Given the quick signing of Jason West and Vince Zampella’s Respawn Entertainment to the EA Partners program, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that EA had been courting the successful studio heads for some time. Not so, claims EA Games label president Frank Gibeau.
“[The Respawn deal] was something that fell into our laps, after they were terminated and announced they were free and independent, and we went for it.”
Activision has accused Zampella and West of “insubordination.” The publisher further alleges that, while they were still employed by Activision, the two had engaged in “[a] myriad of improper activities,” including talks with other publishers. EA and Respawn deny that any such talks ever took place. Says Gibeau:
“The fact that we were able to take advantage of an opportunity that came our way and partner with Respawn and create a relationship with them has been spectacular, something that we’re very excited about. It’s a key part of how we’re growing our EA Partners business going forward.”
Growing, indeed. To date, Modern Warfare 2 has grossed more than a billion dollars for Activision. No doubt, EA hopes Respawn will be able to recreate the success Zampella and West experienced with Infinity Ward. And with a significant number of Infinity Ward staff members on board, they just might.
Ranters, do you think EA is the right home for Respawn? Would you rather have seen them partner with Ubisoft or THQ? And do you believe the EA deal only happened after Zampella and West were fired by Activision?