"When we started Neversoft in july of 1994, i had no idea what the ride was going to be like," so says company co-founder Joel Jewett. Apparently that ride has ended 20 years on with the developer behind Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Call of Duty: Ghosts (Extinction Mode) being swallowed whole by Infinity Ward.
Eric Hirshberg CEO of publishing at Activision - which owns both Neversoft and Infinity Ward - announced the change in status for Neversoft in an internal email that has leaked into the public.
GiantBomb reports that, "Dave Stohl, currently the executive VP of worldwide studios for Activision, has been assigned to lead this new studio. Stohl has been at Activision for nearly 19 years, and has overseen dramatic changes to Infinity Ward in the past. The current studio head, Steve Ackrich, will remain at Infinity Ward in a leadership role."
However, "Studio head Joel Jewett and studio director Scott Pease, who have both been at the company for more than 20 years, 'have made the difficult decision to retire' from games."
Hirshberg outlined the reasons for the take-over thus:
"As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts
. 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 impact of (Neversoft's) 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated. 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."