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Two More Infinity Ward Expats Join Respawn, As Studio Down 26

Two More Infinity Ward Expats Join Respawn, As Studio Down 26

April 27, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

April 27, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Infinity Ward employees continue to leave the studio for Respawn Entertainment, the new venture of fired co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella.

As of today, the studio has lost 26 employees, according to Kotaku's count -- about a quarter of the talent Activision said it still maintained at Infinity Ward just recently. And LinkedIn profiles first noticed by consumer weblog Joystiq show that two more IW expats have joined Respawn.

Senior software engineer Chris Lambert and designer Brent McLeod are the latest to surface at West and Zampella's Electronic Arts-backed studio.

Lead designer Todd Alderman, lead animator Mark Grisby, lead environmental artist Chris Cherubin, lead animator John Paul Messerly, software engineer Rayme Vinson, programmer Jon Shiring and lead designer Mackey McCandlish, all former Infinity Ward staff, were part of another recently-reported wave of Respawn hires.

It's widely believed that more staffers could leave Infinity Ward -- analysts have cited ongoing departures at the key Activision studio as a risk to the publisher, and Activision itself has said the exits are likely "not over."

Sources have told Gamasutra -- as well as numerous consumer media outlets -- that morale is low at the studio, and employees feel less certain of their future after the reorganization of the Call of Duty brand and the departure of their co-founders.

An Activision rep recently used Facebook to reveal that employees who stay at Infinity Ward are effectively being incentivized to stay by Modern Warfare 2 performance bonuses forfeited by West and Zampella when they were fired.

Rep Dan Amrich confirmed the bonus money would be distributed among remaining staff, but several sources close to the situation have told Gamasutra that employees are being asked to sign time or project commitments before receiving their bonuses.

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