Infinity Ward suffers more losses

Design lead Mackey McCandlish, senior animator Bruce Ferriz, programmer Jon Shiring exit despite Activision dangling prospect of increased royalty payouts.

Activision brass took the nuclear option at Infinity Ward in March, firing studio cofounders Vince Zampella and Jason West over charges of breach of contract and insubordination. Though the reaction was strong in the games press, analysts largely shrugged at the decision. A consensus said that the move wouldn't have much impact on Activision's bottom line, unless it sparked a brain drain of talent at Infinity Ward.

Though it's too early to call it a brain drain, five senior Infinity Ward staffers have announced their departure, with three leaving just this week.

Infinity Ward continues to suffer casualties of business.

Perhaps the most significant of the recent round of departures is design lead Mackey McCandlish, who has been with Infinity Ward since the first Call of Duty shipped in 2003. McCandlish revealed his departure via Twitter. "Thanks idub, we had a great 8+ year run going there. Thanks for lunch everyone!" the developer's farewell tweet reads.

McCandlish is the second design lead to part ways with Infinity Ward this month. Last week, multiplayer design lead Todd Aldermann and lead software engineer Francesco Gigliotti, revealed through their LinkedIn profiles that they were no longer with Infinity Ward. Notably, McCandlish and Todd Aldermann make up one half of Infinity Ward's design leads credited on Modern Warfare 2.

This week also saw the departure of Jon Shiring, who has been with Infinity Ward since June 2004. "After almost 6 years at Infinity Ward, I resigned today. I'm incredibly proud of everything we accomplished and I'm going to miss everyone," the programmer said through his Twitter feed. Shiring's credits include Call of Duty 2 as well as Modern Warfare and its top-selling sequel.

Lastly, Bruce Ferriz has also left Infinity Ward this month, according to his LinkedIn profile. Though he was only with the company since March 2009, Ferriz held a senior-level animator position at the studio.

Activision has taken steps to prevent a continued hemorrhaging of talent at Infinity Ward. As part of its counterclaim to West and Zampella's $36 million lawsuit, the publisher said that once it "prevails in this matter, it intends to reallocate any share of the Modern Warfare 2 bonus pool that might otherwise have been payable to West and Zampella to those employees responsible for the success of the game who remain employees of the company subsequent to the resolution of the matter."

None of the aforementioned developers have indicated their future plans. In announcing Respawn Entertainment yesterday, West and Zampella declined to comment on whether they expected to hire other Infinity Ward alumni. However, the two did say that its publishing partner, Electronic Arts, has provided the startup with funds to staff up and "build a blockbuster product."

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Discussion

475 comments
mms420mms
mms420mms

Zampella and Jason made history for infityward ,but it is sad for infinityward that it lost great member/designers like them. Looks like activision dig its own grave.If Zampella and Jason jion EA sports then it will be great rise up to top. MY &gmaespot member Best wishes to those great designer for their future.

Venom_injektion
Venom_injektion

Activision just lost it all... or shall I say the rest of it. They aren't going to last much longer, Vince Zampella and Jason West were the heart and brain of the franchise. Now Activision will surely bleed out, and quickly. EA is likely to rise up beautifully from all of this.

yang4200
yang4200

Im starting to believe that activision really did screw over those 2 dude now

karloss01
karloss01

Good night, sweet prince. Infinity Ward 2002 - 2010

kmconstable
kmconstable

What if the ex-IW heads get the rights back to the COD series? Then EA would really be happy! That would be quite the twist

redskinStu
redskinStu

Just like the Guitar Hero thing, with big bucks comes big egoes (on both sides).

IRISH_VANDAL
IRISH_VANDAL

WHA-WHA-WHA- WHATTT? These 2 have been in bed together? Holy cash cow family. How is the little man developers going to survive. DOWN WITH THE JUGGERNAUTS. By used if you can make it. Don't give the profits to these developers/publishers. We are being taken time and time again without the advancements we rightfully deserve.GAMERS UNITE.

p4kman88
p4kman88

*pourin out 40oz 211 steel reserve* ....for the dead homies....

Henninger
Henninger

@ ActionManly U know wut ur rite!

metalhead1966
metalhead1966

Hopefully the idiots who decided not to use dedicated servers for multiplayer are gone. Peer to peer is crap. Lag galore, hangs, host transfers... You would think a multibillion $ game would have servers.

atakan5
atakan5

REVENGE OF THE EA.EA WANTS BACK 2015 STUDIO BECAUSE INFINITY WARD CAME THIS PLACE FROM 2015 STUDIO.

andalore
andalore

Well at least The fresh faces that are replacingall these Departees will hopefully add new Ideas to the CoD games

abbnormmal
abbnormmal

Maximize the profits on that Activision.

getsome35
getsome35

Yes killeroo, the development team started with EA on the Medal of Honor Allied Assault PC game which had the same addicting multiplayer mode call of duty has. They have "respawned" in the industry more than once, creating hit games each time.

bignick217
bignick217

"the publisher said that once it "prevails in this matter, it intends to reallocate any share of the Modern Warfare 2 bonus pool that might otherwise have been payable to West and Zampella to those employees responsible for the success of the game who remain employees of the company subsequent to the resolution of the matter."" What?! Oh so they mean the same bonus they "claim" to have tried to give to the team prior to West and Zampella's departure. The same funds they "claim" West and Zempella blocked them from giving. The same funds they could have given anyway after West and Zampella left and before the lawsuit if their "claims" were true. Last I heard, Activision has a lot more money at their disposal than $36 million dollars, so what's "really" stopping Activision from handing over the "bonus" they "claim" to want to give to the Infinity Ward team for doing a good job. If they did a good job, they did a good job. West and Zampella's lawsuit should have "NO" bearing on the entitlement of bonus's to be given to the Infinity Ward team. This sounds more like a ploy by Activision to create animosity within the Infinity Ward team towards West and Zampella and to try to force the Infinity Ward team members to stay in their current roles in the hopes of receiving a "bonus" they probably won't see and should have received a long time ago. Sorry Activision, I'm not buying it. It makes no sense. I smell bull@#$%.

ebun100
ebun100

I bet EA will really be smiling about all this and waiting anxiously to receive the other Infinity Ward resignees.

killeroo
killeroo

didnt infinity ward form from the old medal of honor designers? hopefully they will reform again and create another game, going to be very interesting

XEKazumi
XEKazumi

In the World of Warcraft, whenever something dies, it inevitably respawns. Oh the irony. You people will get your next MW, but instead of being fed fake cheese you will get actual ice cream, under a different name most likely.

alexLmx6
alexLmx6

good stuff, activision will haveta learn sooner or later not to abuse its employees

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Yep, nice job of hanging onto your talent Kotick. Activison = number one at destroying valuable IP's.

mardinn
mardinn

No, really? Infinity Ward is going down like Duke Nukem "ForEver"

maverick_76
maverick_76

If I was to stay on I would have them put it all in writing that they are going to increase the royalty payout, in exact figures too.

twistedmalice
twistedmalice

No looking good for Infinity Ward. Time will tell.

cyborg100000
cyborg100000

I can see the smile slowly disappearing off Bobby's face.

Paulf001
Paulf001

These guys have got to be nuts to leave a job in this economy.

Cidious84
Cidious84

R.I.P. Modern Warfare franchise 2007-2010...the good die so young :-(

wolfyrabbit
wolfyrabbit

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

electroban
electroban

Welll it may NOT affect the next CoD game, I mean let's face it, they've been using the same gfx line as MW and MW2. These games are not huge, the levels are all small, most of the money spent goes into advertisement and story. The gfx are already in place, all they need is some level designers. The Modern Warfare series has always been about the swooshy single player with the set piece combat, and the sub par multiplayer, that every1 thinks is good becos their only other experience is a Halo shooter.

XanderZane
XanderZane

It won't effect Activision immediately, but when they decide to finish working on MW3, it might. There's no doubt the game won't be as polished as that other games with so much of the lead talent leaving IW. As I said a while back, these guys should have just sold the rights to CoD and MW, and stay away from Activision completely. Start up their new developing studio and start from scratch.

legioniers
legioniers

So will there be another "Call of Duty" or no i hope not because they didn't do that good with Modern Warfare 2 or the stimulus packages. they are ok but not that great.

JunoFallon
JunoFallon

Well ultimately I know this still won't affect Activision in the long run but I'm glad to see some of the IW staff members have a bit of integrity.

Unholy123
Unholy123

Hah! You know the company is blowing smoke up the remaining employees *sses doing w/e it can to make them stay. I like that they say how they are gonna give this money to those that stay buuuuuut only once they "prevail in this matter" so if we lose and you stay... well sucks to be you. I imagine the conversation they have sounds like this "So... were gonna look at maybe giving you a tiny tiny little nugget of that massive gold mine you made for us, so huh huh thats cool guys right? you'll stay? Guys....?" Oh Activision you use to be cool man.

Nodashi
Nodashi

This is SO GOOD to EAgames it's not even funny. Vivendi, AKA Activision Blizzard parent company, should have stopped Kotick before he did that much damage to one of the only 2 lucrative studios they have. Now Activision Blizzard is pretty much... Blizzard. And as good as blizzard is, they launch 1 game every 5 years or so. So they revenue is bound to be dependant on MMOs, and everything in business know how mab is to depend on a sigle cow to mantain your income.

Raxyman
Raxyman

That's "For the record" of Activision.

muzmyyster
muzmyyster

I think it was wrong what Activision did and i don't think their giving the full story. Vince and Zampella deserved that bonus in my opinion good for them for fighting back.

The_Mad_Hatter
The_Mad_Hatter

and this how activision implodes and killed the modern warfare saga and this is how Respawn Entertainment gives the finishing blow with a vengeance.

jrorl63
jrorl63

well no more COD... o well

Takeno456
Takeno456

The death of a once powerful company.

wolfyrabbit
wolfyrabbit

stock prices drop even lower today...

KuRf
KuRf

sun tzu said...when u cut the head everything will follow....n yes everything does follow... "let us today pray for the destruction of an evil empire 'Activision'" who despite their name doesn't really reflect on it...should change it to NOVISION... imagine...ppl there putting their resignation...when out from the studio n enter the respawn studio just down the road...tat'll be funny...lol

73X
73X

Suck it, Kotick!

Darksonic666
Darksonic666

hope there will still be a call of duty 7

Flatbattery
Flatbattery

And the life blood slowly drips away...........Feeling cold yet Activision?

Hanzoadam
Hanzoadam

good for them to walk out they're sicking together, I don;t like call of duty that much so I wouldn't care if they never made anymore but its nice to see them stick together

Sw2093
Sw2093

damn it this is getting worse by the day