Infinity Ward Merging With Neversoft to Form Single "Super Studio"

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Infinity Ward Merging With Neversoft to Form Single "Super Studio"

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Parent company Activision will be merging Infinity Ward with Neversoft into a single "super studio;" with the Neversoft name set to be retired.

Publisher Activision will be merging Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward with Neversoft -- former developers of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise. This studio shakeup has been revealed in an internal Activision memo obtained by Giant Bomb. Written by Activision CEO of Publishing Eric Hirshberg, it mentions that the both studios will be called Infinity Ward after the merger since it's the "sensible choice," and that between these two studios, Hirshberg thinks a single "super studio" could emerge.

As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts...And through that process, it became clear that the two studios have very complementary skill sets. Between these two excellent studios, it seemed like a single 'super-studio' could emerge.

As already mentioned, we are merging these two very talented teams and obviously had to choose a name for the combined studio. Since the Infinity Ward brand is indelibly tied to the Call of Duty franchise, it is the sensible choice. While it will be strange to not see the Neversoft logo on future games, the important things--which are the Neversoft team's talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence--all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter.

The man leading this new super studio will be Dave Stohl, the current executive VP of worldwide studios for Activision. Current Infinity Ward chief Steve Ackrich will remain at Infinity Ward in a leadership role. What this new Infinity Ward team will be developing hasn't been disclosed in the memo, but given IW's track record, it's safe to surmise that it will once again be an entry into the Call of Duty franchise. As for Neversoft, even before the merger, it has already helped out in past Call of Duty games and has even helped Infinity Ward in releasing its latest game, Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Is this the start of a trend of more internal Activision studios being tapped or merged to develop more Call of Duty games? With Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games solely focused on creating entries in the shooter franchise, let's hope not for variety's sake.

In the latest Call of Duty news, the latest game will be called Call of Duty: Advance Warfare and will star actor Kevin Spacey.

Source: Giant Bomb

Permalink

This is going to be a slaughter!

A lot of people are going to get laid off and for what? To make yet another game in a series that has been dying for at least 2 iterations now? People were groaning at black ops 2 and I believe ghosts was the first to not out perform the last game, are they really merging two studios into one to Nintendo another COD out the door?

I mean the big piece of news about this game isn't that their is a new one but that it has Kevin Spacey in it! Gives a fuck? Not the first time a celeb has been in a game but that is the most exciting thing about COD now.

So a studio that is a lifeless shadow of its former self is being folded in to another studio that is a lifeless shadow of its former self? Given the franchise milking experience between the two it's like a pair of black holes colliding, no IP will ever escape their deadly pull.

CriticalMiss:
So a studio that is a lifeless shadow of its former self is being folded in to another studio that is a lifeless shadow of its former self? Given the franchise milking experience between the two it's like a pair of black holes colliding, no IP will ever escape their deadly pull.

Two black holes colliding is first met by a fairly massive release of energy, so if we're going to take this metaphor anywhere, they may make something amazing first :P (You can call the black hole merger "The Spacey") EDIT: And then I read up on what happens, and then the "massive lay-offs" prediction makes it way more funny.

But yeah really I don't know if we need more CoD guys. I get that you're making cyclical development studio rounds to keep the annual release schedule, but come on!

YAY!

MORE INCONSISTENCY IN DESIGN!

Perhaps I should give them the benefit of the doubt, but CoD Ghosts was shit, even by CoD standards.

Who here wants to bet that this was shown at their merger meeting?

I read a lot of waffle about efficiency and professionalism, but my brain registered only this.

Infinity Ward!
#Click#
You have outlived your usefulness
#BANG#
Neversoft! You are Infinity Ward now, do not fail me...

One of those inevitibilities of working for a big publisher, hit every time or be struck off the budget. Oh well, nobody of talent will be lost (beyond every single person who will likely be fired)...

Meanwhile at EA:

"That reminds me, we haven't put any more studios on the corpse pile in the last 15 minutes. Is there any way we could buy Gearbox?"

Am I the only one who thinks that if Activision goes the 3 developers route they should split them up into SP, MP and Coop developers who collaborate for yearly iterations of these singular game-mode-pillars, rather than have yearly design inconsistencies in each and every one of them?

I mean, sure, I like variety as much as the next guy, but having to adapt to 3 completely different game design choices with each and every iteration is kind of a pain.
Well, it certainly is in MP. But looking back at Ghosts, the main reason why I skipped that game was that the campaign did not take any inspiration from Treyarchs additions in BLOPS 2 (custom loadout, multiple choices, etc.).
I haven't thought this through too much, tbh, but then again I'm not a head-honcho at Activision.....

Also, I get that it is easy to hate the CoD-franchise, I really do, having dished out hate for the crap that was MW2, MW3 and Ghosts (having enjoyed only the Treyarch games, besides the original CoD's 1,2 and 4 by "real IW") but I don't get where people take this "dying franchise" talk from. the CoD-Franchise is as much in it's dying breath as this galaxy's sun.

I can't be the only one who thought: "Call of Duty: GUN"

Because, come on.

Tagline: "It really was ... a wild, wild west"

Oh boy, a super studio for mediocre games.

Ronack:
I can't be the only one who thought: "Call of Duty: GUN"

Because, come on.

Tagline: "It really was ... a wild, wild west"

If there must be a giant spider in the third act then CoD is the place to feature it.

Ferisar:

CriticalMiss:
So a studio that is a lifeless shadow of its former self is being folded in to another studio that is a lifeless shadow of its former self? Given the franchise milking experience between the two it's like a pair of black holes colliding, no IP will ever escape their deadly pull.

Two black holes colliding is first met by a fairly massive release of energy, so if we're going to take this metaphor anywhere, they may make something amazing first :P

That release of energy would just be the marketing for the next game. These days it seems they put more effort in to advertising the game than actually making it.

Citizen Graves:
Am I the only one who thinks that if Activision goes the 3 developers route they should split them up into SP, MP and Coop developers who collaborate for yearly iterations of these singular game-mode-pillars, rather than have yearly design inconsistencies in each and every one of them?

Two or three developers split between campaign and MP and starting out fresh on a new game together probably will never work. It reminds me of Sonic Extreme and how different teams made the normal and boss level engines. The Sega execs looked at the one that was visibly more polished(but by no means complete)and told the other team to use that engine, too, throwing away months of work on a perfectly functional mechanic. I could imagine developers working under Activision going slightly different routes in design, then finding out Activision wants only one and throws out half of the work done on a game. They'd have to basically function as one team. Neversoft and IW are located in LA, so this might be why Activision chose to merge these two. Plus having 3 developers on one game means they won't get the one game a year CoD factories they want since planning and art design will take up the time of all three before they can really get started.

Also, I get that it is easy to hate the CoD-franchise, I really do, having dished out hate for the crap that was MW2, MW3 and Ghosts (having enjoyed only the Treyarch games, besides the original CoD's 1,2 and 4 by "real IW") but I don't get where people take this "dying franchise" talk from. the CoD-Franchise is as much in it's dying breath as this galaxy's sun.

It doesn't help them that the series has been stagnating since MW2. Sure, Treyarch got out of WW2 shooters with Black Ops[1]and caught up to IW's more modern take on CoD. But, they all felt the same since MW1 and not in a good way. Activsion shouldn't have been "more CoD, more CoD" because it watered down their money making franchise. Besides Nazi Zombies, the MP didn't seem to change much. CoD probably isn't dying, but it could be turning into a Franchise Zombie if this upcoming Sledgehammer one turns out to be a dud and this "new" Infinity Ward's or Treyach's next one don't deliver. Activision might take the least successful developer behind the barn with the old rifle and feed the remains to whichever developer is nearby.

[1] Though, I think World at War was a good sendoff to an overdone genre.

I missed out on the whole internet outcry about Infinity Ward "back in the day" and can't seem to find any reliable sources covering exactly what happened. Can anyone here give me some links to impartial information? I don't exactly trust Wikipedia.

'Super' studio? Based on the last game they made together (Ghosts) it's a new Thoroughly Mediocre Studio.

"Doctor, I took a pill and now I'm Neversoft! What do I do?"

"Nurse, send him to the Infinity Ward, stat!"

OT: I expect some layoffs from the merger, which is sad.

Super studio? Can it lift a building in a single bound? Should have a cape, at least. Not having high hopes for it otherwise.

FizzyIzze:
I missed out on the whole internet outcry about Infinity Ward "back in the day" and can't seem to find any reliable sources covering exactly what happened. Can anyone here give me some links to impartial information? I don't exactly trust Wikipedia.

I forget the details, but a couple of IW people were fired or left a while back around the time that Activision sent their own PMC like people to IW for reasons that were never properly explained.

Something probably to do with money and that activision was keeping too much for itself, but the take away from all of it was Respawn Entertainment and Titanfall.

So proof that it isn't Activision that forces these studios to make shitty games.

Super studio?

Sure. Because that's how these mergers work. Even better to do it when neither studio has any of their old magic left.

Kalezian:
snip

Thank you. I held my breath and went back to Wikipedia and it wasn't that bad actually, although it's still fairly confusing. At the very least I can say that on the Wikipedia page I learned of Robert Bowling's new game Human Element, which is *sigh* a zombie apocalypse game, but at least it sounds like they're planning on introducing new gameplay elements.

Well I look forward to seeing America's finest defending liberty and democracy through skateboarding to the sound of Rage Against The Machine in the next COD.

All this taking shells of former studios and mixing them sounds lime when drinks are running low at party and you start mixing anything to make what's left last. It sounds like a good idea at the time until the morning when you wake on the bathroom floor in a pool of a nightmare concoction of your making.

FizzyIzze:
I missed out on the whole internet outcry about Infinity Ward "back in the day" and can't seem to find any reliable sources covering exactly what happened. Can anyone here give me some links to impartial information? I don't exactly trust Wikipedia.

To be honest the Wiki page covers the basics fairly well, but a brief bullet point history would be:

Also, read this: http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/05/24/respawn-39-s-west-and-zampella-sound-off-on-upcoming-activision-lawsuit.aspx

Activision's side of the story can be found with some Google-fu, although a lot of the news pages of the time have been deleted now. It's safe to say IW hasn't been quite the same since all this began, they've gone from developing entirely in house to having extra on hand at all times, a merger like this seemed inevitable at the time it began.

fix-the-spade:
snip

Jesus. "Project Icebreaker"? That's like one or two steps short of hired goons out to break some legs.

Thanks for the summation. I guess the main benefit of being able to read up on this stuff after it's blown over is simply having enough time for everything to come out. I imagine the Neversoft guys probably have their fingers crossed right about now.

MCerberus:
Meanwhile at EA:

"That reminds me, we haven't put any more studios on the corpse pile in the last 15 minutes. Is there any way we could buy Gearbox?"

*Looks at Gearbox who are digging a hole with a sign saying 'borderlands'*

"They seem to be doing fine, they will make their own way to us"

Seriously, as soon as I read Infinity Ward, I stopped caring.

CriticalMiss:

Ferisar:

CriticalMiss:
So a studio that is a lifeless shadow of its former self is being folded in to another studio that is a lifeless shadow of its former self? Given the franchise milking experience between the two it's like a pair of black holes colliding, no IP will ever escape their deadly pull.

Two black holes colliding is first met by a fairly massive release of energy, so if we're going to take this metaphor anywhere, they may make something amazing first :P

That release of energy would just be the marketing for the next game. These days it seems they put more effort in to advertising the game than actually making it.

Damn, you're right. The collision generated so much real™ hype™ that not believing in it would be like denying Gaben®.

Also, "#BelieveTheHype" - HypeGN - "Best hype NA" - FameSpot - "You're a Wizard Harry" - J.K. Rowling.

This should be loads of fun. Buuuuuuuuuut, who knows, maybe they'll pull of something amazing. Though, merging a studio known for CoD and a studio known for Tony Hawk games doesn't sound like a match made in heaven to me. I'll keep this in my sights for now. Far away. And my sights are from a sniper scope.

Alex Co:
Publisher Activision will be merging Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward with Neversoft -- former developers of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise.

I'd pay good money for a game in which you can do a a frontside 180 ollie headshot combo.

The studio has been effectively dead to me since MW2 and as far as Neversoft goes this is just trying to Frankenstein two studio to try squeeze some people out.

fix-the-spade:

FizzyIzze:
I missed out on the whole internet outcry about Infinity Ward "back in the day" and can't seem to find any reliable sources covering exactly what happened. Can anyone here give me some links to impartial information? I don't exactly trust Wikipedia.

To be honest the Wiki page covers the basics fairly well, but a brief bullet point history would be:

Also, read this: http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/05/24/respawn-39-s-west-and-zampella-sound-off-on-upcoming-activision-lawsuit.aspx

Activision's side of the story can be found with some Google-fu, although a lot of the news pages of the time have been deleted now. It's safe to say IW hasn't been quite the same since all this began, they've gone from developing entirely in house to having extra on hand at all times, a merger like this seemed inevitable at the time it began.

This is highly informative. I was unaware of anything Activision was up to until this day.

"...obviously had to choose a name for the combined studio. Since the Infinity Ward brand is indelibly tied to the Call of Duty franchise, it is the sensible choice. While it will be strange to not see the Neversoft logo on future games, the important things--which are the Neversoft team's talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence--all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter."

Basically saying they need that name for marketing purposes just to make sure all the uninformed public will still have faith in their favourite, mindless IP. Hey, cash is really damn nice ya know...don't wanna be losing out on all the sales from ppl who are scared of a new developer name!
Sorry Neversoft...we like your talent, but the public doesnt agree, and the public bring us our money. So we can't have your name ruining that for us. You understand, right? Nothing personal.

MCerberus:
Meanwhile at EA:

"That reminds me, we haven't put any more studios on the corpse pile in the last 15 minutes. Is there any way we could buy Gearbox?"

The day EA buys Gearbox, I'm buying myself a box of good chocolate chip cookies and celebrating. The day EA disbands Gearbox, I'm doing the same.

RealRT:

MCerberus:
Meanwhile at EA:

"That reminds me, we haven't put any more studios on the corpse pile in the last 15 minutes. Is there any way we could buy Gearbox?"

The day EA buys Gearbox, I'm buying myself a box of good chocolate chip cookies and celebrating. The day EA disbands Gearbox, I'm doing the same.

Meh, they're alright as long as it's 2k cracking the whips keeping them in line.
Or at least I hope so re: Homeworld

Man, now get those Guitar Hero guys in on the action. COD? Lame. Skateboards? Stupid. Guitars? Okay I guess. Rock stars riding skateboards through the eye of a hurricane with lightning flashing behind them as they ride out to stop mother Russia/China/South America from summoning Ragnarok? Most metal game ever made. I will buy this game Activision, don't screw this up.

VanBasten:

Alex Co:
Publisher Activision will be merging Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward with Neversoft -- former developers of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise.

I'd pay good money for a game in which you can do a a frontside 180 ollie headshot combo.

Or a 360 Backside No-Scope Flip Snipe... That shit be illa tight, though...

OT: Dammit... Now, I want a FPS skate simulator TO THE EXTREME!!!

Oh... and this merger seems kinda redundant, upon first glance... But, who knows? Maybe they would make a FPS skate simulator, thus peaking/poking my curiosity buttons...

"As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts...And through that process, it became clear that the two studios have very complementary skill sets" But didn't Ghosts came out to be one of the worst CoD game in both gameplay and technical stuff? It seems to me like they fused them so when they dismantle it completely, people won't be able to say they destroyed 2 studios, but just one instead.

MCerberus:

RealRT:

MCerberus:
Meanwhile at EA:

"That reminds me, we haven't put any more studios on the corpse pile in the last 15 minutes. Is there any way we could buy Gearbox?"

The day EA buys Gearbox, I'm buying myself a box of good chocolate chip cookies and celebrating. The day EA disbands Gearbox, I'm doing the same.

Meh, they're alright as long as it's 2k cracking the whips keeping them in line.
Or at least I hope so re: Homeworld

They are a bunch of thieving cunts and deserve to be rEAped.

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