With a mass-exodus of over a third of Infinity Ward staff in the past two months, and with Activision splintering the Call of Duty brand to three (or more) studios, industry analysts and commentators have speculated that the Californian outfit behind Modern Warfare 2 would soon close up.
Not so, according to Activision COO Thomas Tippl.
Despite rumours that Halo studio Bungie would eventually pick up the Modern Warfare baton – following the shock announcement of an unprecedented ten-year publishing deal with Activision – Tippl asserts that Infinity Ward will continue to work on the Call of Duty series.
Speaking at today’s investor call, Tippl gave the troubled studio a huge vote of confidence by stating “Infinity Ward is working on a Call of Duty title and you’ll hear more details as we advance through the year.”
Hoping to focus attention on the upcoming Call of Duty Black-Ops, a 2010 title developed by internal studio Treyarch, Tippl said the publisher was not going to discuss individual plans for Call of Duty next year.
“We don’t usually do this at this time,” he said. “We’re very focused on our communication right now on the release for this year.”
Tippl’s public backing of Infinity Ward comes as the publisher’s CEO Bobby Kotick said Infinity Ward is hiring, still working on modern Warfare 2 DLC, and also at the early stages of an unannounced project.
Today Kotick claimed he had no choice but to fire co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella.
He said that the decision to terminate the two studio bosses “was not done lightly”.
The news continues a disastrous several weeks for Activision, which began with the publisher sacking and suing West and Zampella over claims of "insubordination".
West and Zampella volleyed back a legal suit of their own, before setting up their own studio, signing a lucrative deal with EA and hiring Modern Warfare staff.