Activision to merge Infinity Ward and Neversoft
Activision have signalled that Neversoft will shortly be absorbed into Infinity Ward, increasing the headcount at the Call of Duty developer.
The studio was acquired by the publisher in 1999, and will be remembered for their efforts developing the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Guitar Hero series. They aided Infinity Ward on last year’s Call of Duty: Ghosts, such experience demonstrating that they had “very complementary skill sets,” apparently.
“As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts,” Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg wrote in an internal memo. “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.
He continued, “The impact of their 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated. 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.”
Activision’s executive vice president of worldwide studios, Dave Stohl, will lead the new studio, which will retain the Infinity Ward name, alongside current head Steve Ackrich. The knock-on effect is that Neversoft’s studio head and director, Joel Jewett and Scott Pease, “have made the difficult decision to retire” from the games industry later this year.
“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,” Hirshberg explained. “As a colleague of Joel and Scott’s, all I can say is thank you and congratulations on an incredible run.”
[Thanks Giant Bomb]