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Respawn claims seven ex-IW staff

Modern Warfare 2 design leads included.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Seven of the developers who left Infinity Ward recently have joined Respawn Entertainment.

The new studio, formed by ousted Infinity Ward heads and Call of Duty masterminds Jason West and Vince Zampella, is said to start work officially on 1st May.

Using their profiles on Facebook, Twitter and professional networking site LinkedIn - as reported by G4 - the seven posted the news within a few hours of each other yesterday.

The first seven in the widely-predicted exodus from Infinity Ward to the new team are: Modern Warfare 2 lead designers Todd Alderman and Mackey McCandlish, lead animators Mark Grisby and John Paul Messerly, lead environmental artist Chris Cherubini, software engineer Rayme Vinson and programmer Jon Shiring.

"I can't wait for May 1st!" tweeted Shiring.

Developers have been leaving Infinity Ward in a steady stream since the bust-up between West and Zampella and studio owners Activision. Strongly-worded lawsuits have already been launched by both sides in what will likely be a protracted and acrimonious legal battle.

Respawn Entertainment has a publishing and funding deal with EA's Partners programme, but is an independent studio, and retains complete creative control and ownership of its intellectual property.

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