Last Modern Warfare 2 lead designers leave - Report

Steve Fukuda and Zied Rieke reportedly tender resignations at Infinity Ward; lead environment artist Chris Cherubini, programmer Rayme Vinson also said to be out.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward has been beset by high-profile departures since Activision fired studio head Vince Zampella and game director Jason West in March. With another day comes another batch of resignations at the studio, as Kotaku reports that lead designers Steve Fukuda and Zied Rieke have both tendered their resignations.

It would appear as if Infinity Ward also needs to do a bit of respawning.
It would appear as if Infinity Ward also needs to do a bit of respawning.

The departures are made all the more significant, considering Fukuda and Rieke were the only two remaining design leads on Modern Warfare 2, according to the game's credits. Last week, multiplayer lead designer Todd Aldermann revealed his departure from the studio. Aldermann was joined by fellow design lead Mackey McCandlish earlier this week.

It doesn't stop there, however. The gaming blog also reports that lead environment artist Chris Cherubini and programmer Rayme Vinson have also both departed Infinity Ward this week. According to Cherubini's LinkedIn profile, the artist has been with the studio since August 2004 and contributed to Call of Duty 2 through Modern Warfare 2.

Over the past several weeks, Infinity Ward has seen the departure of a number of other senior-level employees, including software engineer lead Francesco Gigliotti, senior animator Bruce Ferriz, and programmer Jon Shiring.

The departures come despite Activision's stated intent to reallocate Modern Warfare 2 bonuses previously intended for West and Zampella to "those employees responsible for the success of the game who remain employees of the company." However, disbursal will only come if Activision prevails in its counterclaim against West and Zampella's initial $36 million suit against the company.

As with previous departures, none of the aforementioned developers indicated whether they would be joining West and Zampella at their newly formed studio Respawn Entertainment. However, in an interview with GameSpot, the two ex-Infinity Ward heads emphasized that the new studio is staffing up in advance of its first large-scale project, which will be published through EA Partners.

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