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EA has no option to buy Respawn

West/Zampella talk up game prospects.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Electronic Arts may have signed a multi-game deal with Respawn Entertainment, the company set up by former Infinity Ward bosses Vince Zampella and Jason West, but the publisher does not have an option to buy the independent studio.

"Really we're not talking about deal terms, but specifically on that point the answer is no," EA Partners' David DeMartini said while Eurogamer interviewed Zampella and West tonight.

"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," Zampella added.

Zampella and West also told Eurogamer that they hope their company's first game will be a "big summer blockbuster", but declined to draw comparisons with their previous output.

"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," said West.

"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."

Inevitably, neither executive was able to say much about the fallout with Activision, which has played out in public following the release of numerous statements and court documents. Asked what they thought about Activision calling them "insubordinate and self-serving schemers", Zampella said: "It sucks. Horribly."

"We think it's false and outrageous," said West, echoing the words of his attorney on Friday, "and we're glad we're able to now move on and focus on the future."

We also asked if it made the pair sick of games. "I wouldn't say that," said West. "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."

EA Partners is clearly pleased as punch with its new hires, too, with David DeMartini happy to talk up their prospects in the absence of specifics.

"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," he said.

"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."

Check out the full Eurogamer interview with Jason West, Vince Zampella and David DeMartini elsewhere on the site.

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