Just a few months before they were to reveal their first game, Respawn Entertainment has announced co-founder Jason West’s departure from the company. West and Zampella established Respawn back in 2010, and since then have been working on a mysterious project.
Anticipation was high for Respawn’s freshman effort as a result of its founders’ storied legacy. West and Zampella were the co-founders of Infinity Ward, the developer that revolutionized the first person shooter genre with the Call of Duty franchise.
However, West and Zampella’s relationship with Call of Duty publisher Activision was less than amicable, and the two were fired back in 2010. West and Zampella promptly hit Activision with a lawsuit, which was settled late last year.
Kotaku reports that it was after the settlement back in May of last year that Jason West departed Respawn Entertainment. They cite his reason for leaving as family issues. Respawn confirmed West’s reason for leaving in a public statement.
While the news of Jason West’s departure will call into question the quality of Respawn Entertainment’s first game — or rather why it’s taken so long for the developer to actually show off the game — the developer claims the two are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, fans that have been intrigued by the teaser images Respawn has been releasing should be excited the developer is finally making an appearance at E3 2013.
Respawn admitted that even the simple act of announcing they plan to attend E3 has generated a tremendous response from fans. Considering the developer has a staff that (at one time) included two Call of Duty creators, it’s easy to see why.
Over the past year or so we have seen many a high profile developer depart their storied studios (i.e. Cliffy B leaving Epic Games, the doctors leaving BioWare), but this particular situation is a peculiar one. Nevertheless the fact that Vince Zampella is still on board gives us hope that the project will turn out very well.
How do you feel about Jason West leaving Respawn before their first game is even officially unveiled? What do you hope to see at E3 2013?