Infinity Ward 'reconstructed' - Vivendi CEO

Jean-Bernard Levy reportedly says Activision's once-premier studio has "got over" its personnel troubles; Treyarch tipped as top Call of Duty studio.

Global media giant Vivendi owns a controlling stake in the world's biggest game publisher, Activision Blizzard. So when Vivendi chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Levy spoke at the Morgan Stanley TMT conference this week in Barcelona, it wasn't odd that the subject turned to the Call of Duty franchise.

The Financial Times reports that, unsurprisingly, Levy was thrilled with the $650 million, five-day sales performance of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which broke Modern Warfare 2's record-breaking five-day sales of $550 million.

"We have broken our own record. I am very, very pleased," Levy said. "The Treyarch studio, which made this year's game, has done better than what Infinity Ward could achieve a year ago."

Levy went on to directly discuss Infinity Ward, which was beset by mass staff defections after Activision fired studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West in March. He said that Activision has "got over" the problems and fully rebuilt Infinity Ward. "We have reconstructed Infinity Ward, [and] we are very happy with the way we have been able to reconstruct it," said Levy. Papers filed in a May lawsuit confirmed the studio is currently working on Modern Warfare 3.

The executive went on to say that going forward, the Call of Duty series will have a three-studio strategy, with Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer Games each working on an offshoot of the franchise. Though little is known about the latter's unnamed COD game, it is rumored it will be a science fiction spin-off of the franchise

"We believe this set-up of studios...has demonstrated it can do very well, for sure," said Levy, even though Sledgehammer's game has yet to see the light of day.

For more on Call of Duty: Black Ops, check out GameSpot's full review.

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620 comments
JediFirat
JediFirat

"We have broken our own record. I am very, very pleased," Levy said. "The Treyarch studio, which made this year's game, has done better than what Infinity Ward could achieve a year ago." WTF? The reason for Call of Duty MW2 sold that much in its first day was because it was written MODERN WARFARE in it and it was the SEQUEL to the BEST SELLING FPS EVER. Everyone was going to buy it. And Because MW2 sold so well, people would want to play the next COD game with MODERN WEAPONS, and yes that was BLACK OPS, but why did it sell so well BECAUSE MODERN WARFARE 2 WAS SO POPULAR. Activision is the most stupid company ever made telling Treyarch is better than IW and leaving no more big franchises other than COD. And you know what Activision, just like people got bored of old FPS games like Quake or DOOM, and people got bored of WW2 games like Medal of Honor, BF1942 etc. they are going to one day get bored of your stupid Modern Warfare games and you know what BLACK OPS SUCKS

SgtBeetle75
SgtBeetle75

If the Activision thieves have anything to do with MW3 It will be another COD that I won't buy. IW doesn't even exists anymore it became Respawn and went to EA.

Athirst5IoN
Athirst5IoN

I really hope this "reconstructed" IW works off the MW2 engine. I hope MW3 does not come out looking and feeling like Black Ops. Also do they not realize that Blops broke MW2's record because MW2 did so well. Everyone started playing mw2 therefore everyone instantly was pumped for the next COD release. IMO blops is not even close to being a better game than mw2

Killingspree303
Killingspree303

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Thehobb
Thehobb

finally, i really hope treyarch stops making COD games, their graphics are like watching a Tony Hawk Character with a gun. IW is the best EVER!!!!!!

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

Lets hope they spend more time on Multiplayer.

k1ll8_saurav
k1ll8_saurav

@BrettFavor1185 I wasn't trying to make you sound like an Activision/COD fanboy, but yeah, I can agree with you on the most part. While over-saturation won't kill the game, the lack of innovation will. It's the same old, same old. I noticed that when Bad Company 2 came out, A LOT OF PEOPLE switched over, just because it's something fresh. It relies on teamwork, has a dynamic battle each time, and destruction, all of which COD multiplayer lacks. If Sledgehammer nor Infinity Ward can reinvent the genre like they did with 4, then the reputation will deteriorate until all the fans have gone onto some other uber-fun multiplayer game. Crysis 2 and Homefront are coming out soon, and they both look to have rather different gameplay styles, something which quite a few COD players will definitely find refreshing. I myself have only ever bought 4, but Black Ops interests me simply because of the conspiracy-themed campaign, and I can't do without conspiracies.

BrettFavor1185
BrettFavor1185

@k1ll8_saurav Don't get me wrong I am not saying the CoD series is great or groundbreaking or anything like that. The games are good not great. They aren't going to wow you every time out, but generally they are fun to play. I think as long as they make "good" games (8.0 or higher rated) then people are going to keep buying them no matter what. They won't break records each time, but they will sell a lot and be comercially successful as long as they are critically successful. Now when they start dipping even further in quality and lack a fun gameplay experience then people will quit buying them. My only argument is over-saturation with yearly games isn't enough to destroy a series. You need to put out yearly sub-standard games to do that. Until they release a CoD that the critics say sucks two times in a row the CoD name will sell. I think if the next CoD sucks people will still buy a ton of them because of the name. Now if two games in a row are not accepted as critics then the game will start decreasing dramatically in sales. Personally, the only CoD game I ever bought was MW1. I have played MW2 and Black Ops, but never W@W or any of the previous ones. I'm not defending Activision. I am simply saying the games will keep selling as long as critics rate them highly no matter if they release games yearly or not.

k1ll8_saurav
k1ll8_saurav

@BrettFavor1185 Not to be intrusive or anything, but I must comment on your post. Yes, I agree, comparing a racing game to a FPS game is just silly. But, don't you think that CoD is getting old? Seems like the rest of the world agrees, as although Black Ops might be addictive for CoD fans, it got generally around an 8.5. Wouldn't be what you call a, "sub-8.0 scores?" That's a sign of a series slowly deteriorating, at least, until Activision pushes their design studios to innovate in some new way. And although every game uses the same engine for a few games at the very least, they should at least have the incentive to UPGRADE it in some form or another. Look at the difference between Bad Company 1 & 2 (still Frostbite), Halo 3 & Reach (still Halo 3 engine), and even Call of Duty 4 & Modern Warfare 2 (still IW engine). Many reviewers and users alike have noted that Black Ops has graphics reminiscent of THE FIRST MODERN WARFARE. Not that I have a problem with "classic" graphics. But like you said, nothing says an uneducated gamer like someone who gripes about graphics.

Stealin-Shadows
Stealin-Shadows

The CoD franchise is getting old. Every year is an minor upgrade over the previous year. I hope the studios developing future titles will actually add some meaningful new features and game-play elements to keep it fresh.

karloss01
karloss01

guess i'll be the only one enjoying Reach, Black Ops and BC2 at once while everyone else has a whinefest over who is better.

BrettFavor1185
BrettFavor1185

@Giga_Surfer Did I say that I bought COD games? Nope. I am saying PEOPLE WILL as long as they are good. Do NFS games constantly break sales records and always have ratings above 8.5? NOPE. NFS carries no respect because A. it never really did B. It's a racing game not an all popular FPS C. It consistently released games that got less than 8.0 reviews. I personally don't prefer CoD games, but they have consistently released products that sell well and get good reviews. FPS will always sell as that is probably the most popular genre right now. UNTIL CoD starts releasing games that get sub-8.0 scores people will keep buying them. Will every game break records? Nope. But as long as they get good scores they will sell and no one but haters will say the COD series is ruined. I don't really play COD games. The only ones I ever played a lot was COD2 and Modern Warfare. Sure I tried MW2 and Black Ops, but they didn't keep my attention. Were they bad games? Nope. Just not the way I preferred to spend the little gaming time I have. Be unbiased and intelligent when you make arguments or don't make them at all. P.S. EVERY Series uses the same engine for 3-4 games before they build a new one. If they didn't they wouldn't make ANY money. Everyone does this including DICE and Valve and other respected developers. Making a new engine for every game is not necessary and not practical for developers. Hell most developers use an Unreal Engine for years until they decide to make a new one; just think how many games used Unreal 3. I honestly can't think of a series that doesn't use the same engine for at least two games in a row and that is at BARE minimum. Griping about bad graphics when it doesn't effect gameplay is the last refuge on an uneducated gamer.

geo227
geo227

Once again...greed and corporate jibba jabba will ruin another franchise.

RunRickyRun
RunRickyRun

The Battlefield series is superior in every possible way. Better graphics, destructable environments, better gameplay. COD multiplayer is just deathmatch twictchfests with tiny maps and no strategy or teamwork. They can still be fun for a little while but pales in comparision to battlefield franchise. Unfortunately COD franchise will probably always sell better because it appeals to the less skilled gamers.

redzed24
redzed24

The only reason Black Ops beat MW2 is because Modern Warfare 2 led the way. If something is good.. People will play it, when you know its pedigree, its not hard to think more people will play.. More consoles are sold and more gamers are born.. of course its gonna sell big.. Doesn't mean TreyArch is better.. means they road the coat tales of IW

Giga_Surfer
Giga_Surfer

@BrettFavor1185 Ow but thats the problem, there will always be stupid ppl like your self, to buy the games, the fact is "Old" IW build the MW engine, and the same Engine is being used for CoD 4/5/6 and now Black Ops, thats a 3 year old engine, and i srysly wanna see how is Activision going to produce a new one, since clearly Tryarch is not capable of making an engine, and the "New" IW, is pretty much a shell of what it use to be, so no i won't buy 2 CoD games in the same year, probably won't even buy one, because the way i see it, the next CoD game will also be using the "Old" IW engine, and thats pretty much just paying 60$ for a mod version of CoD 4, Activision, is going to drive the CoD franchise downhill, just like EA did to NFS.

BrettFavor1185
BrettFavor1185

@Giga_Surfer You mean to tell me that if they release a completely different sci-fi game and a new MW that fixes the MP issues and they both get reviews of 8 or higher that people won't buy both in the same year? Seriously how stupid are you? It doesn't matter if you like the games or not people will keep buying the COD brand as long as they don't release terrible games. Terrible being averaging a review of less than 8.

zaphodbblbrox
zaphodbblbrox

Bad Company 2: Vietnam comes out pretty soon. Can't wait for that.

utap
utap

black ops sucks the co op sucks story good i want co op story and the MP ,,,,,,,,,,,,sad to say going back to MW2

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

@admund You're buggered then.That's one of the reasons I don't tend to buy digital copies of a film,CD or game. I have to say though Black Ops has exceeded my expectations greatly.I thought it was going to be yet another cash-in and I wasn't even going to get it.My brother bought it and it looked good so I gave it a go. Left 4 Dead is better as far as Co op goes but it's focused around it with the campaign as an extra thought whilst Black Ops has all 3 key areas covered: Multiplayer,Co op and campaign.This is one of the few Call Of Duties with a strong campaign story that doesn't feel like an after thought like most of the others have done. Eveyone's entitled to their opinion though.

rann89
rann89

lol @ people who keep paying for the same game. I guess there really are no ideas left. They have 3 different studios making their own Call of Duty games now? Yay for the gullible masses.

neoand12
neoand12

Another COD game, Another Year. I don't know how much of this I can take. Never Really liked Treyarch COD games, IW has Changed and Sledgehammer Who? on top of that they wanna do a science fiction spin-off of the franchise? *Cough* Battlefield 2042? *Cough* Treyarch Just Took the franchise name because like Most Noobs out there no one cares who Started the game.

admund
admund

@MEDzZ3RO Well I feel strongly about BO not being up there (to my expectations at the very least). I've said the extra/ huge content imho is just there as it is. Not contributing a solid piece to the gameplay. I view all these visual customizations insufficient for it to warrant me overlooking past flaws. So I'm not buying into most of the buck-load of features being added. My MW2 was on Steam...don't think I can resell it can I? Also abit too late for reselling. Co-op element, I'd argue that L4D offers more.

Rocker6
Rocker6

Im very dissapointed with Black Ops.I played it for a few hours,and then it became boring.Campaing was nice,but short,multiplayer is too similar to MW2.And the worst part is,I cant sold Black Ops,because it has been activated on Steam,and I really hate that.Now,back to BC2,cant wait for new maps,and Vietnam expansion.

berzerk0912
berzerk0912

It maybe Infinity Ward on the outside, but not Infinity Ward in the inside.

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

Three studios so they'll have one game in stores every year.

Psycold
Psycold

Man, this series just got way too big

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

@hatieshorrer Yep,that's why.They'd built the franchise up and cemented it as a strong seller.As far as Activision was concerned they were just some more people to pay.Activision doesn't need them anymore and can acheive a bigger profit if they don't have to pay them all off. Some people say that's disgusting but the fact is that's business.It's a cut-throat industry.

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

@admund I tthought Black Ops was going to be another cash-in for the series where little has changed and they are milking it once again.I was wrong;although the core of what Call Of Duty is remains there,Treyarch have tweaked it which makes a big difference.The faults in Black Ops have been present in the last 3 Call Of Duties but the improvements make it easier to overlook these flaws.It offers way more content then any past game in the franchise and as far as multiplayer goes dare I say more then any other online fps game out there? The campaign and Coi Op element is stronger then any other in the franchise and the online multiplayer is better balanced and offers more. Why pay the full whack price when you can do what most people did and that was trade in MW2.It's no skin off your back seeing as you said yourself it shares the same faults as MW2 and as I've said it has made improvements elsewhere and offers more content. Yes,I do enjoy talking with fellow gamers trading opinions;it always nice to hear someone elses opinion.Clearly you're enjoying this little debate aswell otherwise you wouldn't keep replying.

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@Timmy_Gwar I think activision fired them to avoid paying royalties to them for game sales.

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

sigh... If MW2 was better than MW and WAW and Black Ops was only just as good as MW2 then logically firing Vince Zampella and Jason West for reasons that are more than a little bit vague was one of the stupidest moves in corporate video gaming history. I strongly urge fans of the games to follow the efforts of Zampella and West rather feed Activision gold so they can crap out ever declining mediocrity.

darkgamerer_EX
darkgamerer_EX

The Last one im gonna buy then ill watch the franchise "hopefully" die fianlly

admund
admund

@MEDzZ3RO Yeap the faults were in MW2 as they were here in BO and Treyarch just had to make things easier. + realizing why did I pay 60bucks for BO which has the same faults as MW2? Must be the marketing hype and the momentum built by IW being compounded by Treyarch. & thr's minimum innovation in CoD series now, just regular re#s to make Activision's balance sheet look good. Gamers should know one day when a dev is just milking its fans. Anyways, MW2 was better paced in the rank and unlock system, instead of blazing fast BO's speed. P2P wasn't laggy, it was just inconvenient having to wait 60secs after every game. Mod servers, u can find thm on IWnet just hard to. & nowadays FPS games are having unlock-tier systems, so if u run through all the tiers so fast, thr's nothing left. U've seen it all, why bother unlocking thm again, unless ur that bored or thr's something worthy to add to gameplay at the end. Of which BO doesn't have, just extra decals. (MW2 didn't have much as well, but it had better pacing) Again, I can see ur enjoying urself, don't let me stop you. I'm just saying my thoughts.

calum1984
calum1984

oh and 1 last thing the game engine that call of duty 1 ran on was ID TECH 3, call of duty 2 ran on IW engine which uses the ID TECH 3 source code......ID TECH 3 was first used in Quake 3:arena in 1999! Please dont tell me they innovated etc etc when the game engine they are using is essentially 11 years old (i dont even think the dreamcast wasnt even released when this game engine was first used and ps2 definatly wasnt)

calum1984
calum1984

@Lord-Rasay thats easy to answer number 1. most of its sales are on the 360 fact most 360 players are 9 to 13 year old kids again fact....(also says a lot about the mentality of most CoD players). 2. Its multiplatform as well so it will pick up sales on other consoles (no coincidence that black ops was sold on wii at launch instead of months if not a whole year like mw was on wii and it breaks previous records) and 3. There are more noobs than skilled players CoD is an easy game to play its a "casual" fps its fun but it REALLY does not take skill to play so catering to a vaste majority of the noobs out there who are unwilling to play anything else, like at least 2-3 on my friends list the rest just get it to try it out then trade in (they dont state whats the most traded in game funny that isnt it)

calum1984
calum1984

@hammerofcrom considering most of the staff left IW over the sackings of the 2 head guys then id say its completly fresh guys theyve hire. and @fusionhunter IW didnt want to do another CoD game they admitted that as well, so the question is why did they make another? The answer of course is with those who owned infinity ward and thats the real reason MW2 was pants, MW1 is still the best CoD made

organbank
organbank

So let me guess, this means even more generic shooters, AWESOME

Kid2812
Kid2812

IW and Blizzard making MW3. Good Luck And Fix The Multiplayer

fusionhunter
fusionhunter

MW2 was rushed IW admitted it. Activision are releasing 2 other CoDs so close. IW will not be the same anymore. Just make it like Cod4. Not all this crap.

hammerofcrom
hammerofcrom

Wonder if they promoted people who were already at IW for the open Snr. level positions or if they filled them with "fresh" minds. either way, with all the new(ish) blood in charge could make for some interesting changes in MW3 . . . or it could go the opposite direction. I guess only time will tell.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

Infinity Ward in nothing but name? We'll see.

Lord-Rasay
Lord-Rasay

All of you people saying that ur gonna stop buying call of duty games cause now they are crap! who are u kidding ? if all of u stopped buying then how come every year the franchise makes more! people cant be that stupid to throw their money for nothing! the games are fun ! stop whining ! first everyone attacked EA and after ACTIVISION got to the number one spot they attack it too! and then they say they just want money! WELL BIG SHOCKER! i didnt think they are just there to serve us! ofcourse they want money and they are getting it! so kudos to activision and call of duty! i personally find the COD games still very good fun , quality, and entertainment!

gamedude2020
gamedude2020

this is disappointing news, treyarch are amateurs compared to infinity ward

Hox
Hox

same stuff, different day....

jamalandjboogie
jamalandjboogie

Im done with CoD im lookin forward to Homefront and Brink

Flamerdragon
Flamerdragon

CoD is all a Hype. Thats why Black Ops did well. Sooner or late CoD will start to fade. The trigger for the new CoD hype was the original Modern Warfare. WoW was so-so then Modern Warfare 2 came to blow us away and then the drama starts. I think is too soon to see what will happen to CoD will have to wait for Modern Warfare 3 cos I think Modern Warfare was the cause for all this popularity,hype and record sales for CoD.