Eurogamer: I bet it felt great signing the Respawn Entertainment guys.
David DeMartini: It did. But probably for a strange reason. Most people would say, "you stuck it to Activision". People who look at Vince and Jason think, oh, you know, a couple of guys, highly successful, how much trauma could they be going through? They got fired by Activision. No matter how you slice it or dice it, no matter how many opportunities you have on the other side, getting fired is not fun. It hasn't happened to me yet - I don't know, there's still time. It could happen.
It was really rewarding to present them with an opportunity which allowed them and their families to land on their feet, and for them to start building a new thing together and open a new chapter of their lives. The Activision part, we win some, they win some. It goes back and forth. I don't see it as some big competition.
David DeMartini: No. We need the whole industry to be successful. Sure, I want EA to be the most successful, but I don't want Activision to fail. It's like going to a bad movie. Sometimes movies are so bad you don't go to any movies for a while because you're burned by whoever made that last movie. I don't want consumers spending money and playing bad games. I want them to play good games.
I want EA to be the most successful and that's my singular mission in life. But whether it's THQ or Activision, I don't want them putting out bad product either because it's just bad for the industry. The thing that happened with Jason and Vince was not great for the industry because they got fired. But them landing with us and having an opportunity to build a team and start from scratch is great for them.
I know everybody is going to say, "Well what are they working on?" The thing everybody needs to remember is they were starting at absolute zero.
This is two guys who really know what they're doing having to go find a place for the team, buy chairs and desks and furniture, find new technology from the ground up, and pull a team together. I need to get HR people. There are contracts. There are all kinds of things and administration that need to take place. Amongst all that administration they've pulled together the core of a fantastic team and they're starting to work on a whole bunch of ideas to try and find what is going to be the one right idea for us.
Eurogamer: So they haven't settled on what they're going to make for you?
David DeMartini: Not yet.
Eurogamer: Then there's no point asking what game they're making for you.
David DeMartini: I could tell you but I don't know, so I couldn't tell you, I guess. It's like the Pope coming from the group of cardinals. You just wait for the smoke to come up and they share with you. We're sitting there waiting for the smoke to come up and when it does we'll call you.
Eurogamer: So there will be an even longer wait to find out what Respawn's doing.
David DeMartini: More so than Insomniac.
Eurogamer: How did that deal happen? Did you have a relationship with them beforehand?
David DeMartini: I had never met them before. I met them after they got fired. Certainly by reputation - you can't work in the games industry and not know the two guys that worked on the biggest thing in the history of the industry.
After they were tossed out of Activision... Talk about getting sacked, if I hadn't of got a hold of those guys through the agent, I would have been fired. When those guys are available...
But everybody in my position did exactly the same thing. As soon as they were gone from Activision and it hits the wires, I'm sure THQ was there and EA was there and Take-Two was there and Ubi was there and everybody was talking to them. We just happened to have the right pitch.