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New Call of Duty Announced, Infinity Ward Studio Heads Ousted

Activision has come out with a formal announcement that a new game in the Call of Duty franchise would be completed by Sledgehammer Games. And is not a FPS. Yesterday, drama unfurled as Infinity Ward (the studio behind the creation of COD) studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella were released from duty.

Rumors swirled that Infinity Ward had yet to receive royalties from the latest blockbuster, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but unnamed sources at Activision have stated that this will not be an issue, and they will receive the game royalties.

According to Joystiq, “Activision Publishing chief technology officer Steve Pearce and head of production Steve Ackrich will head up the development house on “an interim basis.” Furthermore, Call of Duty-related business will now be overseen by Philip Earl (now ex-head of Activision’s Asia-Pacific region).”

No public statements have been made in to why the co-founders and studio heads of Infinity Ward have been let go, but Activision SEC filings state, “The Company is concluding an internal human resources inquiry into breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward. This matter is expected to involve the departure of key personnel and litigation. At present, the Company does not expect this matter to have a material impact on the Company.” and unnamed sources at Infinity Ward claim a very tense atmosphere.

Activision had already confirmed the use of a different studio for the holiday 2010 release of the next COD game. Treyarch will be heading up this project (COD “7”) whereas Sledgehammer Games will be taking on an entirely new Call of Duty for 2011. Sledgehammer Games is lead by Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey who have worked on Dead Space. This game is supposedly going to be an action/adventure genre game.

The upcoming Map Packs for MW2 are still expected to be handled by Infinity Ward.


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