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.

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Avatar image for Atzenkiller

Moved away from EA over to Activision. That turned out well, huh?

Avatar image for NTM23

Both were good too. Call of Duty played a little better I think, but overall, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Frontline were just as good. Frontline had the most memorable soundtrack though (not necessarily better; maybe, but definitely more memorable).

Avatar image for WarFox89

COD Basically is a dead horse since Activision fired Zampella and Jason West. Infinity Ward lost their magic just as the 2 of greatest game developers in the past 2 decades.

Avatar image for darthrevenx

@WarFox89: i think you need to play way more games before making that claim.....

you need to go back to 1996 and start playing more games......i assure you in context these guys were hacks in their heyday, hey they made a couple big hits, id Software should have far more credit and be known far more than they are now......

Timesplitters series alone was way better than COD.....seriously think about what you're're saying nobody else matters but a couple war game hacks???? other dev's were already making these games, COD isn't original....Delta Force, Rainbow Six, COUNTERSTRIKE!!!!!

Avatar image for WarFox89

@darthrevenx: You got me wrong man. I never said nobody else matters but a couple war game hacks. I do said that they are 2 of the greatest game developers in the past 2 decades who refined and reinvented the FPS genre as we know it today and they deserve credit for it. There is also a big amount of very great and talented developers out there that made amazing games a contributed their valuable part to the gaming industry. I never meant to subtract the value of them.

Avatar image for GRADERBLADE13

I feel like zampella has shared this before

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

And they ended up being part of the greater evil despite trying to be the lesser. ACTIVISION are one of the worst in the business where dlc is concerned in my opinion. CoD is always sold as an incomplete game and you have to pay the cost of a new game in order to get the full package. Battlefield is much the same now and EA certainly do their bit in milking the gamer but Activision are largely responsible for the season pass which every other AAA game out there seems to have.

On another note I played the recent Titanfall 2 beta/stress test and quickly tired of it due to it feeling like CoD with mechs. Little did I know that the creators of CoD were involved in making this franchise as well. No wonder I didn't enjoy it!

(Early CoD games were actually pretty good having said that but it quickly turned into something far removed from its initial raison d'être)

Avatar image for slypher9

@gotrekfabian: Wait WHAT... and why do you feel its incomplete.. What would you add as dlc.. Why are you hating on dev for trying to extend the life of there product..

Not for nothing i like Dlc because it add to the game instead of waiting another 3yrs for a sequel, on that not i'm not so much a dlc purchase but dam thhe old ways were broken, and i can't get why person sees paid dlc bad.. Must dev now work extra time for free?

If you were part of the developer would you want to work for free or better yet making a product and give it away for free all the time.... DLC or paid DLC is a choice for the customer to consume, it doesn't take away the core experience the game is trying to deliver

As far as i see all Cod have finish story arc they are trying to deliver in that package they release. And all there DLC seems fair to me but as for what there asking price is, thats for each purchaser to deem it fair or not and if they want what they are offering.

We live in a time where there multiple offers but dam lets go back to the old way of "one and done" games, and wait for 3yrs for the sequel.

Say if the DLC of any game you enjoy was free i bet you'd get it, but seeing as they may charge you bash them for it.

Early COD might seem good now because nostalgia is a bitch, and at said time there wasn't much in the space of good shooters... Now the shooter formula is saturated on all ends but guess what how much different ways can you shoot a gun to kill someone, so the move to the next logical step, change of scenery of things...

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@slypher9: Take a step back and ask this: Why does there have to be DLC? If they delayed the game for one year then the DLC could be part of the game itself but instead they pump out identikit games year on year and gain the income of two games instead of one. DLC has become the norm now and 90% of AAA have season passes. CoD was the originator of season passes and people now accept it as being something we should have for a game. Prior to season passes extra content was unlocked by achieving something within a game but those days are now gone and yes, I bash them for it.

Thanks Activision! (sarcasm btw)

Avatar image for slypher9

@gotrekfabian: DLC was there long ago (PC gaming) its just that they didn't have the method to deliver it effectively to consoles as yet.... Now they do, seeing as most console is on the grid (internet).

Delaying a game won't stop dlc from being release it never has, because after or close to the end of development cycle, developer might come up with an idea they realize won't make it to ship..

Nintendo and many others now does dlc as they see they can add more stuff after they feel the game is completed and shipped..

DLC isn't bad but some companies abuse it... CoD is one game i find dlc not to be a bad idea, as it extends the life of the product and kinda give person a second thought to trading it in because they know new content will be added, not content related to the main story arc but content none the less, and if such content isn't your thing go ahead and trade it away...The content they hid away in destiny maybe was hid away for a reason, as most will tell you destiny when it shipped didn't feel complete and i bet thats one of the areas the drew the line and held back, could they have delayed it, yes the could but so much money had gone into it and they had nothing to show, so they treated it like a mmo (release a close to finish product, then patch it later)...

Micro-Transactions, on the other hand is terrible because companies can use that and actually gimp your experience (charge for chapters etc) so you feel force to pay up as what they gave at start isn't complete.

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@slypher9: You must a younger gamer than I am because this doesn't just point towards Destiny and other games which have content already there which is unlocked via payment it goes back to when extras were given as a reward for action and achievement within a game. For example, when you completed a game you were given a bonus outfit or when you beat something without losing health new weapons were given. There were also extra levels and modes of a game as rewards for completing certain tasks, some of which were very well hidden.

DLC is not acceptable in its given format and certainly not for the price of a AAA game.

Avatar image for bdrtfm

"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." Yeah, cuz the alternative turned out so well for you. Not sure they even ended up with the lesser of two evils which is the minimum you would hope to achieve.

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k

EA dominated the PC market with Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.

The guys who made Allied Assault went on to form Infinity Ward and made Call of Duty for Activision. Of course this was a direct competition to EAs Medal of Honor franchise. Anyone who played Allied Assault and COD1 can tell you how similar they are.

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@R4gn4r0k: It's little wonder that they dominated with Allied Assault, I still have the game and it still plays surprisingly well for its age.

Avatar image for Dav_id83

Irony because in the end Activision just did the same in 2003 with I.W so either way they'd be screwed