Giant Bomb News

176 Comments

Infinity Ward, Neversoft Merging into Single "Super Studio"

Neversoft collaborated on Call of Duty: Ghosts, and now the two companies will be even closer.

Call of Duty: Ghosts developer Infinity Ward is about to get a serious shakeup. Giant Bomb can report the developer is merging with former Tony Hawk's Pro Skater developer Neversoft, who actually helped Infinity Ward out with the development of its last major shooter.

Infinity Ward has seen great change in the last few years. That change isn't over yet.
Infinity Ward has seen great change in the last few years. That change isn't over yet.

The news was disclosed through a very recent internal memo penned by Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, that was obtained by Giant Bomb.

The newly merged studio will still be called Infinity Ward.

"As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts," wrote Hirshberg. "And through that process, it became clear that the two studios have very complementary skill sets. Between these two excellent studios, it seemed like a single 'super-studio' could emerge."

As a result, however, the Neversoft name will be retired.

"The impact of their 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated," said Hirshberg. "As already mentioned, we are merging these two very talented teams and obviously had to choose a name for the combined studio. Since the Infinity Ward brand is indelibly tied to the Call of Duty franchise, it is the sensible choice. While it will be strange to not see the Neversoft logo on future games, the important things--which are the Neversoft team’s talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence--all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter."

Dave Stohl, currently the executive VP of worldwide studios for Activision, has been assigned to lead this new studio. Stohl has been at Activision for nearly 19 years, and has overseen dramatic changes to Infinity Ward in the past. The current studio head, Steve Ackrich, will remain at Infinity Ward in a leadership role.

There are big changes happening at Neversoft due to the transition, as well. Studio head Joel Jewett and studio director Scott Pease, who have both been at the company for more than 20 years, "have made the difficult decision to retire" from games.

"As a gamer, all I can say is that I hope both Joel and Scott come of 'out of retirement' someday and develop more great Activision games for us all to play," said Hirshberg. "As a colleague of Joel and Scott’s, all I can say is thank you and congratulations on an incredible run."

Jewett and Pease will remain part of Neversoft during the studio's transition, but are expected to leave later this year.

While no new game is mentioned in the memo, it's expected Infinity Ward will continue to develop Call of Duty games. With Sledgehammer Games now part of the development rotation, each of Activision's developers--Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games--has more time to make the next iteration. Given the tepid reaction to Call of Duty: Ghosts, this seems like the right call for the studio.

"I am very much looking forward to what the new Infinity Ward will deliver in the near future," said Hirshberg.

Activision did not respond to my request for official comment. Then again, it is Saturday morning.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
186 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for jag9851
Posted by JAG9851

Things aren't going so well, eh? Maybe it just makes sense to have the two together from a business standpoint?

Avatar image for peritus
Edited by peritus

I dont suppose this means we get a new tony hawk game :p

Avatar image for jrl5k
Posted by jrl5k

SCOOPS!

Avatar image for cb1115
Edited by cb1115

over 9,000 or nah?

Avatar image for supernormalstep
Posted by SupernormalStep

SCOOPS! Always two scoops ahead.

Avatar image for stimpack
Posted by Stimpack

Wow, that's... I mean, that's weird, right?

Avatar image for conmulligan
Posted by conmulligan

Neversoft hasn't really done anything interesting in years, but it's still kind of a bummer to see the name disappear.

Online
Avatar image for romination
Posted by Romination

This is kind of sad. For years I've been waiting for Neversoft to catch a break and really be allowed to come out on their own, but Activision seemed too happy to just leave them as a workhorse developer. Not that that's anything new for the publisher, but its sad seeing the name go.

until they pull an EA and release an engine called the Neversoft Engine

Avatar image for the_nubster
Posted by The_Nubster

No kidding, huh? I really hope it was an actual, sensible choice and too many people aren't getting burned by this.

Online
Avatar image for hassun
Edited by Hassun
Avatar image for slayer
Posted by Slayer

SCOOPS ! Is at it again, lets hope this means that better games will come of it.

Avatar image for alishcra
Posted by alishcra

Scoops gettin those scoops.

Avatar image for paisan13
Edited by paisan13

Well it's probably not the same Neversoft, or Infinity Ward anymore, most of the people that worked on the titles we associate with these companies are long gone, so to still call the company Infinity Ward is just a shitty move.
Of course I didn't expect anything ells, but I was hoping they would do the right thing and re-brand the company.

Avatar image for tinodz
Posted by tinodz

Avatar image for thesoutherndandy
Posted by TheSouthernDandy

This kinda sucks for Neversoft but at the same time they feel like Rare at this point. They don't seem like the same studio and haven't done anything that interesting in a long time. I'm not real surprised something like this happened.

Avatar image for nathanxplosion
Posted by NathanXplosion

How long till Beenox is assimilated into the Call of Duty hive?

Avatar image for redtentacle
Posted by RedTentacle

I realize Neversoft have not put out anything great in years but still sucks they are closing, maybe we can get some skateboarding in CoD.

Avatar image for mistermouse
Posted by MisterMouse

Scoops scooping up those hot scoops.

Avatar image for solh0und
Edited by Solh0und

Soo....when are we getting a map that represents a THPS level? I know Treyarch did a skatepark map in Black Ops II.

Avatar image for retrovirus
Posted by RetroVirus

How many developers does Activison still own? They've been merging and shutting down all their internal studios for forever.

Avatar image for eternalvigil
Posted by EternalVigil

Well time to pour one out for Neversoft then.

I guess that means the chances for them to make another spider-man game is now out of the question.

Avatar image for forteexe21
Posted by forteexe21

May as well merge all the studios into Treyarch as its the only one with a positive brand name now.

Online
Avatar image for vaiz
Posted by vaiz

The singularity is upon us.

Avatar image for feedo
Posted by feedo

Scoopin' with Scoops!

Avatar image for coribald
Posted by coribald

Scooped!

Avatar image for devitiffany
Edited by DeviTiffany

Hopefully this means I can finally pull off a 1080 Boneless into 360 No-Scope.

Avatar image for bloyd
Edited by Bloyd

E-XXXXXXXXCLUSIVE

Avatar image for me3639
Posted by me3639

Pretty status quo anymore and not really important, is it?

Avatar image for somejerk
Posted by SomeJerk

If this produces a COD game where I thoroughly enjoy the multiplayer design and balance, the singleplayer gameplay and writing, to the degree where I can consider it a fine 5/5 or very close to 5/5 package, then this is good merger.

Avatar image for trilogy
Edited by Trilogy

Dem scoops right there, man! Dem scoops! Alllll kiiiiinds of scoops...all kiiiiiiiiiinnnnddss. Look at the exclusives! Look at the stories! That's some BBS action! Big badass scoops, man!

*Ahem* anyway... I know it sort of doesn't matter since they were already sucked into tho Call of Duty production line, but I'm a little bummed to see them lose their identity. It's really only a symbolic loss, and merged names are sometimes cheesy, but I think "infinitysoft" has a nice ring to it. I suppose I still have some fondness towards the legacy of Neversoft.

Avatar image for fistfulofmetal
Posted by Fistfulofmetal

Giantbomb crashing in 3....2...1

Avatar image for fobwashed
Posted by Fobwashed

SCOOPS! 360 No-Scope Headshot of a story =D

So, pretty much they just make CoD games right? I've always felt sorta bad for Neversoft. It seemed like since Tony Hawk, they've always been just put on franchise duty with the exception of that GUN game. I hope everyone there is happy with this merge.

Avatar image for creamypies
Posted by Creamypies

Scoops picking up yet another major scoop! Great work, Patrick!

Avatar image for baltimore
Posted by Baltimore

Didn't Activision do something like this in the past when Guitar Hero was big? They merged two well known studios together to make a 'super studio'. Or was it a 'business unit'?

Avatar image for mrblobby64
Edited by mrblobby64

@conmulligan: That's how I feel right now too. Kinda the same as if Rare were to be shut down tomorrow: they've not made a good game in like 5-6 years but the amazing games they have made makes it an absolute shame.

Avatar image for winsol
Posted by winsol

Good night sweet Prince of neversoft, may angels sing thee to thy rest. Nice catch with this story Patrick.

Avatar image for killer_catt
Edited by KILLER_CATT

Scoops is scoopin' once again!!

Avatar image for mpgeist
Edited by mpgeist

I always start my Saturday morning with two scoops of news.

Avatar image for altairre
Posted by altairre

SCOOPS! Those names don't really mean anything anymore.

Avatar image for recroulette
Edited by recroulette

Neversoft's Spiderman was the best Spiderman game.

Avatar image for koolaid
Edited by koolaid

Scoops can still scoop y'all.

Avatar image for sdhero
Posted by SDHero

Yet another studio is sacrificed to Call of Duty by Activision in the name of profit. And people hate EA for some reason.

Another great scoop by our man Patrick "Scoops" "Tricky" "TrickyScoops" Klepek!

Avatar image for kaigan
Posted by Kaigan

You could say that Neversoft got scooped up.

Avatar image for hangnail
Edited by Hangnail

"Dave Stohl"?

"DAVE STOHL"?!

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!

Avatar image for phatmac
Posted by Phatmac

Gonna be really sad when this happens to High Moon and Raven. :(((

Avatar image for tolecover
Edited by tolecover
Avatar image for swaney
Posted by swaney

I love it when Giant Bomb obtains internal memos.

Avatar image for 7ujmnbvfr456yhgt
Edited by 7ujmnbvfr456yhgt

two scoops in every bag y'all

Avatar image for bollard
Posted by Bollard

RIP in pieces Neversoft.

The news was disclosed through a very recent internal memo

I always find this interesting. If it was an internal memo why does the media get ahold of it? Leaky employees? Another thing I will never understand is why these "internal memos" are written like they are a press release.

Avatar image for pimblycharles
Posted by PimblyCharles

Well this is interesting news. It'd be great for this new "super studio," of which is obviously filled with incredible talent, to make a non FPS war game. Activision would never fund that though...