Jason Blundell, known for his work on the Call of Duty Zombies mode, has alledgedly been fired from Treyarch alongside 9 other executives.
UPDATE: Treyarch Make Official Statement
In response to questioning from CharlieINTEL, Activision have made an official statement on whether Jason Blundell has been let go from the company.
The statement reads as follows:
“While we typically don’t comment on rumor, as a personnel matter we feel it’s important to address. Jason has not been fired, and in fact, he continues to direct the zombies experiences for Black Ops 4. In addition, Jason, along with a handful of developers, are working with Activision to develop new creative opportunities.”
With so many leakers supporting the fact Blundell had left the company, from TheGamingRevolution to many others within the industry, it is unexpected to see this revelation come from Activision.
The tone of their response, however, is similar to the tone of when Schofield and Condry from Sledgehammer games were moved to Activision and then quietly let go.
According to a source via Twitter, the initial report was not incorrect, which is contrary to Activision’s statement.
Activision now denies the information in my report. I will attach my video and continue to monitor the situation. 2 former employees have reached out to me to CONFIRM he was fired though. https://t.co/nALZ7lN851 https://t.co/btmKKyIvgM— TheQuartering (@TheQuartering) July 24, 2019
Jason Blundell Let Go From Treyarch
Gaming INTEL was contacted over a week ago with information that Jason Blundell had been let go from his job at the Call of Duty studio, alongside 9 other executives in the company that were not named.
This news may come as a shock to many fans. Jason Blundell has been held in very high regard by players of the Zombies mode, ever since he was elevated to the lead developer position of Treyarch’s Zombies team toward the tail end of Black Ops 2’s DLC cycle. He replaced former lead Jimmy Zielinski and revolutionised the story and map design of Zombies, which led to a very favourable reception of the game mode from fans.
But Zombies was not Jason Blundell’s only priority at this time. While he had been moved to head of Treyarch’s Zombies department, he was still also head of the Campaign team. This lead to the developer being split between the two teams, much to the detriment of Campaign.
Before the artificial intelligence focused campaign, we were treated to Black Ops 3, when finalised there had been another more ambitious campaign planned. This was reported on by Jason Schrier of Kotaku in a recent article, in which he touched on the
After having had to reboot a campaign once already it would be expected that Treyarch and Jason Blundell would perhaps limit themselves to a more traditional campaign in their next game. But this was not to be, and Jason Blundell was forced to not just reboot his next attempt at a campaign but cancel it entirely. Black Ops 4 was launched with no campaign at all, something fans of the franchise were not at all happy to hear.
Following these two incredibly marred and costly development cycles Blundell was on thin ice, and the mixed reception of Black Ops 4’s new “Chaos” storyline in Zombies did little to help.
It is uncertain what the final straw that broke the camels back regarding Jason Blundell’s employment truly was. After the launch of Black Ops 4 Blundell was shortly demoted from the head of Treyarch’s Zombies division to a Zombies Developer. There are rumours that this negatively impacted his work going forward, leaving Activision no choice but to remove him from the company entirely.
It is uncertain when Treyarch will address the firing of Jason Blundell publicly, if at all. This has not yet been officially addressed by Activision or Treyarch, it is worth treating this with at least some skepticism until we hear more.