Call of Duty creative strategist leaves Activision

Infinity Ward exec and Modern Warfare strategist resigns.

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In a surprising move today, Infinity Ward creative chief Robert Bowling announced that he was resigning from his post on the Call of Duty franchise and leaving Activision. No explanation was given on what he had planned or where he was going.

"Today, I resign from my position as Creative Strategist of Call of Duty, as a lead of Infinity Ward, and as an employee of Activision," he tweeted to his 367K followers.

Activision moved quickly and said "We sincerely thank Robert for his many years of service. He's been a trusted and valued member of the Infinity Ward team. We wish him all the best on his decision to pursue future opportunities."

Bowling had been with Infinity Ward for more than six years, working on the Call of Duty franchise, specifically the three Modern Warfare games.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 26, 2012 2:45 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Call of Duty creative strategist leaves Activision.

    Infinity Ward exec and Modern Warfare strategist resigns.

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      March 26, 2012 2:57 PM

      Perhaps the self loathing ended up being too much to handle...

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      March 26, 2012 3:02 PM

      "creative" "call of duty"

      I'm sorry...i don't understand...creative?

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        March 26, 2012 3:21 PM

        It's a pretty hilarious title. He was a PR monkey. Him not going with the other Infinity Ward guys during the exodus kinda showed how important he was to actually creating a game.

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          March 26, 2012 5:01 PM

          His title was originally "community manager", but sometime after the MW2 release, it change to "creative strategist".

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      March 26, 2012 3:17 PM

      I think they mean "his many years of lying for us"

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      March 26, 2012 3:23 PM

      There's only so much of a beating you can take online before you say enough is enough. If the company i worked for had a healthy amount of haters that let you know, directly, every day, i'd quite also.

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        March 26, 2012 3:37 PM

        A set of thick skin is part of the job description.

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      March 26, 2012 3:23 PM

      They had one of those?

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      March 26, 2012 3:24 PM

      What, did he get bored of doing nothing?

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      March 26, 2012 3:38 PM

      I'm surprised he's allowed to keep his twitter name.

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        March 26, 2012 3:40 PM

        he's had that handle for years. it's silly they let him do most of the company work on his twitter name. it makes sense to have that personal interaction, but a personal account should not be a substitute for an official one. if you want to grow them both, fine, but at least do it in tandem.

        IW picked up on that in the later months, so they have far more followers now than they used to.

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          March 26, 2012 3:42 PM

          Yea, seems odd they thought that was a good idea in the first place.

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            March 26, 2012 4:59 PM

            402 was his roster number when he was in the Army.

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              March 26, 2012 5:37 PM

              It's not the choice of name; it's the fact that he did all of his official company work from his personal twitter

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                March 26, 2012 5:58 PM

                That's the fault of Activision / IW for not putting their foot down and setting up an isolated Twitter feed, Facebook page, etc., but that level of community management was relatively new back when MW2 was under development. There was (and still is) an official Call of Duty forum, but Bowling didn't start to use it for official announcements until spring 2010, when plenty of people called him on having his Twitter account be the official announcement feed for MW2.

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                  March 26, 2012 6:17 PM

                  Right. Nobody is saying otherwise. It was dumb of Activision and IW to allow him to do everything through his personal account

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      March 26, 2012 3:43 PM

      Remaining Creative Strategists in the world

      0

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      March 26, 2012 3:47 PM

      so what is an infinity ward? does it stop everything?

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      March 26, 2012 3:53 PM

      Surprisingly he is connecting with 5+ other folks from Respawn Entertainment, the day he resigns.. coincidence?

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        March 26, 2012 3:54 PM

        *LinkedIn

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        March 30, 2012 3:20 PM

        It wouldn't be surprising, if most of your friends go on to a different company, it would seem logical to want to go with.

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      March 26, 2012 4:10 PM

      I bet this is the reason he left: http://www.callofdutymappacks.com/news/robert-bowling-on-classic-maps-for-mw3-keep-classic-maps-outside-of-the-dlc-model/ ""I feel like we are in a f*cking era where everyone is so focused on subscriber numbers and all that stuff that we need to get back to what I feel like we did so much better in the old days of just plain good will, like stuff like the LAN patch, yeah it is lower priority but let’s get it out the f*cking door. Let’s just do it.”"

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        March 26, 2012 9:05 PM

        sounds like he is a creative strategist that can't be creative... lol. good article, i wish shacknews had been able to cover that interview it's a small eye opener.

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      March 26, 2012 5:27 PM

      Holy shit, look at some of the twitter stuff people have been sending him:

      http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=36386292&postcount=176


      RobbertTheDutch
      @fourzerotwo So you ruin everything, and just LEAVE? Pussy.
      Quote:
      ItsHawza
      @fourzerotwo bye fking noob eat some lag
      Quote:
      MythAttach
      @fourzerotwo Your a dumb mother fucker i hope you become homeless fucking faggot go to hell
      Quote:
      Mrjded123
      @fourzerotwo NOW GO BACK TO YOUR JOB OF SUCKING DICK FOR MONEY YOU FAGGET ASS BITCH. GO DIE.
      Quote:
      rick_nadtke
      @fourzerotwo Bitchmade nigga. Kill yourself.


      Jesus, it's a fucking video game.

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        March 26, 2012 5:30 PM

        that's pretty typical for twitter.

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          March 26, 2012 5:54 PM

          I can see why you want to keep your Twitter handle separate from work. I can't imagine what kinds of comments you'd get if you left your job.

          @dahanese Would you kindly never work in this industry again.
          @dahanese The free market demands that you pursue your rational self-interest elsewhere.
          @dahanese I hope you get XCOMmunicated from 2K.

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            March 26, 2012 6:18 PM

            Doh. I just get positive comments. That kind of shit would surely affect me, no kidding.

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            March 26, 2012 6:23 PM

            my handle isn't really separate from work. it's personal and i don't use it in a capacity like he did because i really, really, really hate that line of thought (i'm here for a game and a company, not for myself) but i'm pretty sure the thousand people or whatever that follow me don't do it because they like my dog.

            anyway people can be super lame, but also super cool, so it balances it out.

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              March 27, 2012 9:18 AM

              I'm a big fan of your whacky faces. But i like dogs too. Pics of dog plz.

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          March 27, 2012 6:53 AM

          It's pretty typical for most CoD fans.

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        March 26, 2012 5:30 PM

        haha jesus

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        March 26, 2012 5:38 PM

        so basically like xbox live chat

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        March 26, 2012 5:40 PM

        Eesh. Having any amount of notoriety while on twitter would be rough. Too easy to communicate w/ the internet public which can be so hostile :(.

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        March 26, 2012 5:53 PM

        Saw that. He's served as the lightning rod for a lot of Activision/CoD hate for a long time now. He's the face of Infinity Ward and I think the CoD player base is worse than any other online community, even Heroes of Newerth. Nothing compares to the trash talking tweens of Xbox Live. I played CounterStrike Source at its height and CSS was not as bad as the CoD or Halo lobbies of today. If I am not playing with friends, the only other reason I bother to logon to Live is just to pub stomp those punks and make them rage. My sympathies are entirely with Bowling.

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          March 26, 2012 6:16 PM

          It's weird...playing CoD on the PC it was never that bad (though I admittedly never played much MW2 or MW3...mostly CoD4 and BLOPS)...is it just a Live thing or was I strangely lucky (or have I developed a weirdly thick skin from a decade and a half of playing online games)?

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            March 26, 2012 7:07 PM

            It is a Live thing because the console player base is far, far larger and I believe it skews younger than PC. You're not going to find too many tweens on PC these days. I honestly believe the biggest factor is cost and ease of use; path of least resistance theory. Most of these players have no patience and behave like they have attention deficit disorder. The console costs less, is easier to use, all their friends are already on Live, and the game is always demoed or shown off by community luminaries on the 360. The community for CoD is unquestionably on 360.

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            March 27, 2012 6:55 AM

            I saw it a LOT on MW2, and a bit on MW3 (but I didnt play that much) on PC. I've always felt that the PC gamer was a classier bunch, but the MW2 matches I played were a huge exception.

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        March 26, 2012 6:52 PM

        It's like their best friend form high school just told them he was gay or something, fucking BRO'S MAN

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        March 27, 2012 10:27 AM

        Sounds pretty typical of the full retard demographic that keeps rebuying Call of Duty every year

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          March 27, 2012 3:54 PM

          Yeah, I enjoy playing CoD multiplayer with my friends, and we usually buy it near release every year, so we must be retarded, right? I mean...we play a game that YOU don't play, right? Isn't that what retarded means? Not having the same preferences as you do?

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            March 27, 2012 3:55 PM

            You're as bad as the fucking morons flaming Bowling on Twitter.

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        March 26, 2012 6:10 PM

        Kotaku used that same one during the Noah Heller stuff in November 2008. Alex Navarro just had to be an asshole here; I'm usually a fan of Alex's snarkiness, but this was inappropriate.

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        March 26, 2012 10:38 PM

        ^^^ HOVER-HAND ALERT

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          March 26, 2012 10:56 PM

          lol that was in the comments too

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      March 26, 2012 6:11 PM

      Those "face of the company" jobs must just be terrible. Not only are you the punching bag for all community backlash toward the company you represent, but also having probably come from that community, you have to reason out shit that might have riled you up if that paycheck wasn't involved. The steady bashing and disillusionment can only be soul crushing, especially with a franchise like Call of Duty that lost its soul a long time ago.

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        March 26, 2012 9:15 PM

        I'm sure he'll cry himself to sleep while wearing his money hat.

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      March 26, 2012 7:29 PM

      I think Activision makes good games overall, but it must be the shittiest company to work for if the pattern of having their best employees routinely leave.

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      March 26, 2012 10:29 PM

      Good riddance Robert has always been a douchebag.

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        March 27, 2012 1:10 AM

        examples?

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        March 27, 2012 9:55 AM

        My feelings exactly. The attitude he put out as 'community manager' was what I disliked most about the first two MWs.

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      March 26, 2012 10:57 PM

      I feel bad for Activision. They're going to have to a long and extensive search to replace this Creative Strategist. He was a key member of .. oh? They've filled the position already? Damn.
      -----------------------------
      Seeking Creative Strategist:
      Job description: Ability to take "complex" information and explain it to people through a highly focused dumbing-down process so they better understand our product over a world wide web of complexity that we call the Internet. You do not need to be creative or actually plan / strategize anything. Essentially you must be able to use Twitter.

      Required:
      - Must be able to use Twitter.
      - Thick skin fuckface. If you are insulted by this line please do not apply.

      Desired:
      - 5-10 years experience on Twitter or I guess just text messaging. Or a passing grade in grade school English. Essentially it's optional to be able to form complete sentences.

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      March 27, 2012 12:38 PM

      i guess he's going to respawn for modern warfare 4.