Activision's Bobby Kotick shares thoughts on Infinity Ward founder firings
Outspoken Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was recently the subject of an extensive profile by The New York Times which charted his rise as the head of one of the most prolific publishers in the industry. As part of the interview, Kotick said the decision to fire Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella after they were planning to switch publishers in breach of contract was an easy one.
"You find out two executives are planning to break their contracts, keep the money you gave them and steal 40 employees," Kotick said. "What do you do? You fire them."
West and Zampella, now in charge of Respawn Entertainment, initially filed a suit for $36 million against Activision in 2010 for unpaid royalties from the Call of Duty franchise after Activision fired them. The claim ballooned to an astounding $1 billion earlier this year before EA, Infinity Ward, and Activision settled their cases for undisclosed amounts. Court documents later revealed Activision apparently considered terminating West and Zampella as early as 2009.
Kotick also strongly rebuffed several offers from Hollywood studios over the years to create a Call of Duty film, telling the Times that silver screen adaptions of games rarely succeed and could sour the franchise's reputation among gamers. Considering the horrifying movie treatment of games like Alone in the Dark, one of the lowest-rated films on IMDB, Kotick may have a point.