Respawn's Jason West and Vince Zampella • Page 3

Life after Infinity Ward.

Eurogamer: So where are you actually working? Are you in an EA building somewhere, or are you working from home? People imagine executives in ivory towers and so on, but you guys are starting out, so what does that actually constitute?

Jason West: Normally we're in our homes. Right now we're in a hotel conference room. We'll be moving into a space soon.

Vince Zampella: Yeah we're going to start to look for office space and stuff this week, and spin all that up.

Eurogamer: Fair enough. Have you got anybody in mind to join you at the studio yet, or are you literally throwing the doors open via your website to see who comes through?

Vince Zampella: Yeah, we're literally turning on the email, setting up the website, and tonight we'll hopefully be reading a lot of resumes and figuring out where to go from there.

Eurogamer: It's a very handsome website, by the way.

Vince Zampella: [Laughter] Yeah, we spent a lot of time on it.

Eurogamer: I can see that.

Jason West: It's not overwhelming is it?

Eurogamer: I was impressed that you didn't keep it to plain text, you actually had some imagery there. How have you guys been coping personally with the lawsuit saga? I can't imagine personally the stress of having to deal with any legal exchange, let alone one as vitriolic and public as that. Has it worn you down at all? Does it make you sick of the games industry?

Jason West: I wouldn't say that. It was pretty traumatic, and that first week was rough, but like Vince said, it was great to get all the interest from all the publishers and the gaming community, and I think that renewed my spirits at least.

Vince Zampella: Yeah, definitely. And we're glad that this is a chance for something new, we're able to get back into doing what we love, so this is really, on both fronts really exciting for us.

Jason West: Now it's fantastic, we can get back to what we want to be doing, making great games. It's a very exciting time.


Modern Warfare 2 - the duo's last game with old employer Activision.

Eurogamer: What is it that you love about games? What first attracted you to them?

Vince Zampella: Oh, I've always been a gamer, I play board games, pen and paper RPGs, I play videogames, I always have. I got into gaming - I don't even know or want to say how many years ago. It'll make me feel old. For me, getting into it - an opportunity came up and it was just a natural fit: 'I can get paid to do that?' I've been in games for a long time and when you can get paid to do something that you love, you're lucky.

Jason West: It's the same type of thing for me... You're always playing games, you love games and you even necessarily realise that there's a job to make 'em. 'Oh wow, people get paid to do that! I'd like to do that.' I'd always loved multiplayer games and playing with friends and getting into creating these types of experiences for people is very rewarding. It's like making Christmas presents for people, and hopefully they unwrap it and they're very excited.

Eurogamer: I guess you guys have had a little bit of free time over the past month, have you been playing any games?

Jason West: I took, like, two days off to see what it would be like to take some time off and then started climbing the walls. So I got back to talking about new business ventures and trying to get a publishing deal, so I don't think I've had much time off.

Vince Zampella: It was a pretty good holiday season last year so there were a lot of games that I wanted to play. There was Mass Effect 2 I recently finished, and Assassin's Creed II...

Jason West: I was playing Bad Company 2 when I thought up the name, Respawn Entertainment. [Laughter.]

Eurogamer: Bad Company 2, what a great game. I guess you can finally say that. So, you guys leave quite a lot of talented people behind you at Infinity Ward, and there's a danger, because of Activision's alleged behaviour in this affair, they may now be vilified by the gaming public. Perhaps you could reassure gamers - is a game that's made by Infinity Ward as it now stands still going to be worth their time?

Jason West: We can't comment on anything...

Vince Zampella: Yeah, that's not in our area...

Jason West: We're not associated with that in any way and we don't comment on other people.

Eurogamer: Sure, but you've worked there for a long time and those are your guys... You must feel that the work that they do is valuable and that it still has merit.

EA Publicist: Hi, sorry Tom. These guys can't comment on Infinity Ward.

Jason West is president of Respawn Entertainment and Vince Zampella is general manager.

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