Earlier this year I wrote a history of the Call of Duty franchise. I’m not a CoD fan myself, but the job turned out to be more interesting than I’d initially anticipated because, DRAMA: lawsuits, corporate espionage, conspiracy, millions of dollars flying around and dudes who earn millions of dollars making snide comments about each other in international publications—major soap opera stuff all over the place. For an informative and highly entertaining account of the high points, check out Max Chafkin’s “Modern Warfare” piece for Vanity Fair, written in 2013. It’ll be a fun 15 minutes, promise! But if that’s too much longread for you, I’ll sum up here:
The Call of Duty games are created by several development companies and published by Activision Blizzard. The first and second main-series Call of Duty games, as well as the revolutionarily successful Modern Warfare titles, were created by a company called Infinity Ward. Jason West and Vince Zampella were the Infinity Ward head honchos who are commonly credited as the creators of Call of Duty. They got in a big, CRAZY legal knockdown drag-out with Activision when they were fired without warning after Modern Warfare 2 came out, Activision said they were conspiring against the company, it’s some of the most over-the-top stuff ever. Blah blah blah, major drama, it eventually all fell out and got settled and everybody was still pissed at each other but had millions of dollars, you can read about that stuff elsewhere, but HERE’S the part that fascinates me:
Originally, there were THREE big names associated with Infinity Ward and the Call of Duty franchise: Jason West, Vince Zampella, and Grant Collier. Collier was the president of Infinity Ward and spokesperson for its games…up until sometime between the releases of Modern Warfare 1 and 2, when he vanished from mention in games media. No official announcement on his departure from Infinity Ward was made to the public, I haven’t been able to find an explanation anywhere; only word was that he took a position working on “special projects” for Activision Blizzard. Mysteriously, the guy who was previously the most visible face of Infinity Ward and the Call of Duty franchise just up and disappeared. His name is not mentioned once in Chafkin’s Vanity Fair article. Mentions of Grant Collier in games media at all since he dropped off the face of the planet are rare, and continue to cite the “special projects with Activision” line.
So WTF happened to Grant Collier?
Grant Collier realized the situation was getting shitty and took his money and bailed out to live a privileged life as a wealthy private citizen.
Grant Collier was murdered.
Better…but HOW was he murdered, and WHY?
Grant Collier was kidnapped by black ops Activision operatives and held hostage to ensure Jason West and Vince Zampella’s good behavior, and…”disposed of” when they didn’t comply. OR, Grant Collier was assassinated by a hitman hired by West, Zampella, and Infinity Ward employees because he stood in the way of their conspiracy against Activision!
Yes, definitely! Except, there’s this, the lone evidence of Grant Collier’s continued existence I have managed to unearth with the Google machine, so, as of 2012, he’s probably not dead. Unless that blog post is just a red herring! Maybe those are really old pictures taken prior to Grant Collier’s mysterious disappearance, or the man in the picture is just a scruffy Grant Collier IMPERSONATOR! The blog post offers no detail about what this supposed Grant Collier discussed when allegedly meeting with this class, merely, “he told us his story of Infinity Ward right up to when they released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.” This just keeps getting fishier and fishier, guys! New theory:
Grant Collier had a chip implanted in his brain to prevent him from leaking any information to the media prior to the release of Modern Warfare 2, but tragically it was unable to be removed and he has lived a suspended, timeless existence since, forever convinced that the year is 2008.
Or PERHAPS, Grant Collier really WAS murdered and Activision had a Grant Collier robot created to talk to a small group of game design students in 2012 in order to allay suspicion!
Grant Collier was abducted by the U.S. Government and now coordinates military strategy from a secret base of operations underneath the Pentagon.
Grant Collier was recruited by the Men in Black.
Grant Collier ditched video game development to become an acclaimed nature photographer.
Grant Collier was put into a cryogenic sleep in order to wake up and develop fresh military IP for Activision in the year 3028.
Grant Collier underwent illicit experimental genetic surgery and is now a merman.
Grant Collier suffered a concussion and no longer knows he was ever involved with the Call of Duty franchise.
Grant Collier was Bobby Kotick all along.
Grant Collier spontaneously vaporized and is now incorporeal, so Activision was forced to put him on “special projects.”
Ghost Grant Collier now develops video games for ghosts.
Ghost Grant Collier communes with NPCs in current and former Call of Duty games.
Ghost Grant Collier presides over the island of burnt out video game developers who can no longer put up with industry bullshit.
Ghost Grant Collier will enact vengeance upon those who behave like bigoted shitheads in online Modern Warfare matches, every last one. The assholes are being counted, the reaping is nigh. None will be spared.
Ghost Grant Collier is watching you, right now. Can you feel it? The eyes of Ghost Grant Collier see your every move.