Activision CEO: "No Choice" But to Fire Infinty Ward Execs

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Activision CEO: "No Choice" But to Fire Infinty Ward Execs


Activision [http://www.activision.com] CEO Bobby Kotick says he had "no choice" but to fire Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, adding that their betrayal of his friendship was just as disappointing as their alleged professional misconduct.

Whether or not Kotick expected a firestorm of this intensity and durability when he removed [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/98761-Rumor-Security-Locks-Down-Infinity-Ward-Ousts-Studio-Head-UPDATE] Infinity Ward bosses West and Zampella back in early March will probably never be known, but two months after the fact he's still dealing with the aftermath. He touched on the topic in a conference call with investors yesterday and while he didn't reveal what exactly the pair did to get booted, he insisted that he had no choice but to act.

"The decision to terminate the two executives was not done lightly, and was not done to deprive them of their bonuses," Kotick said. "Nor was it done without a great deal of deliberation about the consequences. We felt we had no choice but to terminate the Infinity Ward executives. We did this to protect the company's assets and the interest of our shareholders."

Kotick also claimed to be distressed by their behavior on a personal level. "I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends," he added. "Their conduct was a compromise of our friendship, which was equally disappointing."

Infinity Ward [http://www.infinityward.com/] remains "the top destination for development talent in the video game industry," Kotick said, although he acknowledged "it is likely that a few more people will leave as well." And although it was difficult, he insisted that terminating West and Zampella was the right decision to make. "There was nothing that would have allowed us to retain their services, as talented as they might have been," he said.

Source: Gamasutra [http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28438/Kotick_No_Gray_Area_In_IW_Firings_Decision_Not_BonusRelated_.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GamasutraNews+%28Gamasutra+News%29]


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Cherry Cola

Your daddy, your Rock'n'Rolla
Jun 26, 2009
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Andy Chalk said:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"
...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...
 

Kollega

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Jun 5, 2009
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Don't be ridiculous. I do not believe that big fat CEOs can have such thing as "friends".

In seriousness: does anybody even believe Kotick now? I don't think so.
 

Jared

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Jul 14, 2009
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Hubilub said:
Andy Chalk said:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"
...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...
Hehe...Thats what the big hole in the back of the HQ is for...

And, although he may have said there was no other option, I dont think this will ever die until we know exactly what happened...and, I know there is confidentiality and such but still...if they could come out and tell us it could make thingsdie down so much more rapidly
 

UnravThreads

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Aug 10, 2009
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Dear Bobby Kotick,
If you truly want to protect your shareholders & its interests, I suggest you re-evaluate yourself. Either:
1. Resign.
2. Stop being a plague upon the gaming industry.
Or...
How about stop shamelessly milking franchises (Call of Duty & Guitar Hero as examples), stop charging above-average prices for standard editions of games (e.g. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) and their respective DLC (e.g. the first MW2 DLC pack), and start treating your customers and staff with a bit of respect. We're the ones who fill up the coffers after all.
Thank you.

And in other words, whilst we don't know the circumstances, firing the bosses of Infinity Ward in the way it was done is terrible. I bet they've lowered morale (some people have jumped ship, for example) and they've just furthered their reputation as a bunch of utter pilchards.

If Activision really want to be seen as a good company, Kotick really needs to get his backside into gear.
 

bjj hero

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Feb 4, 2009
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Im guessing West and Zampella would never have called Bobby friend.

Bobby has a lot of explaining to do to those share holders.
 

HSIAMetalKing

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Jan 2, 2008
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Andy Chalk said:
Infinity Ward [http://www.infinityward.com/] remains "the top destination for development talent in the video game industry," Kotick said
Get over yourselves-- all you've got is Call of fucking Duty.
 

Diligent

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Dec 20, 2009
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Awwww, the poor wittle CEO has such a touching PR statement. Maybe he's a good guy after all.
 

Vitor Goncalves

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Mar 22, 2010
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Jaredin said:
Hubilub said:
Andy Chalk said:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"
...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...
Hehe...Thats what the big hole in the back of the HQ is for...

And, although he may have said there was no other option, I dont think this will ever die until we know exactly what happened...and, I know there is confidentiality and such but still...if they could come out and tell us it could make thingsdie down so much more rapidly
Whatever the truth is I bet Electronic Arts is now holding it as a retaliation weapon to use in an appropriate time. Now I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing, as EA is as expert in evilness as Activision.

Next thing Activision will be implementing same policy Apple is using on his chinese subsidiary companies.
 

Nobby

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Nov 13, 2009
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I wonder if all this kerfuffle has had any affect on the share price?
 

Cabisco

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Hubilub said:
Andy Chalk said:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"
...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...
I expect he acts alot like Mr Devon Banks, thats how i've always pictured him. Hell this is how I imagine the conversations between him, West and Zampella went:


It's nice to know that they have a new company and I hope that the next game they make is better than MW2, that really knocked my confidence in them.
 

Darth Caelum

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Jan 21, 2010
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"In order to ensure Security and Continuing Stability, The Republic Activision will be reorganized into the FIRST GALACTIC EMPIRE!....FOR A SAFE! AND SECURE! SOCIETY!"

Emperor Palpatine Bobby Kotic-_

Of Course Emp- i mean Bob. We ALL believe you.
 

Cherry Cola

Your daddy, your Rock'n'Rolla
Jun 26, 2009
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Demon ID said:
Hubilub said:
Andy Chalk said:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"
...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...
I expect he acts alot like Mr Devon Banks, thats how i've always pictured him. Hell this is how I imagine the conversations between him, West and Zampella went:


It's nice to know that they have a new company and I hope that the next game they make is better than MW2, that really knocked my confidence in them.
Although sadly, IW doesn't have a laser shield.

Damn you Kotick and your futuristic warfare!
 

Atmos Duality

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Mar 3, 2010
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Infinity Ward remains "the top destination for development talent in the video game industry," Kotick said, although he acknowledged "it is likely that a few more people will leave as well."

A tad arrogant are we?
Mr Kottick, even if we were to accept that at face value before all of these shenanigans, it certainly wouldn't be true now with...what? Over half of IW's core staff leaving?

Then again, this PR statement is not meant as much for the public at large as it is for his shareholders. He's literally winking at them through the camera, as it were.
 

latenightapplepie

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Nov 9, 2008
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I like how when Kotick says "terminate the Infinity Ward executives" my mind thinks of homicide before dismissal. Could be because it's Kotick talking, could just be my craziness. Maybe a bit of both.

Also, yeah Kotick doesn't have friends; he's probably a sociopath.
 

Shycte

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Mar 10, 2009
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Yeah, but who really cares about what he says.

He's insane, so let's just expect him to do stuff that's crazy.
 

Simalacrum

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Apr 17, 2008
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Eh, sounds pretty much like a standadised response that any big evil coporation would spit out in such circumstances.
 

fix-the-spade

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Feb 25, 2008
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Oh cry me a river.

Considering the number of other people who've jumped, nevermind filing serparate lawsuits that tell depressingly similar stories to West and Zampella's, are we really supposed to believe anything this professional career evil jerk says?