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Activision CEO Says Firing Infinity Ward Founders Was Easy

Bobby Kotick

Much was made of the unceremonious 2010 firing of Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, but to Activision’s president and CEO Bobby Kotick, it was a very easy decision to make.

In a New York Times profile of Kotick, the man often described as the most hated man in gaming, discussed the events surrounding West’s and Zampella’s firings. Though a settlement was reached this past May (the terms of which are still undisclosed), Kotick viewed the move as one he had to make in order to keep Activision and its most successful brand safe.

“You find out two executives are planning to break their contracts, keep the money you gave them and steal 40 employees. What do you do? You fire them,” Kotick said. West and Zampella have gone on to form Respawn Entertainment, and are developing a first-person shooter that could be a major rival for Call of Duty.

For what it’s worth, Kotick hasn’t had the same ease when it comes to dating. “Think about what it’s like for my dating life when the first picture that comes up is me as the Devil,” Kotick told the NYT, referring to the internet’s affinity for photoshops of the CEO involving horns, pitchforks, and flames. It’s okay. We’re sure any potential female suitors will be able to forgive such questionable (even if they are fake), looks as long as you don’t fire them out of the blue.

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