Respawn Entertainment

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Respawn Entertainment, LLC
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
FoundedApril 12, 2010; 12 years ago (2010-04-12)
Founders
  • Jason West
  • Vince Zampella
Headquarters,
U.S.
Number of locations
2 (2020)[1]
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Vince Zampella (CEO)
ProductsTitanfall series
Apex Legends
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond
Number of employees
315 (2019)
ParentElectronic Arts (2017–present)
SubsidiariesRespawn Entertainment Vancouver
Websiterespawn.com

Respawn Entertainment, LLC is an American video game development studio founded by Jason West and Vince Zampella. West and Zampella previously co-founded Infinity Ward and created the Call of Duty franchise, where they were responsible for its development until 2010. The studio created the Titanfall first-person shooter series that debuted in 2014. Respawn was acquired by Electronic Arts on December 1, 2017. The studio developed the action-adventure game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which was released in November 2019, and the free-to-play battle royale game Apex Legends, released on February 4, 2019. Respawn developed Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, which included in its bonus features the Academy Award-winning short documentary Colette.[2]

History[edit]

Jason West and Vince Zampella had been leads at Infinity Ward, a subsidiary of Activision founded in 2002. Infinity Ward was a principal studio on the Call of Duty series, and in 2007, released Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, a critical success for the series. West and Zampella leveraged the success of Modern Warfare to renegotiate their contracts with Activision in 2008, asking for large bonuses and creative control of the series in exchange for releasing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 2009, which Activision agreed to on the condition that the control would revert to Activision if the pair were fired. From that point, Activision sought ways to trigger that clause, and West and Zampella looked for ways to make Infinity Ward independent. Events came to a head in March 2010 when the two were fired from Activision, forfeiting their bonuses. Several lawsuits followed, with West and Zampella accusing Activision of unpaid bonuses while Activision countersued that the two had conspired with Electronic Arts (EA) to damage Infinity Ward, but these suits were ultimately settled out of court.[3]

In April 2010, a month after their release from Activision, West and Zampella set off to form a new independent studio, Respawn Entertainment. They sought funding from EA through the EA Partners Program. West and Zampella will retain the rights to all intellectual property produced by them in the future.[4][5][6] 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.[7][8]

EA Games Label president Frank Gibeau revealed at E3 2011 in June 2011 that Respawn Entertainment's EA-published shooter was "sci-fi oriented" and would allow the publisher to "compete with things like Gears and Halo".[9] Gibeau also stated that EA would release Respawn's project when it saw an "opportunistic" window.[9] Later that month, Respawn released a blurry teaser image of its unannounced game via the official website launched that day.[10] Respawn further released another blurry image, and teased the new game with mo-cap shot.[11][12] In April 2013, Respawn registered a trademark for the name Titan,[13] and it was reported that Respawn's game was an always-online Xbox exclusive, although nothing had been confirmed.[14]

In June 2013, Respawn Entertainment debuted Titanfall at E3. On October 22 they revealed the release date of the game to be March 11, 2014, in North America, and March 13 in Europe. In March 2015, it was announced that Respawn was developing a sequel, Titanfall 2, which was later released on October 28, 2016.

In June 2014, it was announced that Stig Asmussen, who previously worked for Santa Monica Studio on the God of War series, had joined the studio as game director of a second project that had nothing to do with Titanfall.[15] From job listings in January 2016, it was found that the project was to be a third person action-adventure game.[16] On May 4, 2016 – Star Wars Day – Asmussen announced Respawn Entertainment was making a third-person Star Wars game,[17] later revealed to be Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at E3 2018.[18]

In October 2017, it was announced that Respawn Entertainment was developing a virtual reality first person shooter title for the Oculus Rift, which was formally revealed as Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond in September 2019.[19][20]

In November 2017, Electronic Arts acquired the company for US$151 million in cash and up to US$164 million in equity.[21] The acquisition was completed on December 1, 2017.[22]

In February 2019, Respawn Entertainment debuted Apex Legends via YouTube livestream. This debut had no prior announcement or marketing. The game was released the same day as the livestream on February 4, 2019.[23]

On its tenth anniversary, Respawn announced it was opening a new studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, to focus on ongoing development of Apex Legends. The studio is located on the EA Vancouver campus as to be able to tap into their resources.[1]

On January 25, 2022, it was announced that Respawn was developing a sequel to Jedi Fallen Order alongside an original Star Wars FPS and a strategy game. Peter Hirshmann will direct the FPS and Bit Reactor will co-develop the strategy game.[24]

Colette[edit]

Colette is a 24-minute short film directed by Anthony Giacchino that was produced for inclusion in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond as an installment in its Gallery series of short documentaries. The film follows former French Resistance member Colette Marin-Catherine as she travels to Germany for the first time in 74 years to visit the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp where her brother died at the hands of the Nazis.[25]

Of the Gallery shorts, Colette garnered particular recognition for its cinematic value. Respawn and Oculus submitted it to various film festivals, including the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival where it won the award for Best Short, making it eligible for submission to the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for awards consideration.[26] Subsequently, Colette was nominated and subsequently won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 93rd Academy Awards, making the short the first production by a video game company to win an Oscar.[27][2]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
2014 Titanfall Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2016 Titanfall 2 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2017 Titanfall: Assault[a] Android, iOS
2019 Apex Legends[b] Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
2020 Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Microsoft Windows
2022 Apex Legends Mobile Android, iOS
TBA Untitled Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel TBA
Untitled Star Wars first-person shooter
Untitled Star Wars strategy game

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Co-developed by Particle City
  2. ^ The Nintendo Switch version was co-developed by Panic Button

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Valentine, Rebekah (May 18, 2020). "Respawn marks its ten-year anniversary with a new Vancouver studio". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (March 15, 2021). "Facebook Gets First-Ever Oscar Nomination for 'Colette' Documentary Short". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  3. ^ Chafkin, Max (June 11, 2013). "MODERN WARFARE". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  4. ^ Pham, Alex; Ben Fritz (April 12, 2010). "Jason West and Vincent Zampella's new call of duty". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  5. ^ Grant, Christopher (April 12, 2010). "Respawn Entertainment announced by ex-IW heads, partnering with EA". Joystiq. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  6. ^ Reilly, Jim (April 12, 2010). "Infinity Ward Founders Developing A 'Big Blockbuster'". IGN. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  7. ^ "Who Remains At Infinity Ward ?". Cynicalsmirk.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  8. ^ "Who Remains at Infinity Ward?". cynicalsmirk.com. May 25, 2010. Archived from the original on July 20, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  9. ^ a b Andy Robinson (June 8, 2011). "News: Respawn title is a 'sci-fi shooter', will 'compete with Halo, Gears' - EA". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  10. ^ "News: Ex-Call of Duty boys tease new game with image". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. June 29, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  11. ^ Cullen, Johnny (December 20, 2011). "Respawn releases another blurry image from first project". VG247. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Cullen, Johnny (January 5, 2012). "Respawn further teases new game with mo-cap shot". VG247. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Phillips, Tom. "Respawn registers trademark for Titan". Eurogamer.
  14. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley. "Respawn game is reportedly an always-online Xbox exclusive". Eurogamer.
  15. ^ Makuch, Eddie. "E3 2014: Veteran God of War Dev Joins Titanfall Studio". Gamespot.
  16. ^ Nunneley, Stephany. "Titanfall studio hiring for new third-person action-adventure title". VG247.
  17. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (May 4, 2016). "Titanfall developer Respawn is making a third-person Star Wars game". Eurogamer. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  18. ^ Purchese, Robert (June 9, 2018). "Respawn's Star Wars game announced as Jedi: Fallen Order". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  19. ^ Pierce, Tanner (October 11, 2017). "Respawn Entertainment Teaming With Oculus For New game". DualShockers. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  20. ^ Campbell, Colin (September 25, 2019). "Respawn is making a new Medal of Honor game for VR". Polygon. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  21. ^ McWhertor, Michael (November 9, 2017). "EA to acquire Titanfall developer Respawn". Polygon. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  22. ^ Makuch, Eddie (December 5, 2017). "EA Now Owns Titanfall Developer Respawn". GameSpot. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  23. ^ Statt, Nick (February 4, 2019). "Respawn says it's 'putting a lot on the line' with Apex Legends' surprise launch". The Verge. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  24. ^ Arts, Electronic (January 25, 2022). "Electronic Arts & Lucasfilm Games announce new Star Wars titles from Respawn Entertainment". Electronic Arts Inc. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  25. ^ Spangler, Todd (March 15, 2021). "Facebook Gets First-Ever Oscar Nomination for 'Colette' Documentary Short". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  26. ^ "'Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond' Gallery Film 'Colette' Receives Oscar Nomination for Best Documentary Short Subject" (Press release). Oculus. March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  27. ^ "The full list of 2021 Oscars nominations". The Guardian. Retrieved March 15, 2021.

External links[edit]