Respawn's Jason West and Vince Zampella • Page 2

Life after Infinity Ward.

Eurogamer: David, there was a rumour going round that you had a multi-million pound bounty on these guys' heads to get them to work for you. Is there any truth in that?

David DeMartini: [Long pause] Uh... no.

Vince Zampella: Unfortunately no!

Eurogamer: Does EA have the option of buying Respawn at any point in the future?

David DeMartini: Really we're not talking about deal terms, but specifically on that point the answer is no.

Vince Zampella: We're a very independent company and this is a publishing deal with our premiere game and we're really excited to be partnering with EA.

Eurogamer: What were the innovations that you think allowed your previous company to be successful, and what kind of new thinking will distinguish Respawn from other startup developers?

Vince Zampella: For us Respawn is kind of a reset and a chance to start over and build everything from the ground up, so I mean we're going to do the best job we can to bring innovation to gaming, and bring our quality control to the company...

Jason West: And I think when you build an environment where a team gets to control their destinies and they get to control their games, and they get to control their brand, that passionate love shines through, and I think the fans appreciate that - and that's critical to success, I think.

It's too early to say whether Respawn will work on games in the same vein as Modern Warfare (pictured).

Eurogamer: It's early days but do you have any ideas for what kind of game you'd like to make, or is there anything on any level that you've done beyond sign the deal with EA?

Jason West: It's premature right now. We're focused on getting the team. We know we want it to be a big summer blockbuster, we want it to be something our fans will really enjoy, but there's nothing specific yet.

Eurogamer: Are you going to do anything with other EA studios? Any collaborations? For example, I imagine DICE would love to hear from you guys with any thoughts you might have about Medal of Honor multiplayer...

David DeMartini: I think part of the EA Partners programme is that it's collaborative in nature. We're very proud of our internal teams and the great success that we've had on Battlefield: Bad Company, what we're anticipating on Medal of Honor, my goodness, Crysis 2, Bulletstorm which was announced today. We've got a bunch of titles that we're incredibly excited about, and the nature of the collaboration is really at the desire of the independent studio that we sign. One of the things that attracts us to the best independent studios is that they're independent studios, and they're going to be able to establish their team, come up with their own creative ideas. Whatever we could do to assist... as of right now we've tried to provide a sanctuary for them to be able to operate freely and execute against their plans. They kind of unexpectedly fell into this and now we're trying to assist in any way that we can.

Eurogamer: Do you expect Respawn to be a multi-game studio or are you going to start on one project and see where you go from there?

Vince Zampella: Right now it's our first day, the studio's one day old, we're focused on getting the studio up and running, finding office space, getting one team set before we think of anything past that.

Jason West: Yeah, it's definitely all about coming out with an awesome premiere game from the studio and that'll be our focus for the foreseeable future.

Eurogamer: You said in your press release that you want to make "state of the art gaming experiences for global audiences" - what constitutes a state of the art gaming experience for a global audience in this day and age?

Jason West: [Laughs] Yeah and it'll probably be different when we come out.

Eurogamer: Alright, so what constitutes a state of the art gaming experience for a global audience in three years?

Jason West: [Laughs] Yeah, I think we need to dodge any details because honestly it's premature, because once we've had a think about it we're going to start talking about it.

David DeMartini: I think the analogy that we could use is that we've got Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo starting to play for a brand new football club and you're wondering how many championships we're going to win. Well, the odds are with those two superstars we're going to have a pretty good team, but we need to fill out the rest of the line-up and then we need to move forward. I think that's where the guys find themselves today.

Eurogamer: You're probably going to say it's premature, but still - EA already has EA LA and DICE and to some extent Visceral who make the big-budget action games of the kind that Jason and Vince you were previously associated with, so do you anticipate making something in that area given your background, or do you expect to go in a new and surprising direction?

Jason West: Well, we hope that it will be a fresh and new experience that will surprise people, but we're not going to make Boom Blox or something, it's going to be a big huge game. So.

Eurogamer: [Laughs] Ah, okay! So is this your first day? Is the entire company what I'm talking to on the phone at this point?

Vince Zampella: [General laughter.] You're talking to everyone!

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About the author

Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell


Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.


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