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Zampella is "visionary" - ex IW staffer

Million-dollar EA "bounty" rumoured.

G4 has unearthed a recommendation for ousted Infinity Ward founder Vince Zampella that calls him a "visionary" and his achievements "legendary", and reports a rumoured "million-dollar bounty" on Infinity Ward studio leads from rival publisher EA.

The recommendation - posted on professional networking site LinkedIn around the time of Zampella and fellow studio head Jason West's removal by Infinity Ward's owners Activision - was written by Jesse Heinig, who worked as a production co-ordinator at the developer while it was making Call of Duty 2.

"Vince's history in the game development business should already be legendary," said Heinig. "How he, Grant Collier, and Jason West forged Infinity Ward by turning around the talent from a team that was overworked and unhappy with their previous conditions."

He continued: "Vince is one of the few professionals that I'd call a visionary, in the most fundamental sense of the word: he has a powerful vision and he organizes a team to see it through... [He] knows the ins and outs of what makes gameplay fun and engaging, not just a cost analysis."

Heinig also spelled out a rumour that has been sweeping the games industry since the two leads fell out with Activision. The gossip has it that EA, which West and Zampella left to form Infinity Ward after making Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, wants them back, and is prepared to pay top dollar.

"Don't just take my word for it," he said. "Rumour in the industry is that EA placed a million-dollar bounty for snapping up any IW studio lead, like Vince. Just the fact that the rumour is out there should speak volumes about how badly people want Vince working on their products."

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Oli Welsh


Oli was Eurogamer's MMO Editor before a seven-year stint as Editor. He worked here for a colossal 14 years, shaping the website and leading it.

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