This post relates to the sacking/quitting of Jason West and Vince Zampella by Activision for “breach of contract and insubordination”. Now the only people who currently know what really happened are Jason West, Vince Zampella, and Activision. I’m not in a position to speculate on what happened, or who did what to whom and why (there are plenty of other resources to look at if that’s your thing) but I did want to touch on one rumour that was bandied about when the news broke. Allegedly Jason and Vince had had a meeting with EA Games and Activision got wind of it. How true that is may or may not come out in the wash, but the very notion of them being in discussions with EA fills me with horror.
To understand why, we need to step back in time……..
2002 – Medal of Honor:Allied Assault (developed by 2015 for EA) was launched to much fanfare and it was for the time a relative commercial success. It was my first real online PC shooter and I had just got the wonderous new technology called broadband so I was able to pwn some noobs (that’s not strictly true, I’m as bad at shooters now as I was then). It was a great game, except for cheating, hacks and exploits online being used by certain groups in the gaming world. At one point it became almost impossible to find a decent game. EA didn’t really address the issues to any meaningful extent and promised that everything would be sorted with the Spearhead expansion pack.
So the Spearhead expansion pack came out for a small amount of time everything was rosy. The expansion pack was good, the maps and new stuff added a new dimension to the game…..but then the cheats, hacks and exploits crept back in and we were back to square one. There were calls for EA to implement PunkBuster or similar technologies, or at the very least….do something.
Then two of the 2015 Medal of Honor guys left, founded Infinity Ward and there was word of a new WW2 shooter called Call of Duty in the pipeline. There was much discussion on the forums and within the groups that I was playing online with about the title. Don’t get me wrong, Medal of Honor was a fantastic game and I spent many hours playing it, but the title was sorely let down by EA. In the end it was obvious that EA only cared about retail sales and had no interest in resolving issues that the gaming community had.
When Call of Duty came out it really was a “Wow!” moment. The game was amazing. It was innovative, it looked good (for the time) and it pushed the boundaries. But even more important was the fact that Infinity Ward actually responded to the gaming community concerns, there was PunkBuster and even more crucially – they patched hacks and exploits quickly. It was like the Golden Age had arrived and its heralds were…..Jason West and Vince Zampella.
So for them to allegedly to have been meeting with EA would have been the end of gaming for me because I no longer buy EA games. Since 2003 every EA title I have purchased has been a disappointment. On the surface the games are pretty, but after playing for a while it’s obvious how repetitive and ugly they really are with clunky controls and glitches. Sometimes when playing EA games it feels like I’ve paid £45 to be a beta tester to find bugs that won’t get fixed – in 2007 I said enough was enough and blacklisted EA.
So there we have it, potentially the end of Infinity Ward as we know it, and unless someone else steps up to bat the end of FPS gaming for me (I don’t like Quake or Halo).
And in other news:
I’ve taken the Cheap Freaks off my controller due to slippage – read the update at the bottom of this post for more info.
It’s the weekend so I’ve been getting my arse handed to me online. I’d like to blame it on the fact that I couldn’t use my headset last night for the majority of time I was online, but in reality all that would have improved would’ve been the forewarning that I was about to get shot in the face. No scores or maps listed as it really doesn’t matter – I went negative on most of them. It was so bad I was considering ringing a victim support line…..
One highlight though was playing HighRise. I decided to try and play a bit more tactically on there after watching sasbenjr’s YouTube videos. Unfortunately there was some idiot running around with commando and the tactical knife…..and it wasn’t me! So after the third time he got me I changed to my Game Rage class but he was still getting me. Using some of sasbenjr’s tips the tac knife commando numpty became my bitch as he kept using the same route! After the fifth time killing him in the same place he became a bit more wary……which just made it easier. He was even the game winning kill cam to my MP5K – HOORAY! So even when you spend the evening being violated, there’s always a bright side.
Peas and loaves.
Find me on PSN – evaDlivE