The shit-canning of Infinity Ward leads Jason West and Vince Zampella and the ensuing litigation that followed isn’t just disappointing to Activision and Call of Duty fans, it’s also a total bum out for high level Electronic Arts execs.
EA chief operating officer John Schappert weighed in on the Infinity Ward vs Activision debacle at GDC today, expressing his personal disappointment with the ongoing legal mess. Why, exactly, is Mr Schappert so unhappy about West and Zampella’s current pickle?
“Now they’re spending their future dealing with litigation and lawyers rather than crafting the next great experience,” Schappert bemoaned. “I don’t think that’s a win for them. I don’t think it’s a win for the industry. I think that’s disappointing. I hope that they find a way to make games and focus on that during this period.”
But wait! John had more personal disappointment to get off his chest.
“The other disappointing thing is, rivalries aside, Modern Warfare 2 is a great game,” the COO said. “It’s a great franchise and, you know, putting my consumer industry ‘fan hat’ on, to think that there could be some challenges with what’s the future of that franchise.
“It doesn’t feel like anyone wins when it gets to the point that it’s gotten to.”
Schappert also had some positive things to say about the Infinity Ward founders. “I feel bad for Vince and Jason and the franchise itself because they’re great leaders and it’s a great franchise for our industry,” he said.
Activision reportedly suspects the former Infinity Ward senior employees of courting other publishers, including EA, so there’s plenty of disappointment to go around.
On the lighter side, Schappert made a crack about Activision seeing “their legal team as a source of revenue,” which is funny because it’s true. Maybe.