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Mr. Gayle

Call of Duty turning into a joke

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While rumors continue to swirl about Call of Duty series creator Infinity Ward and the departure of its leaders under allegations of insubordination, owner Activision has outlined its future plans for the blockbuster and best-selling franchise.

As expected, this fall's iteration--unofficially dubbed Call of Duty 7--is being helmed by Call of Duty 3 and World at War veterans, but that's far from all Activision has planned.

Unsurprisingly, 2011 will also see Activision release a new Call of Duty game. Furthermore, the first-person series will be veering into "the action-adventure genre" through a new entry crafted by freshly formed studio Sledgehammer Games.

In addition, Activision is forming "a dedicated business unit that will bring together its various new brand initiatives with focused, dedicated resources" with plans to "expand the Call of Duty brand with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business," such as "new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models."

In keeping with that theme, Activision revealed that it is "in discussions with a select number of partners to bring the [Call of Duty] franchise to Asia, one of the fastest growing regions for online multiplayer games in the world."

As for Infinity Ward's role in all of this, today's statement noted that the studio "is in development on the first two downloadable map packs for Modern Warfare 2" and named Steve Pearce (Activision Publishing CTO) and Steve Ackrick (Activision Publishing Head of Production) as the two who will be leading Infinity Ward on an "interim basis."

Update: "Infinity Ward remains central to Call of Duty's future," Activision affirms in an internal memo acquired by G4, suggesting that IW will continue to work on the series

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lol its mad cuz throwing the name cod on any of the games they pump out will actually cause extra hype for it

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new maps should b kl, hear they're includin that 1 with the 2 restaurants and the petrol station

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They will just Championship Manager themselves. No one cares about names, if the people making the game isn't the same.

They will just go set up elsewhere and make f*ck*ng MILLIONS if they launch a new series with a new name if Activision aren't going to play ball.

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As long as IW are involved, I'm involved.

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At the end of the day, its all about making CHEDDAR.

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They will just Championship Manager themselves. No one cares about names, if the people making the game isn't the same.

They will just go set up elsewhere and make f*ck*ng MILLIONS if they launch a new series with a new name if Activision aren't going to play ball.

Yeah sounds very similar as what happened with champ/fm

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It seems some strange things are going down at Infinity Ward HQ today. In an SEC filing made this morning, Activision cited a human resources investigation into “breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward.”

“This matter is expected to involve the departure of key personnel and litigation,” read the filing. “At present, the Company does not expect this matter to have a material impact on the Company.”

It all started this morning when a “bunch of bouncer-types” just showed up outside of the Infinity Ward offices unannounced. When approached by employees, the non-uniformed “bouncers” were unwilling to disclose why they were there.

Infinity Ward studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West reportedly met with Activision this morning and have not been seen by Infinity Ward staff members. It has since transpired that they have been fired and are no longer part of the team.

According to his LinkedIn profile, West, IW’s president, is no longer employed; the profile states that he was with Infinity Ward up until “March 2010″.

A source close to the IW team have informed G4 that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will address the development leads at Infinity Ward in a meeting in just a few minutes.

After Kotick and company’s meeting with the leads at Infinity Ward, there will be a second meeting addressing the studio as a whole.

Stay tuned for further developments

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Infinity Ward Founders File Lawsuit Against Activision

Jason West and Vince Zampella sue over unpaid royalties.

by Jim Reilly

US, March 4, 2010 - The founders of Infinity Ward, Jason West and Vince Zampella, have filed a lawsuit against Activision today in a Los Angeles County Superior Court over "substantial royalty payments" the two were to be paid weeks before they were fired from the company.

"Activision has refused to honor the terms of its agreements and is intentionally flouting the fundamental public policy of this State (California) that employers must pay their employees what they have rightfully earned," said their attorney Robert Schwartz.

"Instead of thanking, lauding, or just plain paying Jason and Vince for giving Activision the most successful entertainment product ever offered to the public, last month Activision hired lawyers to conduct a pretextual 'investigation' into unstated and unsubstantiated charges of 'insubordination' and 'breach of fiduciary duty,' which then became the grounds for their termination on Monday, March 1st."

Activision confirmed reports of West and Zampella's firing earlier this week, though the company has yet to comment on why the two were let go. An Activision SEC filing from Monday points to "breaches of contract and insubordination" as the reason.

"We were shocked by Activision's decision to terminate our contract," said West. "We poured our heart and soul into that company, building not only a world class development studio, but assembling a team we've been proud to work with for nearly a decade. We think the work we've done speaks for itself."

"After all we have given to Activision, we shouldn't have to sue to get paid."

The lawsuit was filed to "vindicate the rights of West and Zampella to be paid the compensation they have earned, as well as the contractual rights Activision granted to West and Zampella to control Modern Warfare-branded games."

The suit also includes claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wrong termination in violation of public policy, and declaratory relief.

IGN has reached out to Activision for comment.

lol @ them getting rid of the FOUNDERS of IW that made MW2, suicide...

it's not about making a game that ends up worth over 1 billion and not getting your piece of the pie that u deserve

really wanna know what they "did" now

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Obviously too many Chiefs trying to run the show, something had to give at the top.

Power struggles Im guessing on creative differences.

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To be honest I see them winning the law suit. Billion dollar game and mans actually being involved substantially in the creation og it as the bosses of IW means they will get a big payday no doubt!

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