March saw the high-profile firings of Infinity Ward studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West, and it didn't take an analyst's intuition to guess that the two may be joined by other Call of Duty veterans. Just such a scenario now appears to be coming to pass, as the LinkedIn profiles of Infinity Ward lead designer Todd Alderman and lead software engineer Francesco Gigliotti indicate both left the company this month.
Both Alderman and Gigliotti joined Infinity Ward in 2002, approximately one year before Activision acquired the studio and the first game in the $3 billion franchise shipped for the PC. Alderman's departure, in particular, could be considered a substantial blow to the studio, as his profile indicates he led design on the franchise's heralded multiplayer component. Activision had not responded to requests for comment on the departures as of press time.
The upheaval at Infinity Ward began last month, when Activision abruptly fired Zampella and West due to "breaches of contract and insubordination." At the same time, the publisher revealed a new business unit devoted to the Call of Duty brand, one that will oversee the creation of a new first-person shooter at Treyarch, an action adventure at Sledgehammer Games, and a massively multiplayer online role-playing game for release in Asia.
Zampella and West subsequently sued Activision for $36 million, as well as control of the Call of Duty license. The two also reportedly secured representation by the Creative Artists Agency, whose clients also include Steven Spielberg, Brad Pitt, David Letterman, and Derek Jeter, to name but a few.
For more information on Infinity Ward's $1 billion-selling shooter, as well as the rocky launch of its first map pack, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.Watch the video