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Epic Games hires Jason West

Respawn and Infinity Ward co-founder returns to game development after six-year hiatus

Jason West has returned to game development. Geoff Keighley broke the news today on Twitter, reporting that West has been working at Epic for the past month.

West is best known for his work at Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward and Titanfall outfit Respawn, both of which he co-founded with Vince Zampella. The pair met working together in the late '90s on a SegaSoft project before joining Oklahoma studio 2015 to work on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. They left that studio to create Infinity Ward and the Call of Duty franchise for Activision. Activision acquired Infinity Ward in 2003, and Infinity Ward would soon turn the franchise into a cornerstone for the publisher.

Despite that success, Activision fired West and Zampella for breach of contract and insubordination in 2010. That set off a round of legal actions that included testimony from the former IT head of Activision that he was directed to hack West and Zampella's computers, phones and email to dig up dirt that could be used to fire them. Activision would eventually pay an unspecified amount to settle the dispute in 2012.

About a month after their firing at Activision, West and Zampella established Respawn as an independent studio with backing from Electronic Arts. However, West would not stay long enough to see the studio's first game release. West retired from Respawn in March of 2013, with the company citing family issues as the reason for his departure.

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