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Posted by patrickklepek (2215 posts) -

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.

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.

#1 Posted by JAG9851 (3 posts) -

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

#2 Edited by peritus (1072 posts) -

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

#3 Posted by jrl5k (38 posts) -

SCOOPS!

#4 Edited by cb1115 (138 posts) -

over 9,000 or nah?

#5 Posted by SupernormalStep (199 posts) -

SCOOPS! Always two scoops ahead.

#6 Posted by Stimpack (911 posts) -

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

#7 Posted by conmulligan (776 posts) -

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

#8 Posted by Romination (2777 posts) -

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

#9 Posted by The_Nubster (2359 posts) -

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

#10 Edited by Hassun (1863 posts) -
#11 Posted by Slayer (83 posts) -

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

#12 Posted by alishcra (66 posts) -

Scoops gettin those scoops.

#13 Edited by paisan13 (154 posts) -

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.

#14 Posted by tinodz (74 posts) -

#15 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3925 posts) -

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.

#16 Posted by NathanXplosion (95 posts) -

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

#17 Posted by RedTentacle (13 posts) -

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.

#18 Posted by MisterMouse (3564 posts) -

Scoops scooping up those hot scoops.

#19 Edited by Solh0und (1853 posts) -

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

#20 Posted by RetroVirus (1492 posts) -

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

#21 Posted by EternalVigil (306 posts) -

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.

#22 Posted by forteexe21 (496 posts) -

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

#23 Posted by punkxblaze (2990 posts) -

The singularity is upon us.

#24 Posted by feedo (39 posts) -

Scoopin' with Scoops!

#25 Posted by coribald (315 posts) -

Scooped!

#26 Edited by DeviTiffany (463 posts) -

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

#27 Edited by Bloyd (19 posts) -

E-XXXXXXXXCLUSIVE

#28 Posted by me3639 (1855 posts) -

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

#29 Posted by SomeJerk (3396 posts) -

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.

#30 Edited by Trilogy (2692 posts) -

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.

#31 Posted by Fistfulofmetal (686 posts) -

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

#32 Posted by Fobwashed (2242 posts) -

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.

#33 Posted by Creamypies (4091 posts) -

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

#34 Posted by Baltimore (280 posts) -

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'?

#35 Edited by mrblobby64 (62 posts) -

@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.

#36 Posted by winsol (76 posts) -

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

#37 Edited by KILLER_CATT (66 posts) -

Scoops is scoopin' once again!!

#38 Edited by mpgeist (643 posts) -

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

Online
#39 Posted by altairre (1287 posts) -

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

#40 Edited by RecSpec (3948 posts) -

Neversoft's Spiderman was the best Spiderman game.

#41 Edited by KoolAid (1034 posts) -

Scoops can still scoop y'all.

#42 Posted by SDHero (46 posts) -

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!

#43 Posted by Kaigan (292 posts) -

You could say that Neversoft got scooped up.

#44 Edited by Hangnail (193 posts) -

"Dave Stohl"?

"DAVE STOHL"?!

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!

#45 Posted by Phatmac (5730 posts) -

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

#46 Edited by tolecover (23 posts) -
#47 Posted by swaney (23 posts) -

I love it when Giant Bomb obtains internal memos.

#48 Edited by 7ujmnbvfr456yhgt (5 posts) -

two scoops in every bag y'all

#49 Posted by Bollard (5868 posts) -

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.

#50 Posted by PimblyCharles (1643 posts) -

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...