Respawn co-founder Jason West comes out of retirement to join Epic Games

Respawn and Infinity Ward co-founder Jason West has joined Epic Games.

“Some game industry scoop: Epic Games has quietly hired Jason West, Infinity Ward and Respawn co-founder, to work on its game development efforts,” said Geoff Keighley on Twitter. “From what I hear West, who lives in North Carolina, has been in the office for about a month.

“West retired from Respawn back in 2013 and hasn’t worked in games since then (so far as I know).”

It’s unclear what role West has taken up at Epic, but it’s thought he hasn’t worked in gaming since he retired from Respawn in 2013 after co-founding it with Vince Zampella. Both he and Zampella were reportedly fired from Activision in 2010 for insubordination and breach of contract. Just a month after the subsequent legal dispute was settled out of court, West and Zampella established Respawn, which was later acquired by EA in 2017.

In other Epic news, the US Supreme Court recently ruled that plaintiffs suing for copyright infringement – such as the numerous artists suing Epic for using their dances in Fortnite – cannot file for damages if their work has not been registered with the US Copyright Office.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro and Rapper 2 Milly recently filed lawsuits against Epic Games for replicating and selling their dance moves in Fortnite. 2 Milly said Epic “took his craft and sold it as their own”, and while he’s “not trying to ruin the game for anyone”, he wants the “Swipe It” dance removed and fair compensation. In a motion to dismiss the suit by 2 Milly, Epic’s attorney Dale Cendali maintains dance moves cannot be “owned” as there’s no precedent case law a copyrighting choreography, and patents for individual dance moves cannot be made to the US Copyright Office due to creative choreographic expression.

Now, further to a recent US ruling, Ribeiro and 2 Milly – as well as Orange Shirt Kid and The Backpack Kid – have now all voluntarily dropped their lawsuits. The law firm that represents them, however, says it is a “purely procedural” matter and that all suits will be re-filed once the plaintiffs have completed their Copyright Office registrations. “We will continue to vigorously fight for our clients’ rights against those who wrongly take their creations without permission and without compensation,” attorney David Hecht said.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

Check Also

When We Made… Returnal

Harry Krueger and his team at Housemarque sent gamers on a trip to time-bending cosmic horror planet Atropos last year. Vince Pavey met with the game’s director and tried not to lose his mind while learning about what it was like developing that nightmare fuel