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Analyst discusses risks of Infinity Wardgate, CoD restructure

March 4, 2010

In another bit of analysis of the departure of two former senior Infinity Ward employees, analyst Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital said to Gamasutra that the incident at IW and the reorganization of the Call of Duty franchise has some “near-term risks and the brand’s future now seems uncertain.” However, Sebastian added that the possibility of success with the reorganization is there.

Reaffirming rumors that the former IW employees Vince Zampella and Jason West were in talks with rival publishers, thus causing the “breach of contract and insubordination” claim by Activision, Sebastian said he believes the two have been in discussions externally to leave their parent company. The departure could create some uncertainty in the future of Activision’s largest and most profitable console game, according to Sebastian.

“However, the impact may not be felt until late 2011, which was the presumed launch timing of the next title developed by Infinity Ward,” Sebastian said.

Sebastian said the risk in the departure of Zampella and West are that the two are likely to start a new endeavor, and their former comrades at IW could join them. If IW employees do leave this would put pressure on Treyarch and new Sledgehammer, both are currently developing Call of Duty games. Sebastian added that both Zampella and West were part of the Medal of Honor series before leaving to form IW, join with Activision and start the Call of Duty series.

With a third-person game from Sledgehammer, a high probability of seeing Modern Warfare 3 in the fall and a belief of Sebastian’s that Activision will release a Call of Duty with an online subscription model in late 2010, analysts believe that 2011 could see as many as three Call of Duty games. Not too far-fetched considering Activision already has a history of releasing multiple versions of Guitar Hero in one year.

[Thanks, Gamasutra]

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2010 3:57 pm

    I know a couple of people that will love this post, I’ll certainly let them know.

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