Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward and Tony Hawk developer Neversoft are making their cooperation more official. Recall that Neversoft helped out Infinity Ward with Call of Duty: Ghosts. The two companies will now be merging together into one "super studio" according to Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. Sadly the new super studio decided to just drop Neversoft's name entirely and just run with Infinity Ward. Apparently, Neversoft-Infinity Ward, Infinity Ward-Neversoft, or Never Infinity Wardsoft didn't quite sound as good as they'd hoped.
The two studios "have very complementary skill sets" according to Hirshberg. Neversoft's last standalone title was Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock in 2010, which came just before Activision decided to kill off the musical franchise. Hirshberg admits that not seeing the Neversoft logo is going to be awkward for a while, but that their 20 year run has been great:
"The impact of their 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated ... 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 the Neversoft team’s talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence--all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter."
There are always various costs assigned with mergers, and in this case Neversoft is losing two of its top people. Studio head Joel Jewett and director Scott Pease have chosen to retire after more than 20 years with the now-defunct company. They'll stick around until the transition is completed, but will likely leave later in the year.
It's sad to see Neversoft absorbed. It's unlikely we'll see any new Neversoft Tony Hawk games now, but we can always hope that Call of Duty will be that much better when Infinity Ward's turn comes in the three year rotation.