Atomic Boss Calls Out Kotick Over Bungie Comment

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Atomic Boss Calls Out Kotick Over Bungie Comment

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Atomic Games President and former Bungie VP Peter Tamte has taken exception to Bobby Kotick's comment that Bungie is the "last remaining high-quality developer," saying that if he's right, Activision and every other big publisher in the industry is screwed.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick stirred the pot a bit earlier this week when he proclaimed that Bungie, the studio that created Halo and signed a ten year deal with Activision back in April, is "the last remaining high quality independent developer" in the business. Most executives at low-quality developers like Valve, Epic and Gearbox seemed content to let it slide as "Bobby talk," but Tamte most definitely wasn't.

"You were quoted saying that Bungie is the last remaining high quality independent developer. As a former executive vice president of Bungie, I need to tell you: If this is true, you're screwed," he wrote in an open letter to Kotaku.

"Activision and every other big publisher have grown by acquiring independent developers. The industry needs a constant supply of new independent developers to buy because they're the ones creating innovative games that become franchises," he continued. "Gears of War. Portal. Borderlands. None of these games re-hashes the same old formulas. They innovate. And, they're made by independent developers, of course."

Noting that Kotick has in the past referred to Activision as the "industry's online leader," he put forth a challenge: Demonstrate the multiplayer innovation in the soon-to-be-released Call of Duty: Black Ops by selling the online component separately, "for a fair price." He even sweetened the offer by promising to include Kotick in Atomic's own upcoming online FPS, Breach, which he promised would give the Activision boss "huge street cred."

The whole thing sounds a bit silly, an impression reinforced by the mocked-up Breach screenshot that Tamte included with his missive. But Tamte said part of his intent was to demonstrate that while Kotick is apparently limiting his definition of "online" to MMOGs, his company has the opportunity to do much greater things. "Part of our point in challenging Activision to offer Call of Duty's online component separately is we believe there are opportunities to use online both to create new kinds of games and as a means of distribution, like we're doing with Breach," he explained. "Activision could grow the whole industry if it chose to innovate in areas like this."

Atomic's Breach is currently scheduled for release in January 2011 for the PC and Xbox 360.

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said it before say it again, this sounds like breach is going to suck so he is trying to get pr by attacking everyones favorite strawman with an idiotic buisness idea.

internet glitch, delete this

psrdirector:
said it before say it again, this sounds like breach is going to suck so he is trying to get pr by attacking everyones favorite strawman with an idiotic buisness idea.

I agree, I've never even heard of Breach and I frequent this site and Joystiq regularly.

I like the mockup though.

I knew one company or other would do something like this. And he (Peter Tamte) is right: the big publishers are basically behemoths using indie companies as fuel.

"Gears of War. Portal. Borderlands. None of these games re-hashes the same old formulas. They innovate. And, they're made by independent developers, of course."
Mainstream dreck, innovation, mainstream dreck. Well, it's not all innovation, but at least it's an innovation sandwich.

Edit: Actually, although I almost instinctively think of Portal as innovative, it may not really be that innovative. It has a cool mechanic, but it's a relatively formulaic puzzle platformer that just happens to be very well made and written extremely well.

People should probably stop using the term innovation as though it were just a synonym for good...it means taking things in a new direction.

It's amusing to see the back and forth between Kotick and Reality.

At first I thought the article said he was the president of the company creating Brink, and I got excited. But now I realize he said Breach, and now his statements have less impact...

If I could shoot Kotick in Breach, I'd wanna try it for sure. Not spend money on it per se...but it'd give me a chance to vent my indignation. :(

Yeah, y'know Bungie that dev that has created the same game 6 times is the last great independent dev in the entire world. Bobby Kotick stars as: Thinks Before He Speaks Man!

awww... that breach game looked pretty cool, sucks it wont be on PS3, though it will be on PC atleast I can play it there. :)

I didnt even know there was a game called Breach coming out. Though I do kinda hope Kotick takes him up on that bet, as If im just going to buy COD for a shitty campiagn and multiplayer, Id rather save my money and just buy the multiplayer... but knowing KoDICK (hehe), the multiplayer only will probably cost around $58.99 instead of $59.99

Fans should be agitated if Kotick takes up his challenge. He forgot fair in Kotick's mind probably means 'equivalent'.

And this is why I'm now sticking with freeware games.

All these reports remind me of those bits in Championship Manager where you can talk trash about people to the newspapers...

Why should I care what any of these people think?

Bobby Kotick needs to shut the fuck up.

If I had a gun with two bullets and was in a room with Bobby Kotick, Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler, I'd shoot Bobby twice.

Hey Peter you should do what all the other smart developers are doing...and that's ignoring half the babble the comes from Kotick's mouth.

Well, it's ALMOST enough to make me buy Breach, but it's Mirror's Edge fixed the entirely wrong way.

EDIT: Wait, that's Brink... What on earth is Breach?

Bobby suffer from we like to call diarrhea of the mouth, as in he can't help but spew a stream of crap out of his mouth, really Kotick, stop making a ass of yourself.

Peter uses publicity stunt!

Kermi has now heard of Peter!

Kermi uses wallet. It's super effective!

Peter gains 936 marketing points.

Peter levelled up!

Peter is now: successful.

ye well nobody else can say anything about kotick or they end up surrounded by activisions hired heavys like the folks at infinty ward.

ArmorArmadillo:
"Gears of War. Portal. Borderlands. None of these games re-hashes the same old formulas. They innovate. And, they're made by independent developers, of course."
Mainstream dreck, innovation, mainstream dreck. Well, it's not all innovation, but at least it's an innovation sandwich.

Edit: Actually, although I almost instinctively think of Portal as innovative, it may not really be that innovative. It has a cool mechanic, but it's a relatively formulaic puzzle platformer that just happens to be very well made and written extremely well.

People should probably stop using the term innovation as though it were just a synonym for good...it means taking things in a new direction.

I'll challenge you on your innovation grounds...

You seem to believe that for a game to be innovative it must change everything and be totally new across the board. It doesn't; all it has to do is try something new. Not necessarily a gimmick, but some factor or consideration that hasn't been done before and that can introduce whole new possibilities to how the game is played.

Gears of War tried to innovate by using the cover-based system, but it's so old now most people forget that it was in fact pretty damn close to the first to do so. Every other FPS game on the planet has taken that and run with it, so now having cover-based shooting in your game is like putting pants on in the morning.

Yes, it's mainstream, and yes a lot of it was cookie-cutter (aliens attack earth, you attack aliens, helmeted people all die quickly, etc.) but it did try to mix up the FPS rigmarole. Introducing a new concept like that is what I call trying to take a genre in a new direction.

Borderlands tried to innovate by mixing up the Diablo formula with the FPS formula and throwing in the whole levelup thing as it did, something not too many other games have tried; Fallout comes close, but Fallout is a completely different game to Borderlands (by virtue of actually being an RPG) that it doesn't count. As such, it too was trying to create something new. And make no mistake, Borderlands is also a new IP rather than a rehash of an old one.

Whether it did it successfully or not is another matter, but it gets points for trying.

Yes, Portal is a puzzle game. I'm glad you've realised that. But it innovates in the same way Prey innovated - by making the battlefield itself malleable. Prey did it ham-handedly with the whole gravity thing... which didn't work out too well, but Portal did that better with it's Portal gun.

The concept of the Portal gun has opened up whole new dimensions in problem-solving; suddenly there's a need to factor in malleable distance and a vastly warped level structure into every puzzle; it's a simple mechanic, but it has created the possibility for people to do crazy stuff with.

The point I'm trying to make is that each game Tamte mentioned tries to innovate. Each of them created a new way for future developers to think, which, no matter which way you look at it, agrees with your "taking things in a new direction" line.

But, like I said, not every case does it well.

When he first said Breach I got a bit confused and was thinking of Brink. i was disappointed with the screenshot to say the least.

lacktheknack:
Well, it's ALMOST enough to make me buy Breach, but it's Mirror's Edge fixed the entirely wrong way.

EDIT: Wait, that's Brink... What on earth is Breach?

Working backwards; lol, same thing I said.

And whats wrong with Brink?

Seperate, well, then no one would buy the whole game, just the multiplayer, thats the main reason people play Call of Duty. Personally, I'm getting Black Ops because I missed out on alot of online fun with World at War.

ArmorArmadillo:
"Gears of War. Portal. Borderlands. None of these games re-hashes the same old formulas. They innovate. And, they're made by independent developers, of course."
Mainstream dreck, innovation, mainstream dreck. Well, it's not all innovation, but at least it's an innovation sandwich.

Edit: Actually, although I almost instinctively think of Portal as innovative, it may not really be that innovative. It has a cool mechanic, but it's a relatively formulaic puzzle platformer that just happens to be very well made and written extremely well.

People should probably stop using the term innovation as though it were just a synonym for good...it means taking things in a new direction.

Portal used an engine designed primarily for shooters (Source) and became a clever puzzle game with an inventive mechanic. How's that not innovative?

Of course not every act of innovation works. A lot of games are not even considered innovative despite claiming great amounts of success. Team Fortress 2, Black and White, the Telltale adventure games and even World of Warcraft are innovative; the latter in the way it managed to fix a genre as to make it accessible for less hardcore players without holding their hand, something many game developers seem to miss nowadays.

Regardless about the game that they made, he's right.

I wanted this to be an awesome "here's a long list of accurate reasons about why you suck", but it's just a "nuh-uh, if you're so awesome, cut your game in half and self the halves individually"... which really doesn't make any sense whatsoever to me. His explanation only confuses me further: what the fuck does that have to do with selling two halves of the same game individually? What is he trying to accomplish, coming up with something he knows Kotick won't do so he can say "see, I knew he was a pussy"?

Ohhhh! I like it - Nice to see someone isnt rolling over and taking it.

Kotick needs to learn to keep his big mouth, shut

I feel real bad for Activision's PR people they are probably trying poison Kotick's tea every morning just to stop him from talking

I foresee servers set up for the sole purpose of delivering headshot after headshot to Kotick's avatar...

Frostbite3789:
Yeah, y'know Bungie that dev that has created the same game 6 times is the last great independent dev in the entire world. Bobby Kotick stars as: Thinks Before He Speaks Man!

Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: ODST, Halo: Reach.

I make 5, how do you get six? And not to mention Halo 1 and Halo 2 are quite different, and again, there's a fair difference between 2 and 3.

Kotick is the clown on the industry, propably hired just to make a fuzz and hype about things..

Kinda like a retarded person robbing someone, it may look funny, but its still wrong..

ArmorArmadillo:
"Gears of War. Portal. Borderlands. None of these games re-hashes the same old formulas. They innovate. And, they're made by independent developers, of course."
Mainstream dreck, innovation, mainstream dreck. Well, it's not all innovation, but at least it's an innovation sandwich.

Edit: Actually, although I almost instinctively think of Portal as innovative, it may not really be that innovative. It has a cool mechanic, but it's a relatively formulaic puzzle platformer that just happens to be very well made and written extremely well.

People should probably stop using the term innovation as though it were just a synonym for good...it means taking things in a new direction.

Ignoring GoW and Borderlands just for the moment.

Portal does take things in a new direction, it created the premise for reinvigorating puzzles and was likely the catalyst for all the new breed of indie games with "odd" mechanics in them, saying it had a good mechanic is like saying it had a cool gimmick pretty much such as a TMD from Singularity, this is not the case, as it was ENTIRELY a puzzle game, and extremely good puzzle game, it innovates in the way it is, nothing else is or was like it, thus it innovates and takes things in a new direction.

GoW (while I'm not a massive fan), when it came out, WAS innovative, it got the cover based combat system down to a T, and as far as I'm aware there wasn't that much before it, or it wasn't very good, sure it had Space Marines in the grim dark world of grim dark, but to say that at the time, it did lay the groundwork for how a cover based squad based shooter should work, it's not the games fault that every thing else decided to follow it, and if everything followed it, it would have to be innovative in the first place (ie GOOD squad based cover based shooter).

Borderlands I haven't actually played that much so I can't go into that much detail, but an FPS in a wide open world with leveling and "raid" encounters, with crazy loot set online, yeah it's Diablo in FPS mode, but the premise is awesome, I enjoy FPSs and I lost days and weeks to D2, thus combining them into one thing is pretty cool for me, I've been wanting a decent MMOFPS for a while, Planetside ended up getting a bit boring after a while but to say it didn't MAKE any innovations whatsoever is just stupid, even if they didn't work or didn't make everyone follow suit, that doesnt mean they wern't innovations, they were just poorly executed ones, morover, Borderlands doesn't strike me as particularly "Mainstream" to be honest here

I think you are supposed to ignore trolling and not feed the troll.

I'm beginning to wonder why no gamer has made a Flash game of someone murdering Darth Kotick in horrible ways yet.

Still, at least the other companies know to smile indulgently at this massive-mouthed youngset, pat him on the head and send him to play with his toy guns.

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