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EA signs West and Zampella's Respawn Entertainment

Ex-Infinity Ward duo form new independent studio and ink deal with EA Partners for future titles

Ex-Infinity Ward developers Jason West and Vince Zampella have announced the formation of a new independent development studio, Respawn Entertainment, and have signed a distribution agreement with EA Partners.

The duo were sacked from Activision's Call of Duty studio last month and are currently engaged in a bitter legal battle with their former employers.

The new team makes a point of stating that it will retain all the intellectual property it creates, one of the major sticking points in West and Zampella's legal row with Activision.

"Respawn Entertainment marks a fresh start for Jason and me," said Vince Zampella, general manager of of the new studio.

"For the past decade we led a great development team and poured our hearts into creating an epic game franchise. We're very proud of what we built - and proud that so many millions of fans enjoyed those games. Today we hope to do it all over again - open a new studio, hire a great team, and create brand new games with a new partner, EA."

West and Zampella are represented by Creative Artists Agency, and although full details are not disclosed, Respawn has indicated EA Partners will get the exclusive distribution rights to a number of future games from the team.

"This is the start of a great publishing partnership - one that I expect will develop blockbuster game franchises," added Frank Gibeau, President of the EA Games.

"Jason and Vince are two of the top creative leaders in the entertainment industry. At EA, we're honoured to be their partners and to give them the support they need to hire a team and return to making incredible games."

The developers were ousted from Infinity Ward last month for "insubordination", with Activision claiming that they had been discussing leaving the studio to set up with "Activision's closest competitor." West and Zampella are currently suing the publisher, after helping to establish the $3 billion Call of Duty franchise.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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