News of a major studio merger is swirling around the Internet, with Call of Duty: Ghosts developer Infinity Ward set to absorb Neversoft, who aided the development of the latest entry in the hugely popular shooter franchise. Neversoft, who is famous for developing the iconic Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise, will effectively cease to be, as the new studio will be known simply as “Infinity Ward.” Headed by Dave Stohl, the executive VP of Activision’s worldwide studios, the new Infinity Ward seems set to take its talents to the next level.
Giant Bomb obtained a memo authored by Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg which explained the rationale for the merger:
“As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts,” wrote Hirshberg. “And through that process, it became clear that the two studios have very complementary skill sets. Between these two excellent studios, it seemed like a single ‘super-studio’ could emerge.”
The popularity of Call of Duty franchise was the major motivating factor for maintaining the Infinity Ward name. “The impact of their 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated,” said Hirshberg. “As already mentioned, we are merging these two very talented teams and obviously had to choose a name for the combined studio. Since the Infinity Ward brand is indelibly tied to the Call of Duty franchise, it is the sensible choice. While it will be strange to not see the Neversoft logo on future games, the important things–which are the Neversoft team’s talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence–all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter.”
However, the news is not all wonderful for the new Infinity Ward. Two major Neversoft icons will be retiring from the industry, with Studio Head Joel Jewett and Studio Director Scott Pease deciding to hang up their game development cleats.
It remains to be seen what this means for the Call of Duty franchise and the studio as a whole. One thing is certain, though: Call of Duty‘s 2016 iteration will certainly garner a lot more attention.