Epic has “quietly” hired the co-founder of Infinity Ward and Respawn Entertainment, Jason West.
You might not have heard of Jason West as he’s been out of the games biz for a little while, but he’s apparently coming back to work under the helm of Epic Games.
West got his start as one of the guys who founded Infinity Ward, the makers of the Call of Duty franchise. Infinity Ward was purchased by Activision shortly after Call of Duty came out in 2003, and while things were fine for a while, eventually West started butting up against Activision executives. He was fired in 2010 for "breaches of contract and insubordination,” along with Vince Zampella, another Infinity Ward co-founder.
Over half of Infinity Ward’s staff quit in protest. They all left and founded a new development studio named Respawn Entertainment and found success again after the release of Titanfall in 2014. That later gained a sequel called Titanfall 2, and just recently they came out with the biggest thing to hit the battle royale genre since Fortnite in Apex Legends.
West didn’t get to see it all happen though. He left Respawn in 2013 to deal with some “family issues," and he hasn’t been seen in the games industry since.
Some game industry scoop: @EpicGames has quietly hired Jason West, @InfinityWard and @Respawn co-founder, to work on its game development efforts. From what I hear West, who lives in North Carolina, has been in the office for about a month. pic.twitter.com/nhR0zPq0mB— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) April 12, 2019
Until now, that is. According to Geoff Keighley (the guy who runs The Game Awards), Jason West has been “quietly hired” by Epic Games. We don’t know what he’s working on, but apparently he’s been there for a month. We also don’t know what his title is, as he was previously President and Game Director when he was working at both Infinity Ward and Respawn.
It’d be interesting to learn if West is working on Fortnite. This would mean a former Respawn founder is now facing off against his former colleague on a free-to-play battle royale multiplayer game.
But he could just as easily be giving strategic advice to Tim Sweeney on where to take Epic next. We’ll have to wait and see what Epic does and where West’s name falls in the credits.