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Activision Cans Infinity Ward Studio Heads

Jason West and Vince Zampella apparently out, mood described as "freaked out" and "confused." Bobby Kotick to address studio this afternoon.

In case you missed it last night, Patrick Klepek over at G4 broke a big story about some extreme drama currently going down at Infinity Ward, the developers of Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2. The two heads of the studio, Jason West and Vince Zampella, are apparently out, and Activision has made a bit of noise in its 10-K filing about investigating charges of "insubordination."

Here's this bit from the company's annual report, released yesterday: 

The Company is concluding an internal human resources inquiry into breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward. This matter is expected to involve the departure of key personnel and litigation. At present, the Company does not expect this matter to have a material impact on the Company.

G4's definitely got a story worth reading, so check that out. Also, it sounds like there will be more happening in the near future, as sources have indicated to us that Activison CEO Bobby Kotick is scheduled to address the studio at large in 30 minutes or so.

We're currently planning on going back in to record an additional segment for this week's podcast to discuss this ongoing situation, and I'd expect that some choice quotes from Kotick's meetings with IW will be circulating later today. I'm totally flabbergasted over here, but of course, we're not getting the entire story. One has to wonder if we ever will. Either way, I bet that some publishers are already attempting to line up offers to start a new West/Zampella studio, assuming that Activision's talk of litigation wouldn't completely cripple such a venture.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+