Activision from the development team the duo helped to create, Infinity Ward. The two people and many other folks who created the Call of Duty shooter franchise launched a new team, Respawn Entertainment, and signed a publishing deal with Electronic Arts soon afterward.
But in a new Wired.com article, THQ exec Danny Bilson says, "We were one deal point away from signing [Respawn]." Zampella also confirmed that the team had serious talks with the publisher. What happened? Respawn wanted to own the rights to the game they would make and that's something that THQ was not willing to give up. Bilson said that agreeing to such a deal would let other developers ask for a similar deal, saying, "My responsibility to our stockholders and to my CEO and the company is to build an IP library." EA's deal with Respawn gave them those ownership rights just as Bungie's recent publishing deal with Activision also gave the game IP rights to Bungie.