Call of Duty Created in Part as a Jab at EA, Veteran Developer Says
"They tried to strong-arm us a little bit."
The Call of Duty series was created in part as a jab of sorts at Electronic Arts, according to Infinity Ward founder Vince Zampella. While at developer 2015 Inc., Zampella worked on Medal of Honor Allied Assault, which sold well. After this success, EA wanted to make 2015 Inc. an internal studio, Zampella said in a new interview with IGN. However, Zampella and the team had other ideas.
"EA wanted to pull it in house so they forced us to try to come be part of EA," he explained. "We didn't want to do that. They tried to strong-arm us a little bit. Once they tried to strong-arm us, we decided we don't want to be part of EA--as a team, we decided that wasn't what we set out to do."
Zampella would go on to found Infinity Ward, which was acquired by Activision in 2003 during the same month that it released the first Call of Duty. In the interview, Zampella acknowledged that the creation of Call of Duty was in part a response to what happened with EA.
Activision fired Zampella and Infinity Ward's other founder, Jason West, in 2010 for "insubordination." A lawsuit followed, which was ultimately settled in 2012; the terms have remained a mystery.
Zampella and West went on to establish Respawn Entertainment, shipping Titanfall in 2014 through a partnership with EA. Respawn's next game is Titanfall 2, which comes out this month on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and is also published by EA. West left Respawn in 2013 and has not emerged in a new video game development role.
The next Call of Duty game is November's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which was developed by Infinity Ward. One of Infinity Ward's most beloved Call of Duty games, 2007's Modern Warfare, was remastered for new-generation consoles and PC and will launch next month through premium versions of Infinite Warfare.