Infinity Ward created one of the most successful and influential shooters of all time with 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The studio is rebooting the game this year, but not everyone involved with the original Modern Warfare is still with the team.
Activision fired Infinity Ward co-founders Vince Zampella and Jason West in 2010 for insubordination. Zampella went on to create Respawn Entertainment, which enjoyed success with the Titanfall series and more recently the battle royale game Apex Legends (West has since joined Epic Games). But what does Zampella think of Activision deciding to reboot Modern Warfare? Speaking on GameSpot sister site Giant Bomb’s E3 2019 livestream, Zampella said he has mixed feelings about Modern Warfare coming back.
“There’s a part of it where it’s humbling. It’s like somebody that I was involved in is worthy of being rebooted. It’s got so much history that people want to see it grow and evolve. There’s a little bit of that, ‘Wow, that legacy is huge.’ That’s humbling,” Zampella said.
At the same time, however, Zampella said he is “a little bit emotional.” Specifically, he said he wonders about Captain Price and how the new game will carry his legacy forward. Zampella said he’s also thinking about how the legacy of the Modern Warfare series could change depending on the response and reception to the Modern Warfare reboot. Overall, Zampella said his feelings swing back and forth when he thinks about the new game, but overall he said he has confidence that Infinity Ward is “in it right for the right reasons.”
“They wanted to do something great in the Modern Warfare space,” he said.
The new Modern Warfare retains some elements of 2007’s game in that it will tell war stories from different perspectives in a fictional Middle East setting. Price is indeed returning as a mentor character of sorts, but he has a new voice actor.
When Zampella and West were fired, a number of Infinity Ward developers left to join them at Respawn on the team that would go on to create Titanfall. One of those developers was Drew McCoy, who is now the executive producer of the wildly successful Apex Legends.
McCoy said he’s been excited to experience the new Modern Warfare reboot this time as a fan and not a developer. He also mentioned that it was a “classy” move on Activision’s part to put the original developers’ names in the opening credits to the 2016 Modern Warfare remaster.
The defections from Infinity Ward were so numerous that Activision reportedly had to bring in Sledgehammer Games to help finish Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
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