Activision: "We want Infinity Ward to be Infinity Ward"

WWS boss promises no interference with studio, plus claims Activision lay-offs were a "necessity"

Activision's Worldwide Studios head Dave Stohl has reasserted that beleaguered studio Infinity Ward will rise again, and that the publisher does not intend to meddle with it further.

Claiming that a number of the lead roles abandoned by the mass walk-outs earlier this year would be filled by internal promotion, he asserted that Activision would not be mandating the Call of Duty team's new make-up.

"As much as possible we don't want to tamper with that group of people," he told Develop, observing that although vacated positions had seen a vast number of applicants, "a lot of people who are really passionate about their job are still there."

"We want Infinity Ward to be Infinity Ward. It's a very specific culture. I'm one hundred per cent confident that the studio will come back to what it was. Ultimately, Infinity Ward will rise from the ashes."

Stohl also discussed the massed redundancies across Activision in February, claiming that despite the general financial health of the company, "The development of projects has got so big that we, by necessity, have to look at some parts of the business and admit they are not as big as they want to be."

Referring to the closures of Red Octane, Luxoflux and Underground Entertainment and the loss of an estimated 300 staff company-wide as an inevitability, he claimed that "Layoffs happened across the entire industry, and everywhere else."

More stories

Infinity Ward pulls "OK" gesture from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Sign has become known as a white supremacist gesture; developer has yet to comment

By Rebekah Valentine

Nintendo spent over $14m on TV ads in March

No other gaming brand cracked $1 million in TV ad spend last month

By Rebekah Valentine

Latest comments (9)

Pier Castonguay Programmer 10 years ago
You can't have your dog back after euthanizing it.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 10 years ago
I wonder how Infinity Ward will still be Infinitiy Ward when the founders and the key personnel are gone. It will only be the Infinitiy Ward that Activision wants. It has been clear in the past few years that Activision is only interested in making money. Not that it is wrong as you have to make money to survive but that corporate greed and lack of respect for IPs, studios and even artists image rights all demonstrated that Activision is not a trustful company for people to work with. If they want to change this image, they have A LOT to do.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
i'm not even sure if IW can continue in any way or form from its glory years. For it is akin to ripping out the brains, lungs and vital organs of a living body, all that is left is a directionless zombie lumbering forward.....
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (9)
Al Campbell Studying Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee10 years ago
"As much as possible we don't want to tamper with that group of people,"
...unless they try to think for themselves and tell us they don't want to do CoD: Modern Warfare 76 right now or, god forbid, go looking for those bonuses they're entitled to.

"a lot of people who are really passionate about their job are still there."
...and will stay there if they ever want to see their loved ones alive again.

For all Activision's trumpet-blowing about losing their negative image, they don't seem interested in actually tackling the problems that gained them that image, preferring to sweep those under the rug and hope that no-one notices. In fact, the dissonance between their actions and their words is just serving to highlight just how little they're valuing personnel now, when they can (and seemingly do) fire them for a quick buck.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nik Love-Gittins Senior Character Artist, FreeStyleGames10 years ago
Al, you seem to be making a lot of assumptions based on absolutely nothing. AFAIK, nothing has come to light about what went on at IW.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 10 years ago
What we seem to forget, that although we know some of the goings on in IW and ACTV, when we come to the masses they are totallly ignorant and will buy the next "From the makers of MW2"-game regardless.
If IW will be the old IW or not, doesnt matter. Most of the potential market for their next iteration of MW will be there.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Joe Bognar Senior Games Account Manager, Substance Global10 years ago
@Al: LOL!
@Aleksi: Totally agree. The people that want to play good CoD-type games, they don't care who's making it and what happened between the studio and the publisher. I've got many friends who, when they heard that CoD:BO is coming out, pre-ordered it straight away. That's it. Activision+people making CoD games=money+satisfied gamers.

The only problem is that in case Activision really is such an evil publisher, after a year or two, they have to promote the cleaning staff to make CoD: Tactical Clean Up 2, because everyone will quit and no one will join the publisher. (Of course jobless designers and programmers will care less about the negative perception when they are desperate for a job...) There are a lot of people without a job already...
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Al Campbell Studying Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee10 years ago
@Nik: I wouldn't call the fact that West and Zamprella are taking Activision to court over unpaid bonuses 'absolutely nothing', nor would I dismiss their statements that Acti was pressuring them to go straight on to making MW3 when they wanted a break from the franchise to look at creating a new IP. Yes, I was exaggerating, but claiming we know 'nothing' about what went on at IW is a bit far when both sides have released statements regarding their side of the story.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
David Rider Publisher, Hustler UK10 years ago
I'm with Aleksi. For every hardcore gamer who knows who Bobby Kotick is and the backstory of IW, there are another 300,000 with no axe to grind who want to be part of the CoD bandwagon. And their mummies and daddies will buy them the next IW game (regardless of any age rating), and the cycle will continue.

In the meantime, the pressure on Treyarch to deliver not only with BO but the next title will be ridiculous.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.