[Update] According to Vince Zampella’s Linkedin profile page, it appears as though he has now become the ex-Studio Head and CEO of Infinity Ward, and has left the company, following fellow co-founder of the studio, Jason West, in leaving the developer. [End of Update]
When most people were focussed on the drama of the PS3 and PSN lockouts, a drama of another type was playing out at the headquarters of Call of Duty developers, Infinity Ward.
The story begins yesterday, when frantic, “freaked out,” and “confused” messages began spilling out of the studio from developers currently working there, as a “bunch of bouncer-types” (which I can only take to mean muscle-bound ‘henchman,’ or security guards) showed up outside of the Infinity Ward offices unannounced, after what insiders at the studio describe as a ‘tense’ time between publisher and owner Activision, and Infinity Ward.
This turn of events was followed by a meeting between Infinity Ward studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West, and Activision executives. Up until recently, staff members have not seen or heard from Zampella or West since the meeting.
Even Infinity Ward’s usually extremely chatty and outgoing community manager/creative strategist, Robert Bowling, didn’t have any further information to share on the issue, saying:
“I should also say, while I appreciate all the calls, tweets, messages and hearing my ringtone a lot,” Bowling posted on his Twitter account, “they’re in vain – as I have no info.”
The next piece of information that came to light involved the revelation that Infinity Ward CTO, Jason West, is now no longer employed at Infinity Ward, the company he founded with Vince Zampella years ago, with confirmation appearing on both a status update on his Facebook page, which simply says:
“Jason West is drinking. Also, unemployed.”
and on West’s Linkedin profile, which states:
“President/Game Director/CCO/CTO Infinity Ward
January 2001 – March 2010 (9 years 3 months)”
The last known development in this drama is the uncovering of a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing by Activision Blizzard, which cites a human resources investigation into “breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward”:
“The Company is concluding an internal human resources inquiry into breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward. This matter is expected to involve the departure of key personnel and litigation. At present, the Company does not expect this matter to have a material impact on the Company.”
It appears as though the inquiry has already resulted in one departure. Zampella may be next.
More news on this story as it becomes available.