Robert Bowling, the former creative strategist for Call of Duty, has finally announced just what it is he's been up to since leaving Activision. As it turns out, he's been busy founding his own games studio, named Robotoki, which he unveiled yesterday in a statement to GI.
“Robotoki is focused on being a developer development studio that just happens to make games,” Bowling said. “We are focused on our team first and everything else second, because I believe as an industry; we have a lot to learn on how to treat talent. While we continue to out stride film and music entertainment in other areas, we are falling severely behind in how to properly inspire and support our creative talent."
An independent, self-funded venture, it's clear that creative ownership is at the forefront of Bowling's mission statement, no doubt providing something of a new new creative lease of life having spent the last few years working on a franchise leviathan with perhaps little sense of ownership. Not so for Robotoki.
“I wanted to create an environment where the creative vision holders held complete control over their work and could guide and maintain it from concept to execution," he stated.
So aside from creative control, interconnectivity, multiplatform audiences, and a desire to "transcend" boundaries of medium, genre, and player count seem to be the order of the day, with experiences on different platforms tailored to those platforms' unique capabilities.
“As a developer, our focus is on creating a universe first, experiences second, and game mechanics last, “ Bowling said. “With focus being on universe, we aim to create experiences that transcend platforms and genres and allow our players to connect to our world, their characters, and gameplay via any medium (console, PC, or mobile).
“However, how they experience the world is unique to their device. The mobile / tablet experience should not mimic the console or PC experience, it should be additive to it, not supplemental. Allowing them to support their console and PC experience, continue their progression, but by experiencing the world in a meaningful and unique way.
“Our focus is creating an experience that is no longer strictly single player, strictly co-op, or strictly multiplayer, but adapting the strengths of each of these into a unique experience that is fueled by the actions and contributions in each.”
Ambitious words, indeed, but aiming high is good; and perhaps Bowlings notes on learning how to "treat our talent" gives a little possible insight into his reasons behind leaving Activision. [Game Informer]