Perhaps Infinity Ward will be remembered as much for the Call of Duty series as it will be for the many studios that have sprung up from employees who have left the company. Following in the steps of Respawn Entertainment, the former creative strategist for the Call of Duty franchise, Robert Bowling, has founded his own development studio, Robotoki.
While Bowling has not announced a specific first project, he did say the studio will be developing for next generation platforms, PC, and mobile devices, and the studio is currently hiring on its website. Bowling did, however, discuss his philosophy about why he started Robotoki, and his words sound like largely good intentions.
As a primary concern for Bowling, Robotoki will be completely self-funded to allow “ the creative vision holders [to hold] complete control over their work and could guide and maintain it from concept to execution.”
Perhaps as importantly, Bowling wants to improve how developers are treated in comparison to the creative members of other entertainment industries, being “focused on our team first and everything else second.”
Robotoki’s first IP is currently not beholden to any particular platforms because Bowling wants to create a world or universe first before turning to the specifics of gameplay.
Whatever bad blood may be between Bowling and Infinity Ward is absent in his latest remarks about Robotoki, and if the first IP can live up to his aspirations, he will certainly offer gamers an engaging and varied experience. Having seen Bowling discuss the Call of Duty series in countless interviews, he has certainly become well-versed in the FPS world, but this latest project is clearly a more ambitious one than a single shooter game.
According to Bowling’s Linkedin profile, he has only worked on the Call of Duty series since joining the gaming industry, so as lofty as his goals might be, I am a bit wary about what Robotoki will produce. It will likely all depend on the team Bowling can assemble. He has certainly proved himself as a stable leader, serving as CEO of a PR and marketing firm, fourzerotwoMEDIA,for over six years and as the editor-in-chief of a music print magazine, Substream Magazine, for a little more than a year.
That certainly inspires confidence in me for Bowling as a leader, but in terms of game design he has solely dealt with the first person shooter genre. If the rest of Robotoki’s eventual development team can translate his optimistic vision of the company into a well-constructed and cohesive experience, then I’m all for his ambitious initial project. For the time being, I’ll temper my excitement, as I worry spending so many years with the Call of Duty franchise may have stifled his range of creativity.