Despite the turmoil at Infinity Ward, including a lawsuit field by a number of employees still working at the Activision-owned studio, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says Infinity Ward is working on "their next big project," in addition to the second map pack for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Kotick revealed the news about Infinity Ward during their first quarter 2010 conference call today. He provided no other details on the game or whether it's the oft-discussed Modern Warfare 3, but explicitly said that Infinity Ward "remains an important studio" to Activision.
The CEO then read a long statement about the situation at Infinity Ward. It's a must-read.
The statement is provided in full below:
"Since we terminated the two executives at Infinity Ward, approximately 38 others have resigned and it's likely a few more people will leave, as well. Many of these people have been recruited by other studios because of how talented they are. We are obviously disappointed by this and we wish we could have convinced some of these incredibly talented people to stay.
The decision, though, to terminate the two Infinity Ward executives was not done lightly and it was not done to deprive them of their bonuses, nor was it done without a great deal of deliberation about the consequences. The background leading up to our decision to separate the two former Infinity Ward executives [...] is outlined in our cross complaint that we filed in April, which I'm sure many of you have read.
Against this background, we felt that we had no choice but to terminate the two Infinity Ward executives. We did this to protect the company's assets and in in the interests of our shareholders. I personally considered the two of them friends and their [decision] was a compromise of our friendship, which was equally disappointing. Once we began to understand what had occurred, there was no grey area. There was nothing that would have allowed us to retain their services, as talented as they might have been.
This is an example of our commitment to pursuing the difficult right, rather than the easier wrong. Our actions were firmly rooted in our longstanding values of integrity and our expectation that our employees, who signed and acknowledged our code of conduct, will behave with the highest ethical standards.
We have a great team in place at Infinity Ward, which continues to work on download content and the studio's next unannounced project. We continue to support the culture of excellence that has defined Infinity Ward and are already strengthened the studio with additional talent and financial resources."
The CEO said Activision was still on track to release a new Call of Duty in 2011. Nothing about the ongoing situation at Infinity Ward has changed this plan, explained Kotick to shareholders and analysts, as the company expects to release a "groundbreaking Call of Duty retail title" in 2011.
Kotick did not say, however, if Infinity Ward would be the studio behind that game.