Analyst Says Infinity Ward Firings Could Hurt Call of Duty

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Analyst Says Infinity Ward Firings Could Hurt Call of Duty

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Industry analyst Michael Pachter says the departure of Jason West and Vince Zampella from Infinity Ward could adversely affect the future success of the Call of Duty franchise, leading everyone on the planet who isn't Michael Pachter to say, "Well, duh."

It was big news last week when Infinity Ward CEO Vince Zampella and President and CTO Jason West left the company under less-than-ideal circumstances. Accusations of wrongdoing flew back and forth between the Modern Warfare studio and its owner, Activision, culminating in a lawsuit filed by West and Zampella alleging that the parent company conspired to fire the pair before it had to pay them their big, fat bonuses for Modern Warfare 2.

Activision was quick to point out that in spite of all the trouble, Infinity Ward would remain on the Call of Duty line, alongside Treyarch and the new kid on the block, Sledgehammer Games, which is developing yet another game in the franchise.

But industry analyst Michael Pachter said that simply putting the Infinity Ward name on future Call of Duty releases isn't enough to guarantee success and that the absence of the two senior executives could have a big, and negative, impact. "The contributions of West and Zampella are difficult to assess, but the pair has had incredible success with each version of the game created under their supervision," Pachter wrote in a new research note.

"The 'secret sauce' of their involvement is analogous to the direction of a movie; some directors work with certain types of material in a unique way, and repeatedly achieve commercial success with that material," he continued. "In the same way, we think that West and Zampella provide something unique to the creation of games at Infinity Ward, and I think it's likely that their contribution will be missed in future installments."

Activision announced last week that Infinity Ward is currently at work on the first of two DLC map packs for Modern Warfare 2 that are slated for release later this year.

Source: CVG

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This won't hurt CoD much. The downfall will be a Guitar Hero style whoring out of the series... The casual-core gamers that make up its fanbase don't tend to follow this kind of gaming news, and likely wouldn't care as long as they get to shoot people online and rank up.

So, if the big important people in Infinity Ward get fired, the company might be affected?
...
...
What the hell am I supposed to say at this point? No rly?

Will it effect the games? Yes.

Will it ultimately have an effect? No. Instead of Modern Warfare 3, they'll just release Modernish Warfares 3-12 and recoup the losses.

Hopefully the rest of Infinity Ward can get their act together and leave Activision. They don't care about the developer, only the brand name.

Seeing as 9 out of 10 of the people to purchase Modern Warfare 2 don't listen to gaming news I doubt it'll have a big monetary effect on the company, but quality wise, duh.

Judging from how often they point out the obvious, it seems that being an analyst is a pretty sweet job.

Onyx Oblivion:
This won't hurt CoD much. The downfall will be a Guitar Hero style whoring out of the series... The casual-core gamers that make up its fanbase don't tend to follow this kind of gaming news, and likely wouldn't care as long as they get to shoot people online and rank up.

wait, you mean just like exactly what they've been doing, or gearing towards?

Honestly, this will change very little, aside from how the upper management handle the series from here on out. It's really going to depend more on the new CFO and lead dev than anything else. This is assuming a handful of developers don't jump ship to go where ever these two do, as is often the case. But all in all, CoD started going way downhill anyway, so I'm not so sure i care.

I doubt it will have an effect world wide. But I will not purchase be buying anymore Call of Duty games. (Although the only ones I have bought are Modern Warfare 1 and 2. I don't buy WWII shooters)

The brand will be damaged by loosing two of the people who made the better Cod games, because the quality should decrease. However it will take a few Cod iterations until word spreads that cod games don't guarantee quality anymore

uppitycracker:

Onyx Oblivion:
This won't hurt CoD much. The downfall will be a Guitar Hero style whoring out of the series... The casual-core gamers that make up its fanbase don't tend to follow this kind of gaming news, and likely wouldn't care as long as they get to shoot people online and rank up.

wait, you mean just like exactly what they've been doing, or gearing towards?

One a year is hardly as bad as 5 in one year.

Andy Chalk:
"The 'secret sauce' of their involvement is analogous to the direction of a movie; some directors work with certain types of material in a unique way, and repeatedly achieve commercial success with that material," he continued. "In the same way, we think that West and Zampella provide something unique to the creation of games at Infinity Ward, and I think it's likely that their contribution will be missed in future installments."

Reading Michael Pachter wax philosophical about game design is kinda like like listening to a talking dog. Sure, it might only be asking you for food, but holy shit, it's a talking dog!

Onyx Oblivion:

uppitycracker:

Onyx Oblivion:
This won't hurt CoD much. The downfall will be a Guitar Hero style whoring out of the series... The casual-core gamers that make up its fanbase don't tend to follow this kind of gaming news, and likely wouldn't care as long as they get to shoot people online and rank up.

wait, you mean just like exactly what they've been doing, or gearing towards?

One a year is hardly as bad as 5 in one year.

oh, i agree it's not as bad.... but keep in mind the iphone versions, DS version, ect. plus the dual development cycle.... honestly, for a game like CoD, treyarch has been bad enough.... i'm sure they're close to their limit for how much they can milk this particular franchise, but we shall see lol

I honestly hope they don't get more companies in, and start releasing more than one title a year. The formula they have now works, and I'd hate for them to botch it up and start releasing COD's from 1812, and then one from the future, abandoning the one that came out 6 months ago for the one that released with a two hour campaign and 5 maps, with more added as DLC.

uppitycracker:

Onyx Oblivion:

uppitycracker:

Onyx Oblivion:
This won't hurt CoD much. The downfall will be a Guitar Hero style whoring out of the series... The casual-core gamers that make up its fanbase don't tend to follow this kind of gaming news, and likely wouldn't care as long as they get to shoot people online and rank up.

wait, you mean just like exactly what they've been doing, or gearing towards?

One a year is hardly as bad as 5 in one year.

oh, i agree it's not as bad.... but keep in mind the iphone versions, DS version, ect. plus the dual development cycle.... honestly, for a game like CoD, treyarch has been bad enough.... i'm sure they're close to their limit for how much they can milk this particular franchise, but we shall see lol

I'm one of the few people who like Treyarch BETTER than Infinity Ward.

Pingieking:
Judging from how often they point out the obvious, it seems that being an analyst is a pretty sweet job.

sums it up pretty well.....

image

I dont see it hurting it as much as they are saying...I mean slap it on a box...say its all about kicking terrorist butt ect. ect. and I am sure all the stoners will still buy it.

As long as it has CoD on the box. People will want it.

Onyx Oblivion:

uppitycracker:

Onyx Oblivion:

uppitycracker:

Onyx Oblivion:
This won't hurt CoD much. The downfall will be a Guitar Hero style whoring out of the series... The casual-core gamers that make up its fanbase don't tend to follow this kind of gaming news, and likely wouldn't care as long as they get to shoot people online and rank up.

wait, you mean just like exactly what they've been doing, or gearing towards?

One a year is hardly as bad as 5 in one year.

oh, i agree it's not as bad.... but keep in mind the iphone versions, DS version, ect. plus the dual development cycle.... honestly, for a game like CoD, treyarch has been bad enough.... i'm sure they're close to their limit for how much they can milk this particular franchise, but we shall see lol

I'm one of the few people who like Treyarch BETTER than Infinity Ward.

Treyarch make the game better for single player and put in more easter eggs. They also design better set pieces and have some really cool scenes.

Treyarch are better, IW ran out of steam a long time ago.

Also in todays news.

Water is wet, the sky is blue & women have secrets.

I can't believe Pachter got paid to do "research" on this and say that. Money well spent there... /sarcasm

Onyx Oblivion:
This won't hurt CoD much. The downfall will be a Guitar Hero style whoring out of the series... The casual-core gamers that make up its fanbase don't tend to follow this kind of gaming news, and likely wouldn't care as long as they get to shoot people online and rank up.

I agree. The only reason CoD will die is because they'll milk it until there's nothing left.

It's a shame, since it is a good series. If they came out with one, say, every three years, no one would get tired of it and they could release them for a longer period of time. This would make them more money in the long term. But no, they'll never see that.

Can't someone fire Micheal Pachter for constantly serving up commen knowledge cake?

You fire the heads of the company that makes the games, how could the series NOT be affected?

Can't go much lower than MW2.

...Admit it, the only reason MW2 sold pretty much any copy was due to the brand name created by the awesome original MW.

And mandatory: "Gee, ya think?". Wish I could be an analyst too... "After last night's floods I'm predicting later today things will be wet. Or moist at least. Definately humid."

Jordan Deam:

Reading Michael Pachter wax philosophical about game design is kinda like like listening to a talking dog. Sure, it might only be asking you for food, but holy shit, it's a talking dog!

Ahahahahaha!

Anyway, I don't have much interest in Call of Duty anyway, I thought Modern Warfare was great, then they released WaW (which was basically the same game with a WW2 skin and map pack, for those of you that have been living under three rocks) and then MW2 which is the same game but without the WW2 skin and some new guns or something and a Michael Bay movie instead of a campaign.

Seeing as how these games come out every year (I wasn't aware that Activision whored their games out like this before, so sue me.) I said "Well, screw this arbitrary nonesense, why would you sacrifice quality for a timely release?"

(As you can tell, I'm kind of a massive fan of VALVe and Blizzard, meaning that, although I'm not playing anything right now, I can be assured my grandkids will be having a blast with Starcraft II and Half Life 2: Episode 3.)

Yeah, I'm expecting the Call Of Duty franchise to do a downhill from here on out.

Firing the people that developed CoD into the game it is be a bad thing? NEVARRRRRR. Actually I would love to see the IW guys take Activision to the proverbial woodshed and then form their own company. I'm tired of seeing Treyarch getting to pump out a game using all the technology developed by IW.

Nothing against Treyarch themselves, but they get to use some amazing tech that they don't do anything to develop. It always seems like it's Activision insulting IW by taking their tech and letting another company play with it.

I know I, for one, won't be buying anything Call of Duty ever again. Activision needs to not have rights to anything I like so that I can effectively boycott them.

Johnnyallstar:
Firing the people that developed CoD into the game it is be a bad thing? NEVARRRRRR. Actually I would love to see the IW guys take Activision to the proverbial woodshed and then form their own company. I'm tired of seeing Treyarch getting to pump out a game using all the technology developed by IW.

Nothing against Treyarch themselves, but they get to use some amazing tech that they don't do anything to develop. It always seems like it's Activision insulting IW by taking their tech and letting another company play with it.

Well, and then there was that guy at Treyarch that kept badmouthing IW for years. I can't remember the details, but he kept popping up in idiotic press releases, to the point that Treyarch couldn't figure out what the hell he was talking about.

Anyway, with a little luck Activision will loose the copyright to Call of Duty (or was it MW) as a result of the suit. That should take the wind out of their sails a bit.

Starke:

Johnnyallstar:
Firing the people that developed CoD into the game it is be a bad thing? NEVARRRRRR. Actually I would love to see the IW guys take Activision to the proverbial woodshed and then form their own company. I'm tired of seeing Treyarch getting to pump out a game using all the technology developed by IW.

Nothing against Treyarch themselves, but they get to use some amazing tech that they don't do anything to develop. It always seems like it's Activision insulting IW by taking their tech and letting another company play with it.

Well, and then there was that guy at Treyarch that kept badmouthing IW for years. I can't remember the details, but he kept popping up in idiotic press releases, to the point that Treyarch couldn't figure out what the hell he was talking about.

Anyway, with a little luck Activision will loose the copyright to Call of Duty (or was it MW) as a result of the suit. That should take the wind out of their sails a bit.

Right, it's always looked to me like a bad deal, and an unfriendly situation for IW. I'd be glad see if IW could get away from Activision and really get some true freedom to make games.

Speaking of IW members away from Activision, though, the new Medal of Honor looks pretty good so far.

Caliostro:
Can't go much lower than MW2.

...Admit it, the only reason MW2 sold pretty much any copy was due to the brand name created by the awesome original MW.

I don't really get this. This just isn't true. It has a 94 on Metacritic, and if you're going to tell me that every single reviewer was paid off by Activision or IW, then you're insane. The game's single player mode is intense and actually fun. MW's was definitely fun, but I could enjoy the second one more because it felt like the devs were using it more as an excuse to string together fun levels. I play some games for the narrative, and others to shoot things in beautiful environments. COD4's story left us in Russia (in, IMHO, some rather boring places) for half the game.

The multiplayer is also rather enjoyable (in that I could go from level 1 to ~20 and never feel like I was unfairly killed or anything.) I am aware of the glitches present in the game, but I never saw them for myself.

Just spotlighting this example, I notice that a great number of people seem to give intense hate to very popular games. I recall GTA4's initial ecstatic response then subsequent sink into hate territory. It's happened with the Halo games, too, and I can't understand it.

Andy Chalk:
But industry analyst Michael Pachter said that simply putting the Infinity Ward name on future Call of Duty releases isn't enough to guarantee success and that the absence of the two senior executives could have a big, and negative, impact. "The contributions of West and Zampella are difficult to assess, but the pair has had incredible success with each version of the game created under their supervision," Pachter wrote in a new research note.

"The 'secret sauce' of their involvement is analogous to the direction of a movie; some directors work with certain types of material in a unique way, and repeatedly achieve commercial success with that material," he continued. "In the same way, we think that West and Zampella provide something unique to the creation of games at Infinity Ward, and I think it's likely that their contribution will be missed in future installments."

Pachter Chalk is missing the much bigger point. Part of what West and Zampella are suing for are the rights to any Call of Duty game set after Vietnam. As "highly unlikely" as Pachter thinks it is, there may never be another Modern Warfare.

cobra_ky:

Andy Chalk:
But industry analyst Michael Pachter said that simply putting the Infinity Ward name on future Call of Duty releases isn't enough to guarantee success and that the absence of the two senior executives could have a big, and negative, impact. "The contributions of West and Zampella are difficult to assess, but the pair has had incredible success with each version of the game created under their supervision," Pachter wrote in a new research note.

"The 'secret sauce' of their involvement is analogous to the direction of a movie; some directors work with certain types of material in a unique way, and repeatedly achieve commercial success with that material," he continued. "In the same way, we think that West and Zampella provide something unique to the creation of games at Infinity Ward, and I think it's likely that their contribution will be missed in future installments."

Pachter is missing the much bigger point. Part of what West and Zampella are suing for are the rights to any Call of Duty game set after Vietnam. There may never be another Modern Warfare.

seriously doubt that there isn't going to be another MW... too much money come out of that franchise...

DLC map packs? From Activision?

Hmm, better start saving now, or I'll never get them when they're released.

(whitty name here):
So, if the big important people in Infinity Ward get fired, the company might be affected?
...
...
What the hell am I supposed to say at this point? No rly?

This. The people who develop the games get fired and the games might suffer because of it?!
WHAT?!

Well, it'll certainly have an impact on the IW arm of Call of Duty as I can see most of its staff legging it to friendlier waters. I can't imagine anyone would want to work there any more after the Actvision Burly Men came along. It'll be something to keep an eye on

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