Infinity Ward is absorbingTony Hawk developer and Call of Duty: Ghosts collaborator Neversoft is to become one “super-studio,” according to an internal memo obtained by Giant Bomb.
“As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts,” Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg wrote in the memo. “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.”
Neversoft helped out with Ghosts’ four-player co-op Extinction mode. As part of the merging, however, Neversoft—in name—will cease to be.
“The impact of their 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated,” Hirshberg stated. “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 Neversoft’s team’s talent, creativity, professionalism, and commitment to creative excellence—all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter.”
Activision tapped Dave Stohl, executive VP of worldwide studios, to head the new studio, replacing Steve Ackrich, who will remain on in a leadership role. At no-longer-Neversoft, studio head Joel Jewett and studio director Scott Pease are both leaving the company after over 20 years, and in fact “have made the difficult decision to retire from games.”
Neversoft is best known for their work on the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, which they handled from 1999 until 2007 before taking over development responsibilities on the Guitar Hero series with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock up through 2010’s Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.