GDC 2010

EA's John Schappert Sounds Off On Infinity Ward Scandal

| 11 Mar 2010 00:25
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John Schappert from EA doesn't think the Activision/Infinity Ward litigation battle is a win for anyone in the industry.

Last week's story about Activision dumping the heads of Infinity Ward rocked the game industry and has far-reaching implications. Despite the fact that Electronic Arts is a competitor with Activision, chief operating officer John Schappert hopes that Jason Westand Vince Zampellacan get past their legal struggles and continue to make great games.

Schappert began with veiled comments about a "mothership" games company that "likes to litigate" and "looks at their legal team as a revenue generating team." Alex Pham from the Los Angeles Times then encouraged him to talk about what she called the "white elephant in the room," the ongoing legal struggles between Activision and Infinity Ward.

"I've read the same complaints that everyone has," Schappert said. "There's two sides to every story and I'm certainly not passing judgment." After that huge caveat, Schappert did state his opinion on the matter:

I'm disappointed on a couple fronts, because I think Jason and Vince, on the human side are two great guys. I know them personally; I think they've done great things, and they are two of the greatest creative leaders in our space.

And to think that they are going to spend their future dealing with litigation and lawyers rather than crafting the next great experience, I don't think that's a win for them. I don't think it's a win for our industry. That's disappointing. I hope that they find a way to continue to make games and focus on that during this period.

Schappert went on to praise Modern Warfare 2 and the whole franchise and is further disappointed that its future is now in question. "I don't think that anyone wins," he repeated.

When pressed as to whether Activision should be referred to as a "mothership" or the "Death Star," Schappert stayed non-commital. "There's some free space there."

Which term fits is up for discussion, I suppose.

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