We knew they were let go from Activision for insubordination, we knew they'd signed with Hollywood outfit Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and we'd heard rumors that they were looking to return to EA. Today, we add another page to the Jason West and Vince Zampella saga.
The former creative heads of Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward announced their new studio and exclusive publishing and distribution deal with EA this morning. Details of the agreement were scarce, but West, Zampella and EA Games Label President Frank Gibeau issued the following statements in the press release:
"Respawn Entertainment marks a fresh start for Jason and me," said Vince Zampella, General Manager of Respawn Entertainment. "For the past decade we led a great development team and poured our hearts into creating an epic game franchise. We're very proud of what we built - and proud that so many millions of fans enjoyed those games. Today we hope to do it all over again -- open a new studio, hire a great team, and create brand new games with a new partner, EA."
"We're excited," added Jason West, President of Respawn Entertainment. "Now that the team is in control of the games and brands, we can ensure that the fans are treated as well as they deserve."
Frank Gibeau, President of the EA Games Label commented, "This is the start of a great publishing partnership - one that I expect will develop blockbuster game franchises. Jason and Vince are two of the top creative leaders in the entertainment industry. At EA, we're honored to be their partners and to give them the support they need to hire a team and return to making incredible games."
Meanwhile back at Activision, the battle of the lawsuits continues. Two senior developers have already left Infinity Ward after West and Zampella; we'll see who else (if anyone) follows.
UPDATE -- Activision sent us an official response to the Respawn Entertainment announcement: "This agreement comes as no surprise to Activision given the myriad of improper activities detailed in the cross-complaint filed on Friday against Jason West and Vince Zampella. We look forward to continuing to work with Infinity Ward's deep bench of proven talent on exciting new projects."