Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has defended his decision to fire Call of Duty creators Vince Zampella and Jason West, insisting: "We didn't have any choice!"
Ex-Infinity Ward bosses Zampella and West were fired amid a high profile lawsuit that eventually led to the formation of Respawn Entertainment.
The newly created developer signed with Kotick's bitter rival EA, and work on a new game has begun.
"It shook my belief in two specific people, who were my friends," Kotick told Edge.
"The frustrating thing about that is, the stuff that these guys did, I never would have expected them to do. We're a public company, we've got ethics obligations, and the things they did were... I would go to jail if I did them.
"You can't use the company and the company's assets for your own personal benefit, and you can't use the leverage that you might have for personal benefit – you're not allowed to do that! And so we didn't have any choice."
Kotick revealed he knew Infinity Ward staff would leave en masse following the split, but insisted all will be fine in the end.
"There's 70 really talented people at Infinity Ward who are focused and engaged – and in the last six months, we've had something like 5000 resumes, so it's not like there's a shortage of interest in working there.
"It's one of those things where you get personally disappointed in people you trust and call friends. When you're betrayed by your friends, what do you do?"
Activision is yet to reveal what game Infinity Ward will create next, but the internet reckons it's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.