Former Infinity Ward and Respawn Entertainment co-founder Jason West is not as out of the gaming industry as it seemed. According to a tweet by industry luminary Geoff Keighley, West is working with Epic Games on some projects. The tweet further detailed that West has been working out of Epic's office for the past month.
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
Variety confirmed the news with Epic Games, who said West is "contributing to Epic's development efforts." That could mean new work on Fortnite, or entirely new gaming projects. We'll have to wait and see.
West, alongside partners Vince Zampella and Grant Collier, founded Infinity Ward back in 2002. The studio was comprised of folks who had worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and the first game it released was Call of Duty in 2003. Collier joined Activision proper in 2009, and West and Zampella were fired by the parent company in 2010. They formed Respawn Entertainment in the same year, while in the middle of a legal battle with Activision. West departed Respawn Entertainment in 2013 to deal with "family issues."
"Jason has left Respawn to take care of some family issues," said Zampella at the time. "We have worked together on some amazing accomplishments over the years, starting with an early Segasoft project that never shipped. It is sad to see things come to an end, but there are times when change is best for growth, both personally and professionally."
West hasn't worked in the gaming industry since he retired, so this is an interesting development.