UPDATE: Mark Rubin issued a statement to Polygon about his decision to leave Infinity Ward:
As you know, I had been at IW since the tail end of CoD2 development. Got to be part of the 360 launch and watch CoD become a massive franchise. It’s been just under 10 years at IW and I was just ready to retire. I didn’t leave because of anything that “happened” at work, rather I just wanted to stop working and start enjoying life outside of work. I’ve been amazingly lucky to have been apart of one of the most amazing and influential properties in all of entertainment and that success has given me the opportunity to retire earlier than most people get to. So yea I’m happy and doing well. I’ve got some business investments that I’m working on but for the most part I’m hanging out with friends more than I was able to in the past and enjoying my passion for video games — not as a developer. 🙂
Polygon has reported that Mark Rubin has departed Infinity Ward. Mark Rubin worked as the Executive Producer at Infinity Ward on Call of Duty: Ghosts; he was with Infinity Ward since Call of Duty 3. Mark Rubin left earlier this year, but it’s unclear as to why he departed; Activision declined to issue a comment on his departure. Polygon has stated that there’s no information if a replacement for Rubin has been named.
In addition, former Lead Designer on Call of Duty, Todd Alderman, who left during the 2010 Infinity Ward / Activision law suit crisis, has returned as the Multiplayer Project Director, Activision confirmed to Polygon. Alderman worked on desigining multiplayer from Call of Duty 1 up to Modern Warfare 2 during his time at Infinity Ward. After originally leaving Infinity Ward, Alderman joined Respawn, but left in 2012; since then, he has been at Riot Games.
“The chance to come back to Infinity Ward and Call of Duty is something I didn’t think would ever happen,” Alderman told Polygon in a prepared statement. “It’s been five years since I’ve been here and a lot has changed. There are a lot of new faces and motivated people who want to make something great. It’s a really cool game concept that I want to be a part of. I can’t wait to see what we do with a three-year dev cycle.”
Infinity Ward has been through many changes since its inception; in 2010, after a big law suit, co-founders Vince Zampella and Jason West departed, taking many employees with them to their new Respawn studio. Just last year, Infinity Ward announced that they’ve merged with Neversoft. Infinity Ward’s studio head also changed following merging with Neversoft; Dave Stohl, previously Executive Vice President at Activision, took over as the studio head of Infinity Ward. Stohl issued the following comment about today’s news:
“This is about hiring the best talent for the right position,” Stohl said. “Todd’s accomplishments speak for themselves. We’re happy to have him lead multiplayer development here at Infinity Ward as well as provide a level of leadership across the entire studio team. Following last year’s combination with Neversoft, we’ve continued to add some great talent throughout the studio. As we focus on the future, there’s a real sense of energy that has us all excited about what’s to come.”
Over the past several months, Infinity Ward has been adding new developers on to their team. In July 2014, two Naughty Dog developers joined the team. In September 2014, 3D programmer on Far Cry 4, Michal Drobot, joined as the Principals Rendering Engineer.
Last year, Activision made a big change to the Call of Duty development cycle; they transitioned into a three year cycle, giving studios an extra year on each release. With that, Sledgehammer Games took 2014 with Advanced Warfare, and Treyarch’s next title is confirmed to come this year, which means we should expect Infinity Ward’s next title in 2016.