UPDATE: Vince Zampella confirms West's departure. Call of Duty designer has reportedly left the studio he started with fellow ex-Infinity Ward colleague Vince Zampella due to "family issues."
Veteran Call of Duty designer and ex-Infinity Ward co-founder Jason West has reportedly left the studio he founded with colleague Vince Zampella following the pair's departure from Activision.
According to the reports, West has been absent from the studio since last May, an amicable departure that happened due to "family issues." Sources claimed West was not involved in the development of Respawn's current title, which could be on show at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June, and which will be published by EA.
West and Zampella formed Respawn Entertainment in early 2010, following the pair's split from Infinity Ward and Activsion over claims of broken promises and an internal investigation, which eventually led to a lawsuit against Activision.
The case settled before going to trial in May last year.
[UPDATE]: Zamella confirmed West's departure on the Respawn blog today, saying:
"Jason has left Respawn to take care of some family issues. We have worked together on some amazing accomplishments over the years, starting with an early Segasoft project that never shipped. It is sad to see things come to an end, but there are times when change is best for growth, both personally and professionally. I wish Jason the best and send my best wishes to his family.
"Respawn continues to amaze me, the team here is resilient and talented. E3 will be therapeutic for us, as we finally get to start showing our work again. I know the team was excited about the response we got from just admitting we were going to attend."
Honestly, I thought he was one of the guys that had already left; which at the time I thought was disappointing, but... Well OK.
I had nearly forgotten about these guys. Hope we see some working footage of the Respawn game at E3...
Moderately interesting news.
Does anyone know if the terms of the lawsuit settlement have been made public?
Cheers for the info, guys. I was really hoping West and Zampella would've gained joint ownership of the Modern Warfare name (I think it was that name and not Call of Duty they wanted, but could be wrong.) but I realise Activision wouldn't have let that happen unless the courts forced them to.
@PlatinumPaladinI read West and Zampella got all the back residuals promised, no conditions on their leave, no restrictions on future game development, some restriction regarding names for games or gamefeatures they could not use. Basically they did just fine with a large enough settlement in their favor that West taking some family leave time will not hurt his finances. All the best to his family welfare.
Activisions ceo, ah forgot his name, stocky greecian looking fellow - well he is a nut. I am amazed those two didn't end up owning the company.
@PlatinumPaladin"All parties to the litigation have reached a settlement of the dispute, the terms of which are strictly confidential." Very unlikely it will ever be revealed but rumor was around 20 million
@baystatethrashr The two cofounders West, Zampella pretty much lead a modest development team in creating MW, MW2, and then made MW3 and oversaw and helped with a couple of other games.
Whether you like the fps modern warfares or not- the fact they have consistently received very high reviews, and huge sales cannot be denied. When those two left Activision much of the staff followed even though they were bribed with millions to stay.
Whether they can recreate that success with a new game is yet to be seen, but as far as overrated - I could not imagine what else you could do beforehand - before making a studio before your considered 'rated'.
@baystatethrashr you know why they are held so high it's because the 2 guys that made duty in the first place founded the studio. CoD:MW almost never came to be activision wanted another WW2 shooter the founders fought, won and activision has made billions off of it. Now they can make something else other than duty when you have the greatest minds in recent FPS making a game their way and EA saying we will give you a blank check that is something to be excited about considering that is a super rare occurrence in the gaming industry in this day and age.
Better than being the most overrated developer (and I use that term loosely) to never had made their own game without relying on another developer to do all the hard work, then take the credit while actually doing nothing more than "Modding" Call of Duty 4 - Yes I am talking about Treyarch, easily the most overrated developer on the market who have yet to produce an original game from scratch.
@MatrixGamer78 Kotaku and IGN dropped the ball too by the sounds of things. And besides, just because he'd been absent since May wouldn't necessarily have meant he'd officially stopped working for Respawn.
Why can't these devs stop having families and start dealing with the important stuff, like evolving gaming into an artform!
People have no idea what they're going on about, lets hear a statement from them shall we, you know, before we start slagging them all off saying they will fail.
anyone else find it ironic that the case settled in may last year and thats also the time he's been absent from respawn, sounds like someone got a very nice payout.
lol they planed to stab activi$ion in the back now they started stabing each others backs not a surprise.
You got it backwards, Activision stabbed them in the back otherwise they would have never settled out of court. The last few court documents released before the settlement clearly show this was the case and Activision settled before the rest of the truth came out and further damaged their reputation and cost them more in court.
And family always comes before work, which he probably would not have gotten that leeway from Activision had Infinity Ward stayed intact.
Man is it only a matter of time know before they announce they wont be coming to E3? Surely not being in attendance since May would have disrupted development.
@xxBenblasterxx you do realize it could be as easy as he just help found it considering if he invested the RoI is going to be great. They have around 60 people from their original staff from IW. I wouldn't be to concerned about lack of work they have been keeping the game under the radar cause they don't want people copying it.
@xxBenblasterxx Yeah, but the article claims West was never involved with the game they're thought to be showing, which would mean no disruption what-so-ever. Even if he had been, I doubt Zampella and the rest of Respawn have been sat around twiddling their thumbs since May waiting for him to return.
Well, I wish the best for Jason, and I hope he's able to take care of his family and eventually come back to the gaming world as well sometime in the future.
I think i know this feeling too well, no matter how much passion or investment one wants to achieve. When your family and personal life is at stake, its a very difficult situation to deal with and some may think its silly but its true. Unless you have a family of your own, you wont understand it
Left the company? Before even producing a single game? I know family is important, but why not just take time off? After producing the most popular franchise of all time and then leaving Activision to start a new company, these guys should be gold. Whatever his reasons, they must have been important enough to throw it all away.
@Pierce_Sparrow Something about this sounds strange to me too Sparrow. Don't get me wrong. If he has a family crisis, just take the time off. Who in their right minds would say to him "No! You left Activision and EA so you could make games!!"
But leaving the company completely, doesn't sound right. Especially as Respawn is supposed to have all these great game ideas now that they're totally independent. I'm wondering now, if that settlement may have come at the best possible time for these two.
Oh boy Respawn may fail to live up to its name and respawn jason west and Vince Zampella reputation/career
Content you might like…
Studio founded by Call of Duty veterans says it is "business as usual" amid rumors of third-party support program shutting down.
- Apr 25, 2013
Users who looked at this article also looked at these content items.
Avalanche Studios co-founder says developer's ambition is for action, not moments that make players cry; steampunk-style game on hold. Full Story
- Posted May 15, 2013 6:33 am PT
4A Games creative director Andrew Prokhorov thanks Jason Rubin for telling the studio's story, but says, "We deserve the ratings we get." Full Story
- Posted May 16, 2013 12:44 pm PT