EA Games president Frank Gibeau claims that the company’s deal with Respawn — you know, the hot new company started by former Infinity Ward creators — is a happy little coincidence that’s a result of fortuitous timing. As many of you know, one of the alleged reasons behind Activision’s termination of Jason West and Vince Zampella was that the pair met with EA behind ATVI’s back. That makes the EA/Respawn deal seem awfully…convenient. Gibeau told Gamasutra that it’s all on the up and up:
[The Respawn deal] was something that fell into our laps, after they were terminated and announced they were free and independent, and we went for it. The fact that those guys are doing what they’re doing, we’re very excited.
The fact that we were able to take advantage of an opportunity that came our way and partner with Respawn and create a relationship with them has been spectacular, something that we’re very excited about. It’s a key part of how we’re growing our EA Partners business going forward.
Although I have no proof, I’m not buying Gibeau’s explanation. Perhaps I’m being too cynical and maybe I’m buying into the rumor mill, but I’ve heard too many things from too many smart people to believe that this deal was something that just fell into EA’s lap. Again, that’s just my opinion.
What do you think? Was this deal in the works for months? Or was it all happenstance?