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EA Drafts Zampella and West, Gives Rise To Respawn Entertainment

April 12, 2010 Written by Mike Hartnett

In a move that is sure to not only ruffle some feathers, but potentially shift the gaming powers that be, former Infinity Ward execs and Call of Duty creators Jason West and Vince Zampella have come together to create Respawn Entertainment.

One huge detail that is sure to get everyone talking, is that  Respawn Entertainment has decided to give full publishing and distribution rights to none other than… Electronic Arts. If West and Zampella can continue to work the magic they created and inspired over at Infinity Ward, now owned by Activision, we  should not only expect some new, awesome IP’s and projects, but a potential power shift in the gaming industry as well, as the Modern Warfare series, previously lead by the duo, has managed to sell millions upon millions of copies over the past three years, putting Activision in a fairly comfortable position. Could this mean the return of the EA behemoth? Only time will tell.

And to put everyone at ease, it has been confirmed that the studio will retain full control of whatever IP’s it develops, so hopefully the team won’t have to go through another company debacle, such as the one brought on by Activision only last month.

Here’s the full press release:

Jason West and Vince Zampella Form ‘Respawn Entertainment’

All-New Independent Development Studio Signs Exclusive Worldwide Publishing Agreement with EA

LOS ANGELES, Apr 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, Jason West and Vince Zampella, creators of the multi-billion dollar Call of Duty(R) franchise, announced the formation of a new development studio — Respawn Entertainment. The move positions the Respawn Entertainment leadership team as the owners of the intellectual property they create. The company will focus on creating state-of-the-art gaming experiences for global audiences. The studio is currently assembling a world-class team of designers, artists and engineers. Applicants can submit resumes to jobs@respawn.com.

Respawn is pleased to also announce that it has awarded Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), through the distinguished EA Partners program, exclusive worldwide publishing and distribution rights to future games. Terms were not disclosed. West and Zampella are represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

“Respawn Entertainment marks a fresh start for Jason and me,” said Vince Zampella, General Manager of Respawn Entertainment. “For the past decade we led a great development team and poured our hearts into creating an epic game franchise. We’re very proud of what we built – and proud that so many millions of fans enjoyed those games. Today we hope to do it all over again — open a new studio, hire a great team, and create brand new games with a new partner, EA.”

“We’re excited,” added Jason West, President of Respawn Entertainment. “Now that the team is in control of the games and brands, we can ensure that the fans are treated as well as they deserve.”

Frank Gibeau, President of the EA Games Label commented, “This is the start of a great publishing partnership – one that I expect will develop blockbuster game franchises. Jason and Vince are two of the top creative leaders in the entertainment industry. At EA, we’re honored to be their partners and to give them the support they need to hire a team and return to making incredible games.”

About Respawn Entertainment

Founded in 2010, Respawn Entertainment is an independent videogame development studio based in Encino, California. The studio was formed by Jason West and Vince Zampella, former co-founders of Infinity Ward and creators of the multi-billion dollar franchise Call of Duty(R). More information about the company will be available soon at www.respawn.com.