“When you’re a massive brand with a massive budget, people want to work with you for the money,” Robert Bowling said in a recent exclusive interview with GamesBeat. While subtle, it’s a distinct reference to how business works at his previous employer and the world’s largest video game publisher, Activision.
Things are different now, though. Bowling made headlines in March when he abruptly left his position as creative strategist at Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward and, by extension, parent company Activision. Many in the industry thought the obvious destination for Bowling was Respawn Entertainment, the two-year-old independent studio staffed by several Modern Warfare alumni, including previous Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West. However, a month after leaving Activision, Bowling announced his own self-funded studio, Robotoki. It was a bold step, especially in this economic climate, but it was one he felt he had to make.