Jason West and Vince Zampella, the creative minds behind the Call of Duty franchise now have a publishing deal with EA, but apparently they were extremely close to setting up a publishing deal with THQ.
Apparently the only thing holding the duo back was THQ's insistence that they own the any Intellectual Property that Respawn created. According to Danny Bilson, Vice-President of THQ's core-gaming division, that was only bullet point between them.
“My responsibility to our stockholders and to my CEO and the company is to build an IP library,” claimed Bilson, who feared that allowing Respawn to own their IP might make negotiations with other studios difficult in the future.
THQ, bolstered by recent critical and commercial success, appear to be making grand steps towards becoming one of the top publishers in gaming. After recruiting Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Desilets to help head up a new Montreal based THQ-studio, and head hunting other Ubisoft staffers in the process, it appears that THQ, as a company, has complete confidence in their ability to compete with the Activisions and EAs of the industry.
It's going to be a big year for THQ, with De Blob, Homefront, and Red Faction Armageddon all releasing before the 2nd quarter of 2011. The news that Volition will be working on a new IP with Guillermo Del Toro is yet another sign of THQ's bullish attempts to make themselves one of the most successful publishers in gaming.
It'll be interesting to see how the next couple of years play out.