Ackrich and Pearce interim studio heads as publisher looks to rebuild

Activision outlines Infinity Ward reshuffle

Under-fire publisher Activision is in the process of building the new leadership team at Infinity Ward, the firm has announced.

In the wake of the legal row with the studio’s former founders, and as more staff quit the outfit, Activision COO Thomas Tippl explains that the studio has an interim leadership in place.

“We are currently in the process of configuring the new leadership team [at Infinity Ward],” said Tippl, who named the two new bosses as chief tech officer Steve Pearce and production head Steve Ackrich.

Tippl also tried to quash suggestions that the studio has been hit hard from the recent waves of walkouts.


“Infinity Ward still has nearly 100 people,” he said. “They’ve built a deep bench, and the change of guard will provide an opportunity for some of the rising stars to put their own stamp on the Call of Duty franchise.

In an interview with the LA Times, Tippl confirmed the studio is hiring, and pledged to provide current staff with rich resources.

“We treat our developers extremely well,” he added.

“We have an independent studio model that provides them a lot of creative freedom while we take care of the back office stuff so they can focus on making games.

“If their games are successful, they are compensated better here than anywhere else. We’ve been paying our talent millions of dollars for their work. Our setup provides a win-win opportunity. We ensure your work will reach a wide audience. Therefore, we have attracted, and we will continue to attract, the top talent in this industry.”

Activision ousted founders Jason West and Vince Zampella at the start of March, accusing them of insubordination.

Days later, the paiir fired back legally, demanding over $30m in unpaid royalties.

Activsion then issued its own countersuit, alleging many things including the delay of Modern Warfare 3.

Following this West and Zampella announced they had signed with EA to form new studio Respawn Entertainment.

Throughout the whole sorry ordeal Activision has faced a string of high-profile resignations amongst the studio’s lead art and design teams.

It’s a far cry from the situation a few months ago – the studio’s Modern Warfare 2 is the best selling game of the decade, making Activision’s original buy of the studio in 2003 for $5m look like a bargain.

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