"Revelations" from Call of Duty suit led to rift between West and Zampella - Report

Source says Zampella felt West was "sabotaging" Respawn, barely came into the office before leaving for good in March.

A source close to Respawn Entertainment has told Vanity Fair (via Superannuation) that "revelations" about Jason West's behavior upset Vince Zampella, leading to a rift between the longtime colleagues and Call of Duty creators.

"Vince felt that Jason was sabotaging the company," a source said.

West reportedly "barely" came into the office during development of Titanfall, before leaving for good in March to "take care of some family issues" in North Carolina.

Speaking with Vanity Fair in April, Zampella would not go further into detail regarding the nature of his relationship with West, only saying, "It's hard to work with one person for 15 years."

A Respawn Entertainment representative told GameSpot today, "All the comment we have is what is already in the article. Vince put out an official statement about Jason leaving on our blog a few months ago and that's all I got for you."

It does not appear West will return to the industry anytime soon, telling Vanity Fair in August that he is "soured" on the game business, due in part to being "strong-armed" by executives.

"It does sort of sour you on the industry," West said. "It's tough. If we can't get treated well, what possible chance does a newcomer have? How do they prevent themselves from being strong-armed by the guys with the money? I wish I had the answer to that question, but I don't."

West and Zampella formed Respawn Entertainment in early 2010, following the pair's split from Infinity Ward and Activision over claims of broken promises and an internal investigation, which eventually led to a lawsuit against Activision.

The case was settled before going to trial in May last year.

Respawn's new game, Titanfall, launches next year exclusively on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Want the latest news about Titanfall?

Titanfall

Titanfall

Discussion

71 comments
blackace
blackace

This is what happens when you let large publishing corporations buy your company. After they do that, you are at their mercy because they hold all the money and all the cards. If I'm going to sell my company to a big business, they I'm not going to be a part of that company anymore. I'd take my money and run. You never want to be the little man having to obey the bigwigs if you don't have to. 

Titanfall looks like it will be a great game, but with EA in charge, who knows what will happen to Respawn or the Titanfall franchise.

666TRYME666
666TRYME666

This game looks really awesome. I'll be sure to follow up with more reading to see what the plan is going forward. I especially like the idea of bounding within the environment with ease. Seems really smooth. 

destroyeur
destroyeur

I bet he got fed up when on one side he is getting rid of corporate America whilst Zampella was signing deals with Microsoft for exclusivity. I'd be curious to know if he even approved of the EA publishing deal.

Verityrant
Verityrant

That would probably be why Kickstarter, Project Greelight, and other alternative funding/publishing means are getting so popular.  Game devs don't want to lose control of their idea to money men.  

ewjiml
ewjiml

So he finally came to the revelation that publishers are out there to make money....who would have thought....

LonelyHippie27
LonelyHippie27

This is the guy to blame for ruining COD.  Zampella is a cool dude. I think he sees how bad the franchise has been raped, kinda hard to not notice really.

steelmouth
steelmouth

it would be great if West  also made his own game so instead of one we get two games :)

whatshannenin
whatshannenin

I'm sure Sony has a few new spots available for a name like his..

caramel_cod
caramel_cod

"How do they prevent themselves from being strong-armed by the guys with the money?" They don't. Neither do the veterans. And you can't make games with your own money either. Hell, the movie/television industries are in a similar state.


Creativity takes a backseat to marketability, or it dies. It's the pathetic reality of many modern industries.

blue-peregrine
blue-peregrine

Announcers voice:  On the last episode of *insert soap opera title for this video game article*

Syphon_Filter2
Syphon_Filter2

The entire company is shit and their game. I will never pay a cent nor supporting this crap company.

Homerj
Homerj

Sounds like West had a "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" revalation at some point, told the execs to stuff it and Zampella wanted to kowtow.  Given the timed exclusivity deal, its pretty easy to see why West took his money and told everybody involved to stick it.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

One word West. Kickstarter. 

Anigmar
Anigmar

This is turning into some odd soap drama.

Darth_Ultima
Darth_Ultima

What I took from this article is that greedy executives are killing the game industry by driving off the best talent.  Which doesn't surprise me.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

I'm sure west has enough money in the bank that he no longer needs the game industry anymore.

KeenoControl
KeenoControl

Sounds like Activision was right...at least about Jason West

R-tofen
R-tofen

 Respawn's new game, Titanfall, launches next year exclusively on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

 Using the term exclusively a little loose aint we?

Claudiov1_0
Claudiov1_0

@Redsyrup WEST: I AM HERE TO KICKSTART A BRAND NEW AMAZING SHOOTER, IT'S NAME TITAN OF DUTY,,,then AC\DC plays on the background... how about it??


collinmul
collinmul

@KeenoControl Yeah, I was thinking now that at least *some* of what Activision alleged may be true about him.

West felt wronged, he stopped caring, and then Activision - and later Zampella - grew tired of his antics.

Still probably got screwed over in the first place by Activision, but he didn't handle the situation nearly as well as Zampella, apparently.

pozium
pozium

@R-tofen i think definitely mean Respawn's new game, Titanfall, won't launch on PS3 and PS4............Ha!, battle of consoles

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Claudiov1_0 

Hey, WTF dude, that's not cool at ALL, now if it was Titan of Duty of Halo of Gears of HONOR... THEN I'd throw money at it!

Anigmar
Anigmar

@doolindesperado @Anigmar I can totally see a new reality show like Big Brother but using developers, publishers' CEOs and even Gamestop's employees. It'd be the ultimate trash.

TrueGB
TrueGB

@collinmul @KeenoControl Nope. Activision's claims were bull. It really was just Kotick getting revenge on them for managing to negotiate a good contract. Kotick called them "insolent little pricks" and actually said in an email to fire those guys first chance they got to get out of the contract.

Unfortunately for them, West and Zamp got a hold of this email and revealed it on the internet. Three days later, Activision settled out of court.

Zerabp
Zerabp

@pozium @R-tofen It's a timed exclusive, they've already stated they plan to bring it to PS4 when the deal expires.

saint311
saint311

@pozium @R-tofen exactly...  "exclusive" pretty much ignores PC (open-sourced, no publisher needed, ever-evolving system), it's generally used in regards to the console wars.  So yes, it is exclusive to MS consoles.

nickpeck36
nickpeck36

@johnners2981 @saint311 @pozium @R-tofen guess who's os you will be playing it on on the pc? ;p