Infinity Ward, the studio that created the ever-popular Call of Duty franchise, says it wanted to take the series to new places, despite almost collapsing after an exodus of staff in 2010.
Mark Rubin, Infinity Ward’s executive producer and lead developer on the forthcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts, told Develop that his studio is still very much in control of its destiny, and that’s one reason it’s chosen to continue evolving the franchise.
“We could have done something else. But we wanted to make Call of Duty and we wanted to create a new universe,” said Rubin.
Following the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 2009, a despite between Infinity Ward studio leads, Vince Zampella and Jason West, led to 46 members of Infinity Ward leaving with them, practically half the studio.
Infinity Ward then had to be assisted by Sledgehammer Games in order to finish Modern Warfare 3. But Rubin explains that it was during this time that the studio rebuilt.
“Now that experience with Modern Warfare 3 allowed us to re-grow the studio to full capacity at a pace that made sense to us. So it wasn’t a situation where we went out and said ‘Shit, we need 50 more guys; go out there on the street and hire them.’ We were actually able to say ‘no’ to people and go out and hire the people that we wanted to hire. People that we would have hired even if the Modern Warfare 2 thing didn’t happened.
“We are always looking for the best talent, and we stayed that route. We are now a fully-fledged team. We are actually bigger than we have ever been before.
“That is the strangest thing for us, because with games getting harder and harder to make, it is taking more and more people. So this is something that would have happened regardless of that situation at all.”
You can read more on Infinity Ward’s return in our June 2013 cover feature.