game news". That VideoGame Blog. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- Dutton, Fred (May 31, 2012). "Activision vs Zampella & West case settled out of court • News •". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- Reilly, Jim (April 9, 2010). "Modern Warfare 3 In Development". IGN. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Ryckert, Dan (April 27, 2010). "Activision Sued By New "Infinity Ward Employee Group"". GameInformer. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Reilly, Jim (April 27, 2010). "Infinity Ward Group Sues Activision For Unpaid Bonuses". IGN. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Activision Vs. Infinity Ward Trial Date Set - PS3 News at IGN
- Alex Pham (December 23, 2010). "Activision sues Electronic Arts, seeks $400 million over Infinity Ward game studio". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Christopher Grant (December 21, 2010). "Activision claims EA and former IW execs schemed to 'inflict serious harm on the company'". Joystiq. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Laura A. Seigle (December 21, 2010). "Declaration of Laura A. Seigle in support of Activision's motion for leave to amend cross-complaint". Superior Court of the State of California. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Pham, Alex; Ben Fritz (April 12, 2010). "Jason West and Vincent Zampella's new call of duty". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Grant, Christopher (April 12, 2010). "Respawn Entertainment announced by ex-IW heads, partnering with EA". Joystiq. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Reilly, Jim (April 12, 2010). "Infinity Ward Founders Developing A 'Big Blockbuster'". IGN. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Who Remains at Infinity Ward?". cynicalsmirk.com. May 25, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "Call of Duty's Creative Strategist, Robert Bowling Exits Infinity Ward - Xbox 360 News At". Xbox360achievements.org. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- Control, Mission (February 22, 2012). "Robert Bowling on classic maps for MW3: Keep classic maps outside of the DLC model". Call Of Duty Map Packs. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- Hinkle, David (June 1, 2012). "Human Element is Robotoki's first game, slated for 2015". Joystiq. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- "Call of Duty". Retrieved May 2, 2007.
- "Call of Duty Wins Game Of The Year in the United States".
- "Sales of Call of Duty 2 for the Xbox 360 Top One Million Units in the U.S.". Retrieved May 2, 2007.
- "Call of Duty 2 - X720". Retrieved May 2, 2007.
- "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Sells 53 Million".
- DEVELOP 100: THE WORLD'S MOST SUCCESSFUL GAME STUDIOS
- Mcdonald, Keza (November 11, 2011). "Modern Warfare 3 Has Biggest Launch Of Anything Ever". IGN. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- Magrino, Tom (November 11, 2011). "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sets new launch records". Gamespot. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- Modern Warfare 2 PC update: system specs, id Tech and Walmart price
- Shea, Cam (June 13, 2007). "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare AU Interview". IGN Xbox 360. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
- Robinson, Andy (June 9, 2008). "News:Call of Duty: World at War - first details in OXM". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008.
- Stead, Chris (July 15, 2009). "The 10 Best Game Engines of This Generation". IGN. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- "needhelponatest comments on IAm Josh Olin, Creative Strategist on Modern Warfare 3 AMA". Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- Dave Tach (June 12, 2013). "Infinity Ward, Call of Duty: Ghosts and the nameless game engine that powers a first-person shooter phenomenon". Polygon. Retrieved June 12, 2013.