On the Ball: To Infinity Ward and Beyond

Jordan Deam

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On the Ball: To Infinity Ward and Beyond

Jordan Deam offers more idle speculation on the outcome of Activision's latest PR disaster.

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Outright Villainy

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I'd agree with the sentiment of wanting them to do something new, Modern warfare has gotten old already, and it seemed so fresh only 2 years ago. The more they push in unexpected ways, the more interesting the results we'll see. Probably.
 

uppitycracker

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I would hope for the latter of those two bits of speculation, myself, if it didn't usually always end in bullshit games being pushed on the shelf and eventually leaving everyone jobless.

I'm really, honestly sick of all the speculation going around about what happened. First of all, it's hilarious that everyone automatically starts blaming Activision. If there was some sort of breach of contract, how is that the fault of Activision? The IW guys knew what they were agreeing to when they signed the damn thing, so what do you expect?

Yeah, I know, Activision has had some bad press lately. Kotick doesn't seem like the brightest guy (at least in terms of public speaking), but I wouldn't by any means say he's going to single handedly destroy the franchises that we've grown to love, much less immediately point the finger without any facts.
 

Jared

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Jul 14, 2009
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Outright Villainy said:
I'd agree with the sentiment of wanting them to do something new, Modern warfare has gotten old already, and it seemed so fresh only 2 years ago. The more they push in unexpected ways, the more interesting the results we'll see. Probably.
ONly if they push the right way...if they do it the wrong way could rub alot of people up badly...
 

The Random One

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So you're saying that IW might become the new Free Radical Design? I'd enjoy that. Although CoD4MW is the only CoD game I liked, and I doubt CoD5.5MW2 is the second coming its sales seem to imply.

I miss Free Radical Design now.
 

Low Key

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Okay so let me try making an analogy. Video games are to entertainment the same as movies, books, paintings, etc. The people behind making them get to try new things for the sake of being different. But what happens when a company, like Infinity Ward, or a director, writer, artist, yadda yadda, strikes gold with one of it's creations? Do they cease to become masters of their craft simply because their ideas have stagnated to make replicas of their said prized creation?

In my opinion, no.

I feel that just because someone doesn't want to make the same thing over and over again doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing. I mean, there certainly is a craft to master when it comes to sales, whether a person sells multibillion dollar corporations or they sell lemonade, and just because they might not like selling their product doesn't mean it gives them the right to just up and quit. Most people do what is needed to survive, not because it is what they enjoy doing. Video game developers have the best of both worlds. They are not only providing for themselves and their families, but they also get the opportunity to full invest their time in do what makes them happy.

Now, I'm not saying Activision is right by doing what they did. I'm as in the dark about the whole situation as anyone else, but it's apparent to me that just because one realizes they no longer like what they are doing doesn't give them the right to up and change the status quo just because. Sometimes it happens out of necessity, for instance because of lackluster sales, and sometimes it happens because changing the status quo can revolutionize an industry, but attempting to change things because you are bored seems quite selfish to me, especially when it is proven that the status quo works.

If Infinity Ward wanted to make different games, they should have pitched the idea to Activision to expand the company. From my understanding, they don't even need to do that, they can just hire people themselves. One team works on the Call of Duty series, while the other works on whatever else. It's a win-win. But instead, from the rumors that have been circulating, they were upset about compensation, so they pitched their company to other publishers. That's not how the business world works, my friends. I like Infinity Ward. They make quality games, but that gives them no right to jump ship, at least not without going down the proper legal channels.

Activision may be evil, but they certainly aren't stupid (I think someone here wrote that in an article). If they ousted top brass of video game's biggest franchise ever, they more than likely had a very plausible reason. So, before placing all the blame on one side of the fence, I think it behooves all of us to sit back and wait for more information about the situation, otherwise the person pointing the fingers at so-and-so is no different than the morons who defended Apogee when they got sued after 12 fruitless years.
 

MR T3D

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[HEADING=2]Totally not a PR stunt planned for the day of the release of their biggest perceived threat, nooo[/HEADING]
only mention of said competitor on this site was an add surrounding ZP this week.
...
any publicity is good publicity, this seems to be engineered to make one think IW could split off and become something for its CORE fans again.
remember, you called it IWnet, not activisionnet.
not the hordes whom joined on with easymode guns in cod4.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Apr 8, 2008
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I liked your opening. One of my biggest problems with video game journalism is that the journalists really are just translators and critics for publisher/developer PR teams. And then to make up for it, most will make sure to report whenever Micheal Atkinson farts.
 

SniperWolf427

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Excellent article. Honestly, your column is the only one I've been able to read consistently. Something about your writing style I enjoy.

After Activision proudly trumpeting "three more Call of Duties" in a two year time span, I almost hope that the next ones suck terribly.

Almost.

I'm sure I'll end up buying them somehow.
 

HyenaThePirate

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You know, maybe I don't understand the industry, but I dont quite understand how the director of a DEVELOPMENT studio can be fired by a company that essentially hires them to Make a Game? Thats like me walking into Pizza Hut and firing the guy behind the counter and the Pizza Hut corporation just looks the other way.

I thought these "studios" were independent, but from the sound of it, it sounds like Sony could walk in one day and fire Hideo Kojima and then force Mistwalker studios to continue to make metal gear games anyway? Or for Microsoft to walk into Double Fine and have Tim Schaffer escorted off the premises. WTF?

If thats how it works, there is a serious problem with the gaming industry as a business model.
 

John Funk

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HyenaThePirate said:
You know, maybe I don't understand the industry, but I dont quite understand how the director of a DEVELOPMENT studio can be fired by a company that essentially hires them to Make a Game? Thats like me walking into Pizza Hut and firing the guy behind the counter and the Pizza Hut corporation just looks the other way.

I thought these "studios" were independent, but from the sound of it, it sounds like Sony could walk in one day and fire Hideo Kojima and then force Mistwalker studios to continue to make metal gear games anyway? Or for Microsoft to walk into Double Fine and have Tim Schaffer escorted off the premises. WTF?

If thats how it works, there is a serious problem with the gaming industry as a business model.
I'm fairly sure that Activision at least partly owns Infinity Ward. That's the difference.
 

Steindorh

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MR T3D said:
[...]only mention of said competitor on this site was an add surrounding ZP this week.[...]
You, apparently do not watch any videos, other than ZeroPunctuation, on The Escapist. =P
That same advertisement accompanies every video on the site these days - even old ones (I checked).

And I think Electronic Arts paid for that advertising space, and, at least for me, it's working quite well. . . it's an ingenious placement!
 

SniperWolf427

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John Funk said:
HyenaThePirate said:
You know, maybe I don't understand the industry, but I dont quite understand how the director of a DEVELOPMENT studio can be fired by a company that essentially hires them to Make a Game? Thats like me walking into Pizza Hut and firing the guy behind the counter and the Pizza Hut corporation just looks the other way.

I thought these "studios" were independent, but from the sound of it, it sounds like Sony could walk in one day and fire Hideo Kojima and then force Mistwalker studios to continue to make metal gear games anyway? Or for Microsoft to walk into Double Fine and have Tim Schaffer escorted off the premises. WTF?

If thats how it works, there is a serious problem with the gaming industry as a business model.
I'm fairly sure that Activision at least partly owns Infinity Ward. That's the difference.
Haha, only partly.

Activision has published everything Infinity Ward has ever coded since the very first Call of Duty. Hell, Infinity Ward might as well have been another (rather profitable) branch of the Activision tree.
[sub]Please refer to Slaughterhouse-Five for a lovely money tree metaphor[/sub]
 

MR T3D

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Steindorh said:
MR T3D said:
[...]only mention of said competitor on this site was an add surrounding ZP this week.[...]
You, apparently do not watch any videos, other than ZeroPunctuation, on The Escapist. =P
That same advertisement accompanies every video on the site these days - even old ones (I checked).

And I think Electronic Arts paid for that advertising space, and, at least for me, it's working quite well. . . it's an ingenious placement!

watched unskippable & moviebob!

but nothing tuesday or today, guess that's when it was implemented.
TBH i'm a BF fan, and i wasn't too fond of that add.

but then, i see so few ads anyway any add is annoying.
 

SovietSecrets

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Nov 16, 2008
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Hell I just wanna see some sort of ending to the story they started and then let them do whatever they want. I am all for to see what else these guys can come up with.
 

Jordan Deam

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I agree with the journalism for games being a pseudo-dictatorship of information, and I also look forward to new ideas, I played every CoD for PC and I enjoyed all of them, but I've been longing for something new for a while now, CoD 4 was great, [email protected] was okay, and MW2 could be better, though I give them credit for some tweaks.
As CoD was born from MoHAA, I want something to be born from what was CoD and to be awesome and refreshing. But if in the end, they make another CoD, I might play like any other one, it's not hard to make me happy.
 

theultimateend

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Frankly I wasn't floored in any way,shape, or form by MW2. It just came off as a really shiny but otherwise hollow FPS that has little more on old FPS's other than previously mentioned visuals.

Which might be why in my mind if these people broke away from their parent company they'd just go off to make another run of the mill shiny game. Except without the record breaking marketing I don't think they'll sell anywhere near as well.

Just my thoughts. Not say they make bad games but they do nothing better than their predecessors other than marketing.
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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My guess is that West and Zampalla said some nasty things about Bobby "dickface" Kotick, who flew off the handle and fired them. That or he axed their contracts right before they should be payed their royalties to gain another few million dollars. What a fuck, he should be in jail.