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Feature Video

The Zampella Formula

Under the gun.

by

Vince Zampella may not have the name recognition of a Shigeru Miyamoto or a Peter Molyneux, but as one of the masterminds behind Call of Duty's success, Zampella has left a substantial legacy on video game history. Now Zampella is out to prove that he can make magic once again with Titanfall, the debut effort from his new studio, Respawn Entertainment. As The Next Big Thing draws to a close, we asked Zampella about his experience trying to live up to the pressure of this Call of Duty successor.

"We put a lot of personal pressure on ourselves as a team to really make something that's the best we could possibly do," says Zampella. "On top of that, there's the [desire] to prove you can do this again."

"We're in games because we love it. It's in our DNA," he says. "[Titanfall] has to be good for that reason. And then unveiling the game and having it received so well, it adds another level of pressure. We have to deliver on what we've promised."

Fortunately for Zampella, he's not doing this alone. Much of Infinity Ward's top talent followed Zampella to Respawn, leading to a core team that's already very familiar with each other's work. At roughly 75 employees, Respawn is a lean staff by AAA gaming standards, but everyone on that roster is pitching in to help realize their vision for Titanfall.

"Game development is a team sport," says Zampella. "This game wouldn't exist as it is without everybody on this team. I didn't make Titanfall. Respawn did. It's all about the team."

Watch the video above to learn more about Zampella's story.

Discussion

96 comments
altairdarius
altairdarius

formula of my ass, it's always kill or be killed, in Titanfall's case faster I guess. So stop acting like you created the new generation of COD or BF.

SpLiTMaN
SpLiTMaN

Cod were the 1rst to use the DX 9....but they died because over 10 years later they are still using that exact same engine except for ghost witch is on a DX11 game Not usuing ANY DX 11 elements...and here we have something "Unique"...witch really isn't when you know abound games like the entire Tribes franchise...and that stupid multyplayer campaing crap witch doesn't even have you fighting people....whats the point...im sorry i was rooting for this game i really wanted This to be THE ONE to save them from them selves....but shit is shit no matter the perfume you spray it with!!!!

joalopes
joalopes

After playing the beta, I truly believe Titanfall games will take the FPS crown.

First of all, I've played most COD games. But we all know Activision is using it as a cash cow.

They've been unwilling to take risks. To evolve their technology. 

The fact is, The gameplay in Titanfall is refreshing but at the same time equally if not more addictive than COD.

This is just my opinion, but I do believe Activision is in trouble.

Titanfall offers the style of gameplay that the masses will enjoy. So because it is refreshing I can see a lot, and I mean a lot of COD players switching to Titanfall.

As for people that want that military shooter feel, they will just get Battlefield.

The thing is, there really isn't much point on buying both Titanfall and COD. 

I don´t know if people will agree with me or not, but the truth is, everyone I have talked to that played the beta, loved it. Everyone is going to buy it.

In fact most people on my friends list, from different clans, casuals, regulars all of them were playing Titanfall.


Quite frankly after trying Titanfall, any urge I had to play a COD game has completely disappeared, and if a lot of other people feel the same, that is not good for Activision.

thrombosis45
thrombosis45

If the "Zampella Formula", means spending $200 million dollars a year on marketing, and $2 million dollars on development to re-release a hit game with different cover art, then this guy indeed deserves recognition. Before consoles took over FPS games, they would released EXPANSION PACKS for games, and they were EXACTLY the same as CoD sequels. They added more maps and 3-4 hours of single player campaign and cost 30 bucks, only you could still play the older maps without paying for them again like CoD makes you.


So far, EA and MS have bought the mega-hype needed for the Zampella formula to work, and without a doubt Titanfall was made from the ground up to be a franchise, annually re-released.

Freboy
Freboy

I think Zampella and this buddies seem like a very talented, brave bunch. They walked away from the Medal of Honor development to start their own company that absolutely slaughtered MoH. Then, when that company got absorbed into the corporate ecosystem, they just did it again.


The problem with games today isn't Call of Duty. The problem is that all OTHER developers think they need to be LIKE CoD to sell more. CoD takes a straightforward formula and executes it well. Other developers think that they need to make their games linear shooting affairs with a focus on set pieces to bite into that market.


They are wrong.

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

the game is hyped to much to be good ... CoD is bad too.

jdrake1772
jdrake1772

Game is F'n AWESOME!!!! Can't wait for march 11th

jacquelineferre
jacquelineferre

EA is giving GS so much money.... I'm expecting a 9 from Chris

BlueRaptor7
BlueRaptor7

Peter Molyneux? lol No, just.. no. 

baboonmagic
baboonmagic

had a blast playing the beta on xbox 1.  i haven't had that much fun playing an fps since the 99 release of aliens vs. predator on pc.  aliens ftw!

R4gn4r0k
R4gn4r0k

The Next Big Game was a great series Gamespot. It gave me a lot of insight on how the game came to be and how the developers work. Thanks for this.

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

Zampella's & his teams Call of Duties were the best, I like to forget post CoD 4, MW2 sounds complicated and the PC version was terrible for whatever reasons, guess will never truly know, legal reasons I imagine.


Can't see the team behind Titan Fall making such mistakes but i can see Activation stifling their development in order to maximise profits, cutting out mods, field of view, dedicated servers and the like to cater to their larger market despite having a strong PC following which is all but dead at this point as a result, simply idiotic.


Probably why most of the team left so they could have free reign, but that's just my speculation based on what iv'e read, could be way off.


Looking forward to Titan Fall, the Beta was awesome and knows how to have fun like the CoD 2 & 4 days, also feels a little Quake & UT in some ways, maybe because of the parkour and verticality :D


Titan Fall also works great on PC and Console, something the older CoDs did too and have not managed to achieve in recent years, surly this team the reason why. 

ermhm
ermhm

Succinct and insightful! Great interview, wish it was longer (like the Break Room show) :)

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

If you want to make a shitty shooter, by all means follow the Zampella formula.  Good shooters don't.

Blazen702
Blazen702

Great video. Great game. Definitely a strong candidate for Game of the Year.

Raptor1z
Raptor1z

Shout out to the GameSpot team - this video right here shows why I load up this site daily. Excellent content, great personable presenters, exclusive interviews, and slick presentation. #killingit

placksheep
placksheep

Gamespot has become my replacement for TV :-) Keep up the great work guys!

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

So... he's just some guy who works on poorly designed, overhyped games made by companies that spend all their budget on marketing? Good to know!

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say simplicity and mass marketing are the keys to this winning formula.  Oh, and guns.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

Awesome series @dannyodwyer , can't wait for the next one!

PS - Please let it be inFamous:SS. ;)

ziproy
ziproy

Please let someone competent review this game, like Danny. No Caroline, No Tom, No Keven they all should have their critic licenses revoked

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

This was cool. Feels like the most we've heard from Zampella in a long time. I've said it before, but it's a real shame West is no longer there and involved in all of this.

EdmundKain4682
EdmundKain4682

I understand the game is coming out sometime next month , and it seems a like an interesting game and all. but are we going to have a new article of about the same game everyday till it launches? 

ForceSkin
ForceSkin

@joalopes  After I finished playing the Beta, I went back to playing COD: Ghosts. The first match I played the final kill cam was a dude crouched in a corner with a sniper rifle and space cat camo waiting for someone to run past. Pretty fitting...

FELOFLOW
FELOFLOW

@joalopes agree is simple COD and BF u only push the stick up or W in the pc now with titanfall u don't only go forward but UP and that is the most addictive now.


poor activision they can only give steam free weekend of GHOST but now that i have play both i will not spend a penny in another cod since i think this TITNANFALL will make a lot of people follow it


and because everyone is tired of activision greed

repetitious
repetitious

@thrombosis45  totally, they paid so much that a majority of gamers that played the beta loved it....

theprismhead
theprismhead

@Freboy MoH:AA was better than CoD or at least more memorable (although both were really good) and you can hardly call it slaughter since it was essentially CoD 0.

joalopes
joalopes

@Lykanthropie  I had the same exact thought before playing the beta. But now that I have played it, I must say that the hype is well deserved. IT´s hard to put it in words. The game is extremely fun to play. And has a certain coolness factor to it. They have payed a lot of attention to detail, but most of all they have found ways to keep the player entertained even when they suck. A good example is when a fight is over if you´re on the loosing team you need to evacuate, and achieving that gives you a small measure of success. Or for instance using your Titan to defend the evacuation zone and have some last revenge kills. 


It all makes a game a lot more fun. .

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@ermhm  I agree. Though I'm sure they probably only had so much time to talk to him. But Zampella is one of the people in the industry that I would love to listen to talk about any number of things. Team building, development processes, etc.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

You trying to say Call of Duty is poorly designed?  Because it's clearly not...

Blazen702
Blazen702

Infamous has always been garbage. Don't think they will waste resources on that game.

getsome99
getsome99

What?!? No Kevin, no Caroline?!? Dude if no one else at GSpot knows how to fully break down and deliver critical aspects of a game, they damn sure do! (Including TomMcshea) But I guess haters gonna hate..

lameblamer
lameblamer

@ziproy


Do they not have proper editing here? It seems like a lot of purely opinion trash reviews go through..

pip3dream
pip3dream

@ziproy  You kind of sound like a petulant child.  Those are all fantastic writers.

RetroSEAL
RetroSEAL

@ziproy  Those critics are all great writers. No idea what you're talking about. Yes, they have qualms with many things we don't have qualms with, but they justify it in an intelligent way. Revoke ziproy? I personally love all three of those critics (Especially VaNord) because they write intelligently and elegantly. Nice try though.

Freboy
Freboy

@theprismhead @Freboy  By 'slaughter' I was referring to sales numbers. Perhaps at the time, the MoH games were fairly big, but over time, CoD definitely took over the market.

ForceSkin
ForceSkin

@jdrake1772 *Yeah *you're *an. I'm pretty sure that if you call someone an idiot it is better to have spelt more than 50% of your words correctly

dannyodwyer
dannyodwyer moderator staff

@ExtremePhobia @ermhm  Yea we only had 15 minutes with him (for 4 videos). We're working on getting some more time with him very soon though.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@kenundrum7 @Thanatos2kYou can be wildly successful making a game about a bird that flies through pipes.


Commercial success clearly has no connection with quality these days.

R4gn4r0k
R4gn4r0k

@kenundrum7 @Thanatos2k  Let's see, he worked on MOH:AA, COD 1, COD 2 and the modern call of duties and now Titanfall.

I'd say the man is a Legend, even if I was never a fan of the newer CODs (starting from COD4)

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

@nl_skipper You're right, it can't be poorly designed if it has no design in the first place...

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Blazen702  This might come as a surprise to you, but people have different opinions, commonly referred to as their own. I know, I know, mind = blown, etc.

I loved inFamous and inFamous 2, and to me inFamous:SS is the next big release, so not a big stretch to see me rooting for it.

May not be yours, and it doesn't have to be. Peace.