Respawn spawning a 'Halo-killer?'

Analyst predicts Call of Duty creators will be entering ex-employer Activision's new partner Bungie's traditional sci-fi shooter territory.

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Source: A recent television appearance by Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

What we heard: So far, 2010 has been a year of high drama for the game industry, much of which was generated by the split between Activision and a large portion of the staff of Call of Duty creator Infinity Ward. After studio cofounders Jason West and Vince Zampella were fired in March, over two dozen of their former employees (so far) followed them to their Electronic Arts-backed startup, Repsawn Entertainment. Then came the inevitable tit-for-tat lawsuits, followed by a legal complaint by current and ex-Infinity Warders seeking a whopping $150 million-$625 million.

Given its minimalist Web site and its founders' recalcitrance about their next project, speculation has been building about what Respawn and its ever-growing staff are up to. Now, Pachter has thrown his hat into the ring, predicting the suburban Los Angeles shop will take on Halo creator Bungie, which recently inked a 10-year exclusivity deal with Activision for its own mystery project.

"The one genre that hasn't been cloned a lot is the space shooter, so I'll make a prediction here. Respawn Entertainment, the ex-Infinity Ward guys--that's their next game," prognosticated the analyst. "They're gonna make a Halo-killer. They're gonna make a game that is going to compete in the space shooter genre."

The official story: Electronic Arts reps had not responded to inquiries as of press time.

Pachter predicts Zampella's new studio is cooking up a
Pachter predicts Zampella's new studio is cooking up a "Halo-killer."

Bogus or not bogus?: At this point, who knows? With Respawn going dark after touting its EA deal--and still solidifying its development team--it is still very early days. And, despite his clout, Pachter's prediction record is mixed. He thought US game sales would be up in May, but they were decidedly down. Then again, he also infamously taunted David Jaffe with cries of "Twisted Metal!" months before the reboot of the series was announced at Sony's Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference.

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