Founders of studio behind Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series to retire

Neversoft merges with Infinity Ward

Infinity Ward and Neversoft have merged in a studio shake up intended to aid the future of the Call of Duty series.

According to an internal memo obtained by Giant Bomb, the studios have become one large “super-studio” following their collaborative effort on Call of Duty: Ghost.

“As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts,” wrote Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg in the memo.

“And through that process, it became clear that the two studios have very complementary skill sets. Between these two excellent studios, it seemed like a single ‘super-studio’ could emerge.”

Hirshberg said the “impact of [Neversoft’s] 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated, but explained that the newly combined studio would continue to be known as Infinity Ward. “Since the Infinity Ward brand is indelibly tied to the Call of Duty franchise, it is the sensible choice,” he explained.

Infinity Ward later confirmed the merge on Twitter, commenting: “We’re thrilled about our merger with Neversoft! The entire team is excited about the future.”

The studio will be led by Activision’s current executive VP of worldwide studios Dave Stohl. Steve Ackrich, Infinity Ward’s current studio head, is to remain in a separate leadership role.

Neversoft is famed for creating the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, as well as working on Spider-Man and Guitar Hero titles.

However, following the merge, Neversoft head Joel Jewett and studio director Scott Pease are to retire from the games industry. Both had been with the development studio for its entire 20-year run.

Referring to their departure, Hirshberg added: “As a gamer, all I can say is that I hope both Joel and Scott come of ‘out of retirement’ someday and develop more great Activision games for us all to play. As a colleague of Joel and Scott’s, all I can say is thank you and congratulations on an incredible run.”

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