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Tippl: "We will continue to attract the top talent"

By Kath Brice

Mon 19 Apr 2010 10:40am GMT / 6:40am EDT / 3:40am PDT

New Infinity Ward leadership team being configured; resources will be provided internally

Activision Publishing

Activision, Inc. is a leading international publisher of interactive entertainment software products....

Activision COO and CFO Thomas Tippl has insisted that the publisher's first party developers are treated "extremely well" and that the company will continue to attract the top talent in the industry - a claim made in the wake of a number of high profile walk-outs at internal studio Infinity Ward.

"We treat our developers extremely well," Tippl said, speaking to the LA Times. "We have an independent studio model that provides them a lot of creative freedom while we take care of the back office stuff so they can focus on making games.

"If their games are successful, they are compensated better here than anywhere else. We've been paying our talent millions of dollars for their work. Our set-up provides a win-win opportunity. We ensure your work will reach a wide audience. Therefore, we have attracted, and we will continue to attract, the top talent in this industry."

11 staff are now reported to have left the Infinity Ward studio since Activision sacked studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella on the grounds of insubordination.

However Tippl reiterated that three studios - Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer - were continuing work on Call of Duty titles. "The franchise plays an extremely important role within the overall plans for Activision," he said.

"A couple of weeks ago, we announced we will get more focused with a dedicated Call of Duty business to rally the best talent of the company against the opportunity that Call of Duty presents for the company. We’ve had multiple studios working with the franchise so we can come up with innovative, new content every year. Nobody should be surprised that we will continue to focus disproportionately against the franchise."

In response to quizzing on rumours that Infinity Ward is currently lacking in leadership and direction, Tippl said that resources were being provided to the two senior execs currently acting as interim leaders.

"We have interim leadership in place. We have two senior execs currently: Steve Pearce, our chief technology officer, and Steve Ackrich, who is the head of production for the company. We are currently in the process of configuring the new leadership team there," he said.

"Infinity Ward still has nearly 100 people. They've built a deep bench, and the change of guard will provide an opportunity for some of the rising stars to put their own stamp on the Call of Duty franchise. In addition, we will provide them with all the resources internally and recruit talent from the outside."

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Michael Vandendriessche Studying Computer Science, K.U. Leuven

90 13 0.1
The first part kind of contradicts what I've read before. But I don't think Activision would be that bad to work for else they wouldn't be that big. IW's next title might maybe not be such a success as mw2 but IW will keep growing. This is a chance for the talented gamedevs at IW to step more in the spotlight.

Posted:6 years ago

Change is always good lets more top teer disigners be seen in the spotlight , maybe it was time to shuffle the deck.

Posted:6 years ago


Tom Keresztes Programmer

743 400 0.5
Good salary does not guarantee good working environment. I am quite sure they have been paid well. And they've paid good money for the computers as they are using. This announcement does not even attempt to praise the atmosphere there...

Posted:6 years ago


Andrew Clayton QA Weapons Tester, Electronic Arts

150 8 0.1
If he'd said "We will continue to attract good talent" or even "great talent" I would definitely agree. A company like activision and a studio like Infinity Ward can definitely attract good/great talent. But with the dark smear that Infinity Ward has after this whole fiasco would likely cause the "top talent" to steer clear.

Posted:6 years ago


Philip Wilson Project Manager/QA

69 0 0.0
"Change is always good..."'s not.

Posted:6 years ago


Michael Abraham game designer

37 0 0.0
"We've had multiple studios working with the franchise so we can come up with innovative new content every year." - personally i see this as the most worrying thing in this article.
honestly, a new COD every year? that sounds like a bumpy road if you ask me.
a game needs time to mature before its sequel comes out. otherwise you just get a case of people steering clear of the franchise (leaving aside the "more of the same" attitude that people will take, there's also the issue of trying to play with friends online only to find everyone has a different iteration of the franchise).

market over-saturation is a bad thing!

Posted:6 years ago


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