Infinity Ward has seen an implosion of no small scale since its co-founders were unceremoniously fired, leading to over 30 other employee departures. However, Activision EVP of studios Dave Stohl is optimistic about the studio going forward.
“On the IW side, what I feel good about it the way we’re able to. People ask me this all the time. It is still a huge recruiting drive,” said Stohl. “I’ve been a development guy for a long time, right? Recruiting at IW is not a problem. What we’re trying to do is say that IW is a culture, it s a way of doing things, there’s a lot of people there and there s still a lot of passion for doing it. We’re trying to rebuild, trying to help them and support them to rebuild. So people are stepping up, new people are coming in and we’re setting the bar so high. And we’re making sure it fits with the culture of what IW actually is. So far so good.”
When pressed about Infinity Ward’s future possibly being negatively affected by its recent history, Stohl said, “Look: it was a really unfortunate thing, for sure. We are a big company, you know what I mean Forget about a company; we’re a development organization and we have a lot of good people in it. We’ve got a lot of really, really hard-working people that are so focused on what they’re doing now. And, at the same time, we ve got a lot of good people that are helping to support them get back to hopefully where they’ll get to, and I think that they will.”
“You know, to me, rebuilding IW is about culture and talent, and we have the wherewithal to help them get there. I think there s a real desire. There s a real desire to do it. I think they’ll get there, and we’ve got a ton of hard-working super-talented people. People say ‘Activision,’ but it’s Neversoft and Treyarch and it’s VV in Albany and it’s Bizarre Creations; it s people all over. There s just a ton of talented development,” continued Stohl. “I’m not taking anything away from what Infinity Ward was or is, but all I can do it focus on supporting them and setting the bar so high that they keep what they have and what they had, and that s a focus on excellence and a culture that works the way it does.”
When asked about Infinity Ward’s focus on Call of Duty, Stohl was noncommital. “We’re not saying right now. There is definitely a strong shooter philosophy there, for sure. And I think that there s a short- and long-term view on the whole thing. But I think we re rebuilding a studio that can go off and build great new franchises in the future.”