Why Infinity Ward's Chief Call of Duty Strategist Quit

Why Infinity Ward's Chief Call of Duty Strategist Quit

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The indie bug infected another AAA developer.

For a long time, Robert Bowling - a.k.a. fourzerotwo - was the public face of Call of Duty. As a higher-up at Infinity Ward, he helped shape Modern Warfare and disseminated information to the public via interviews and social media. He also got a lot of shit from fans. Then about a month ago he called it quits, went cold turkey from everything CoD. Bowling announced a new venture this week that he funded himself - a startup called Robotoki seeking to keep independent from the publisher's money-yokes. Based on Bowling's time with Activision, he knew exactly what he wanted to avoid.

"When I made the decision to resign from my previous position at Activision, I only knew one thing for certain," Bowling said. "I knew what I didn't want to do, but that eventually led to clarity on what I did want to do.

"When I left, it was solely to follow that passion to create new opportunities and experiences."

For a new company like Robotoki to stay independent, it was important for Bowling to keep influential money people away. "I decided to self-fund the formation of the studio, the initial team, and our new IP, and to set a guiding principle for the studio moving forward to work exclusively with partners that supported that independent model and mentality by allowing the creative vision holders behind a project to retain control of it."

Robotoki's first project isn't yet public, but Bowling divulged he aims to deliver a multi-platform experience to bridge the gap between mobile, console and PC gaming. "I believe we have moved away from telling our players how to enjoy our game, and our job is merely to provide them a platform to dictate their own experience," he said. "Therefore a player on mobile should be able to engage in the universe, continue their progression, grow their persistent character, and experience the lore of the universe in a unique way from the other less tactile experiences on PC or consoles and vice versa."

I don't know what genre of game Bowling has in mind - my bet's on shooter, given his experience, even if his words hint at an MMORPG - but those ideas sound pretty intriguing. Here's to your future success at Robotoki, Robert.

Source: Gamasutra

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So, are we gonna see him on Kickstarter/RocketHub, or is this already established, and we just need to wait and see what comes of it? Either way, best of luck.

Kinda hard to quit a job that doesn't exist!

Best of luck to him.

I think more devs need to follow this example.

Hope it works out well.

I like the sound of this game... No matter what I'm on... I can play and progress my experience...

But how simple does it have to be to bridge phones and PCs? What's the draw back?

MetalGenocide:
I think more devs need to follow this example.

Hope it works out well.

Flooding the indie market would decidedly be a bad thing for everyone involved.

Half of Bioware's staff already called it quits over the years.

Nie to see someone else following suit.

I wish him the best of luck in his endeavors.

Does anyone else just laugh when they see his picture?

OT: I hope he does well and doesn't make 8 sequals to the indie game...

Bowling divulged he aims to deliver a multi-platform experience to bridge the gap between mobile, console and PC gaming. "I believe we have moved away from telling our players how to enjoy our game, and our job is merely to provide them a platform to dictate their own experience," he said. "Therefore a player on mobile should be able to engage in the universe, continue their progression, grow their persistent character, and experience the lore of the universe in a unique way from the other less tactile experiences on PC or consoles and vice versa.

Wasn't this exactly the thing EA wanted to do that everyone was horrified about?

Anyway, he's certainly not the first to leave Activision because of corporate meddling, and definitely not the last. Oh well, diversity is a good thing, lets wait and see what fruits Robotiki bring to appease the wrath of the gaming gods.

I just hope his projects don't get judged too harshly, given his previous role at Activision.

And I would hope that even though they will be 'Indie' developers, they don't aim low.

Good luck Robert!

The title said:

Why Activision's Chief Call of Duty Strategist Quit

I still don't know why, did I miss it?

To be honest I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did with Activision considering the shit he took for being Call of Duty's public persona, and especially after Infinity Ward was basically butchered by Activision.

Wish him luck.

Greg Tito:
a startup called Robotoki seeking to keep independent from the publisher's money-yokes.

He fronted 3 of the best selling games ever, you'd think this wouldn't be that big of an issue.

Robotiki or Robotoki? Both are used in the article...

Jeez, either he took a lot of flak from the community, being CoD's public persona and spokesperson for Activision, or Activision drives its employees as bad as EA. It can't have been easy to walk away from guaranteed money that you could probably swim in.

Still, nice to see a guy pursue his dream of making art through video games. Always great to be happy loving what you're doing, even if it isn't exactly financially stable. All things considered, I wish him the best of luck in his endeavors.

... Now, can Activision and EA get their shit together and stop treating their employees like crap before the veterans of all of their developer's dev teams all jump ship? I may not like their methods or their business model, but I DO like their games, and I would like it for them to not suck because every person with an iota of talent left due to 'differing views'.

"Indie developer".... "kickstarter"....

Can we have more substance and less buzzwords?

CrossLOPER:
"Indie developer".... "kickstarter"....

Can we have more substance and less buzzwords?

why not Zoidberg? (V)(;..;)(V)

I hope now he follows his dreams, now he has the money

Neat. Best of luck to his new studio and IP. It definitely sounds interesting.

Kargathia:

MetalGenocide:
I think more devs need to follow this example.

Hope it works out well.

Flooding the indie market would decidedly be a bad thing for everyone involved.

"indie market" is what gaming was in 90's; more independent developers, more competition, more focus on genre subject matter, more respect for customers, more different ideas tried, more reasons for developer loyalty, and LESS focus on greedy nickle and diming while the people who MAKE the games had final say in the game's development instead of a guy in a suit concerned about quarterly earnings reports and shareholders.

More developers is always a good thing, and more rejecting the big publishers practices of buying the rights to all of a developer's IP when bought out, used to make sequels until the money dries up, then closing them down is even better.

Indie games don't solely mean small mobile or flash games

IM conflicted. Call of duty guy quits - good. He goes to make indie games - dont care. He wants to make the first ever sucesfull cross-platform game (and beat dust514?) - not ok.

Im all for independant game creation, just that it more often than not means shitty game creation. (im nto saying al indie games are shit, but there are plenty that are)

Well, CoD may not be a "murmorpurder" but it is:
-Massive: millions of players online, though limited to only 18 per PvP event
-Multiplayer Online: that's for sure, the single player is so insignificant.
-RPG: levelling up, perks, loadouts affecting character stats, etc

Even following in a similar vein as CoD it could still be what might be classified as an MMORPG.

I like MMORPGs in broad concept but not the gameplay style they decide on which is simply running up to each other and standing stock still as you throw numbers each other. No strategy, no manoeuvre, no aiming, no jumping or flying nor momentum.

That and the particular trends in PvE. There is NO POINT in levelling up the power of your weapons and your health/armour if almost all the enemies in the entire world level simultaneously level up in damage given and health. It's a case of "+1 -1 = 0" you might as well have no damage or armour levelling of anyone.

ThunderCavalier:
Jeez, either he took a lot of flak from the community, being CoD's public persona and spokesperson for Activision, or Activision drives its employees as bad as EA. It can't have been easy to walk away from guaranteed money that you could probably swim in.

I remember hearing about a study into money motivation, and it was found that after a certain amount of money then further money is no longer an encouragement.

Like if you had $10 million dollars in the bank, that is a huge amount of money enough for you to live comfortable with all the latest gadgets for the rest of your life and lavish all your family.

You employer could offer you another $10 million but what if you just don't like what they wanted you to do? You would still have more money than you could possibly spend. Better to spend that money on making something that you cannot buy: make a game. A game they want to make, not singing to their employer's tune.

I somewhat wonder how the big boys attract new talent these days. Coming in at the bottom rung, most new employees end up doing boring and stressful work for long hours at adequate but most likely unexceptional pay. And now, with it comes the promise that some day, you might make it to the big leagues and... have your ideas circular-filed because they aren't part of a franchise, or have them turned into a franchise and promptly lose all rights and creative control over your baby, or watch it get mangled by some marketing wonk's notion of what all properties "must" have, or...

Seriously. Is the new dream that you'll work just long enough to get some name recognition and cash in your pocket so you can bail out and start an indy studio? Because if I was at the helm of Ubisoft, EA, Microsoft or Activision, that prospect would make me seriously nervous.

Anyway, best of luck, Bowling, and congratulations on getting a chance to show us whether Activision (made you great/@#$%ed up all your work) or vice versa.

Crono1973:
The title said:

Why Activision's Chief Call of Duty Strategist Quit

I still don't know why, did I miss it?

Its what they pretend to call "journalism" on this site these days. They alluded to why he quit in that he didnt want to work at activision anymore. They just throw out titles like that to get peoples attention.

Activision needed a Chief Strategist? Is 'keep making Call of Duty games' too hard to remember?

Seriously, though, good luck to Bowling.

Well hey as long as the guy keeps making games I'm happy. Whatever his vision is I hope it does get enough support to get off the ground. I approve of the trend towards independents.

 

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