Is Robert Bowling trying to outdo Bobby Kotick?

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Have you ever looked at a company and noticed such an arrogance that it creates the sense of feeling that they believe you need them more than they need you? As though your daily operations or experiences can’t be completed without further forking over your hard earned money to them in order to complete your day. I’m sure many PC users that refuse to purchase a Mac have that same type of feeling every time they purchase a PC and are forced to utilize the Windows operating system because Linux is a little too much for them. The problem is — this is never true. There is always an alternative to a product and though it may not always be as good or as simple as just giving one company your money, that opportunity of choice still exists.

Like Microsoft through the 90s in regards to their operating systems, it’s starting to feel like Activision and its subsidiaries truly get the impression that they can say or do whatever they’d like without any repercussion from their targeted consumer — the gamer. Whether it involves one of Kotick’s genius ideas of raising the price of a basic title or the belief that dedicated servers aren’t something that makes the difference to a PC gamer or not is just another example of a company displaying that type of arrogance because they KNOW and EXPECT you to still go out and purchase that product. To be honest, I thought that Kotick was alone in this insane plan from Activision to completely dupe the consumers who support its products, but with the recent comments from Robert Bowling, community manager at Infinity Ward, it’s almost as though he has an evil apprentice in training.

In a recent interview with MCVUK, Robert Bowling displayed exactly what type of figurehead he is in this industry and that is one of delusion, hypocrisy and grandeur that is beyond anything I’ve seen prior to this time. Bowling made comments in regard sto “knowing gamers” and that marketing and public relations should go through the developer not the “middleman.” I’ve included his statements below and I’ll jump into my take on them afterwards.

“We know everything there is to know about Modern Warfare 2,” Infinity Ward’s community manager Robert Bowling told MCV.

“Not only do we know the game but we know the gamer. We know what to expect from them and what they expect from us. So it helps us guide design decisions and decisions overall, including with PR.”

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“There are certain things that are good for a press release and there are some things that are good if we presented them in a casual way – such as through Twitter.”

“I think it is essential for developers to have that power,” he added.

“I don’t think any developer should not have control of how their game is presented or marketed or communicated. And they should take control of that a lot, lot more.”

I’m not sure if some of you recall or not, but Bowling recently had a lot more to say in regards to the console war and how developers (Infinity Ward) absolutely hate how it effects the industry. In his statements, he made it clear that they’re only talking about the GAME, not the console it’s being displayed on (generally the 360). However, he clearly states in the above quoted piece that Infinity Ward makes the decisions on how its games are presented, marketed or communicated to gamers. Really?

So, by cutting out the middleman, is there any way Bowling can justify that beyond the commercials and advertisements, it is often followed by a 360 advertisement and never a PlayStation 3 logo? What message does that communicate to the gamers of the console war? Since Infinity Ward makes the decisions on how its games are presented and marketed, is Bowling so out of touch to realize that the most ignorant of fanboys take this type of advertising and logo placement as a sign to say, “This version IS better than the other guys?” Considering the belief that Bowling feels he “knows” gamers, he should know what type of effect this has on the industry of consumers, correct? It’s just shocking to hear such blatant rubbish that there is absolutely no truth behind it at all.

Infinity Ward, Activision, and Bowling displayed exactly how much they know the gamer when they decided to cut out dedicated servers, when they decided that the online petitions should be deleted and/or locked on their official forums, and when they decided to partner with Microsoft for an exclusive bundle deal despite not wanting to spark any controversy in a machine war that seems to be only be getting worse.  You know what the gamer expects from you? Apparently, that’s not true whatsoever. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Activision and Infinity Ward has slowly alienated themselves from the fanbase that made Call of Duty what it is today and if gamers want more power in the industry, if they want a voice to be heard in order to create change so that developers like Infinity Ward truly DO know them, then they’ll speak with their wallets in November when it matters most — they’ll stay at home on November 10.

Readers Comments (19)

  1. Someone has been buttering up to the ways of Activision…IW…

  2. theonlylolking October 27, 2009 @ 09:42

    This is a perfect article. I agree with everything. Go to the link

  3. activision ea and ubisoft are scam artists, buy sony first party, nintendo first party, seGA-AH nothing else. wel..some indies…batman arkham (edios) and codemasters the last 2 are english YAY.!

  4. Don’t see you complaining about there being only PS3 ads after some other multiplatform games, why do it now?

  5. This article was terrible. The issue the majority of the article talked about was pointless.

    No one cares what console it is shown on. IW has already shown they can make a game that performs well on both consoles. You should be happy that they don’t feel the need to show both versions… it shows they consider them equal. The only people who care is the people who want “proof” that “their” console is better.

    The article should have focused on the lack of dedicated servers and the issues that sprang up surrounding that; instead of some fanboy issue no one with any intelligence gives a shit about.

  6. I ´ll never buy a call of duty game again.

  7. I saw a FIFA commercial that had only PSP and PS3 symbols after it so…

  8. The way I see it every business is corrupt to some extent.
    Also since when did any COD game ever have dedicated servers I can’t remember Infinity Ward ever adding dedicated servers on any of their games.
    I’ve been kicked out of lobbies before and add servers end right in the middle of me playing a game.
    Call of Duty = P2P Servers.
    Either way if the online is good I’m buying this game.

  9. i hate ppl full of themselves i will not buy this game on release day nor in the same month by any means necessary just 2 show them that they need 2 STFU

  10. DeadlyAnGeL91792 October 27, 2009 @ 18:18

    @dirtyd89,they mean the pc version not console and ALL cod games on pc had dedicated servers dude.and yeah those idiots are talking out there ass’s

  11. Definitely not getting COD MW2 when it releases, I have to in order to get these idiots to STFU.

  12. Now is that people noticed this. -_-
    either way I’m not getting it , well there’s other ways to get it ;).
    Anyways isn’t it to late to make the Ps3 community not to buy it? The game is released in less than two weeks and i highly doubt most ps3 players check the forums, sites and stuff like that. =\

  13. Everyone thinks the PC community are being treated as second class citizens, but this is NOT true!! It is the console user that is being treated as second class!! Read on and think about it.

    As you all know, IW have downgraded the PC capabilities of the PC Multi-Player and and are introducing their IWNET connection instead. This has caused a storm in the PC world and you would be forgiven for thinking, “What has this got to do with us?”

    IWNET is, in effect, their own version of xbox live, so the on-line gaming restrictions that apply to consoles are now being applied to PC’s. That means no games larger than 5 v 5 (depending upon the host connection), no mods for the game and no community made maps. It also means that there will be no competitive leagues and therefore no clans.

    What is stupid about this, is inspite of all the explanations being given as to why it is wrong, there are many console users bashing the PC community for complaining. Instead, they should be complaining that IW has seen fit to downgrade the PC – INSTEAD OF UPGRADING THE CONSOLE TO BE THE SAME AS THE PC!

    PC users have created a petition calling for the re-instatement of the dedicated servers; This is currently at 154160 Total Signatures.

    what is needed now, is for a bright console user to make a petition calling for dedicated servers for the console users and to then pubilicise that across the internet and I know they would get support from the PC user. THAT WOULD THEN PAVE THE WAY FOR CROSS PLATFORM GAMING!

    Not only would it pave the way for cross platform gaming between consoles, it would also herald the ability for console players to play against PC players, AS WELL AS POSSIBLY GIVING THEM ACCESS TO THE MANY MODS AND MAPS MADE BY THE PC COMMUNITY.

    Futhermore, you would not be reliant upon your specific friends being on line at the same to be able to have a game. You would have a server browser and be able to “just” jump into an existing game, with or without your friends. It would also remove the host’s immense advantage of having zero ping, as you would all have the same status on a public server and there would be no more destroyed games because the host suddenly had to leave.

    I am sure that there are plenty more advantages and very few disadvantages. I’ll counter the most obvious disadvantage now and that is cheats and hackers. DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE CLAIMS THAT PC GAMING IS FULL OF THEM, IT SIMPLY IS NOT TRUE. PB has done a pretty effective job of clearing them out and the move to VAC as an anti cheat, will be the same – BUT, thats not to say that there are not cheats out there that fool these anti-cheat programs, there are! THATS WHY DEDICATED SERVERS ARE BETTER. In the main they are run by clans and communities and they have experianced admins (most of the time), who watch out for the hackers and kick/ban them from the server. With matchmaking, only the host can do that, unless I am much mistaken.

    If you think I am making sense, make a petition and I’ll help get it publicised.


  14. Console is not supposed to be as good as PC, it just doesn’t have the capabilites that a PC has and thus why it isn’t as good. If you think pitting a PC player against a console player is a good idea think twice, they’ve tried that before and Console got it’s ass kicked by the PC every single time in a first person shooter. Then to make matters worse they switched them around put the PC player on the Console and the Console player the PC and the console player started wooping the PC players ass while he was using the PC. It doesn’t work to put PC and console together.

    As for the IWNET I am totally against it, I don’t like matchmaking in any way shape or form, they have always failed, and you know there is something they aren’t telling you, like if its going to be a free service where you gotta bet your dollars to doughnuts its not going to be, they are probably going to charge like 10 a month or something to line there greedy pockets.

    I have lost all respect for IW and activision, lets show them the power of the PC gaming community and continue to boycott there products and drive them into big trouble when they send the game into stores and not many buy it besides the few brainless people who don’t care and like being dictated to what they should like and dislike, theres a company out there who does that besides IW and Activision, its called Blizzard.

  15. You’re blowing his words way out of proportion. Foolish complaint that arises because they removed dedicated servers. Gamers won’t stay at home on November 10th. This is looking to be one of the biggest games of the last decade. Obviously Activision knows their gamers very well.

  16. + 167289 Total Signatures

    Says I’m NOT the one thats dumb around here and yes, I agree the PC player will always beat the console player, but the important part is allowing the xBox, PS3 and Wii users to play against each other more than bringing the PC into play. Although, there are PC and console players that are real life friends, how cool would it be for them to be able to play against each other.

  17. you can check out Rob Bowlings list of game titles ( for the platforms he owns. LOL see a pattern? so xbox 360 games; toooo many to even count.. i got to 246 roughly. thats a lot! on ps3 he has only 10… only 10??? and pc is riiiiiiggghhhhttt down the bottom with about 20 or so i think. ha.

    we truly cant consider this mans views, opinions and motives to be objective. which is a real shame, seeing as he is in the powerful position that he is.

  18. This is a stupid article. The concepts are stupid and very fanboyish. Rob is right that the console war is stupid, I agree and it’s people like you who make it worse, stop fanning the flames.

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