Epic Games has signed another big name, but this time it's not a game but a person: Jason West, who co-founded Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward with Vince Zampella and Grant Collier in 2002, and then split with parent company Activision (under less-than-pleasant circumstances) to launch Titanfall and Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment with Zampella in 2010.
Word of the surprise hiring came from Game Awards creator and ever-present man on the inside Geoff Keighley, who just tweeted it out:
Some game industry scoop: @EpicGames has quietly hired Jason West, @InfinityWard and @Respawn co-founder, to work on its game development efforts. From what I hear West, who lives in North Carolina, has been in the office for about a month. pic.twitter.com/nhR0zPq0mBApril 12, 2019
An Epic Games rep confirmed West's hiring but didn't specify his role at the company, saying only that he "is contributing to Epic's development efforts." He's been out of the game development business for awhile now, having left Respawn in 2013, but he amassed an impressive list of credits prior to that, including as the engineering lead on the first two Call of Duty games, the project lead on Modern Warfare, and the director of Modern Warfare 2.
Respawn's current big thing is the surprise battle royale hit Apex Legends, but a possibly even bigger thing is its upcoming Star Wars game, Jedi: Fallen Order. Maybe it's coincidence and maybe it's not, but after nearly a year of speculation, it will finally be revealed to the world at Star Wars Celebration on April 13, which is tomorrow.