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Old 04-23-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
Emabulator
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Robert Bowling Opens Game Studio


Game Informer is reporting that former Call of Duty creative strategist Robert Bowling is opening a game development studio called Robotoki.

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Speaking to Game Informer through e-mail today, Bowling said the decision to form his own company began immediately after resigning from his long-time position with Activision.

“Robotoki is focused on being a developer development studio that just happens to make games,” he 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.

Bowling said Robotoki is completely self-funded and will only partner with those who support that model. “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. This is why I chose to completely self-fund Robotoki and have chosen to only work with partners who were supportive of that model.”
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:59 PM   #2
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Lets see if he sticks to his guns concerning his recent DLC comments
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #3
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He said to offer free DLC if its content that was already previously released or a prior version of the game.

In this case, his company will create new DLC content.... therefore charge. If they create game 1B and offer a DLC that consists of a map from game 1A then it would be free.

He has a good model but lets see if it works. Will creative talent in a supportive environment work? Will it triumph over talent that is beaten and whipped? I think so. I worked at Pixar and saw how a supportive environment creates magic.

My 2 cents. I think he is on to something. You need balance. Business mindset and creative environment.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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Inspire and support... in other words, in office arcades, food and peripheral vending machines, catering, swimming pools, a gym, basketball courts, and all the other crap us normal people (even in the tech industry) never see at their companies.

I guess I'm the only one left who knows how to be a hard worker without all that crap.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #5
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I guess I'm the only one left who knows how to be a hard worker without all that crap.
Are you working harder or smarter? If you aren't working for yourself and you aren't rich beyond my ability to describe it, then you aren't working smarter.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Bowling said Robotoki is completely self-funded and will only partner with those who support that model. “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. This is why I chose to completely self-fund Robotoki and have chosen to only work with partners who were supportive of that model.”
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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He thinks the industry has a lot to learn about how to treat talent?

Judging by the leaked Valve handbook, the industry looks like a worker's paradise. That's probably not the case where he came from, though.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:29 AM   #8
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Are you working harder or smarter? If you aren't working for yourself and you aren't rich beyond my ability to describe it, then you aren't working smarter.
No, not smarter. But I work from home, at least.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:11 AM   #9
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He thinks the industry has a lot to learn about how to treat talent?

Judging by the leaked Valve handbook, the industry looks like a worker's paradise. That's probably not the case where he came from, though.
One company out of thousands. Valve is very unique. There's countless stories of sixteen hour days and/or mandatory overtime. Then you hear quite a few instances where people aren't compensated for their efforts. With Bungie and Respawn Entertainment's deal with Acti and EA respectively, coupled with the explosion of kickstarter, we very well may be seeing the rise of the developer in the Western world. And why shouldn't we? They do all the work. Aside from marketing and manufacturing the game, what the he'll does the publisher do? Just like the music industry, they take too much for the small amount they actually do. The artists are the one that deserve the money. Not some douche-bag execs trying to dictate working conditions.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:37 AM   #10
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:46 AM   #11
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Sai, I think we agree on the state of the industry. Valve is probably the exception, not the rule. I don't like sweeping generalizations like Bowling's. The Valve handbook is something that should be on every manager's desk, in every type of business.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:34 AM   #12
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Sai, I think we agree on the state of the industry. Valve is probably the exception, not the rule. I don't like sweeping generalizations like Bowling's. The Valve handbook is something that should be on every manager's desk, in every type of business.
100% agree with the both of you, and a nice bonus is their games happen to not suck.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ElektroDragon View Post
Inspire and support... in other words, in office arcades, food and peripheral vending machines, catering, swimming pools, a gym, basketball courts, and all the other crap us normal people (even in the tech industry) never see at their companies.

I guess I'm the only one left who knows how to be a hard worker without all that crap.
Who cares if you have a gym or a basketball court if you never get to use them?

Who cares if they bring food in if you never get to eat at home with your family? Who cares if there are vending machines at work if all you really want to do is GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE?

I've personally seen people forced to work 16 hour days, weekends, public holidays, not allowed to take vacation time until a project ships, (sometimes 6 or 8 months in the future).

Often, "Key Team Members" have to sign contracts that make it an actionable offense for them to quit, (ie. we will sue you).

I've personally know people whose wives have threatened divorce if they don't spend some more time at home with their families. When these same people tell the bosses, "sorry, my wife will leave me", the response is "I have a family. If I can do it, so can you".

This is not the way you inspire art, or even just great entertainment. This is how you run a sweatshop. And it hardly matters if they pay you well; you have no life working like that. I found I was spending money on things I never even had time to enjoy; who cares if you have a nice house if you're hardly there? The best thing you could spend that money on is a nice chair for the office!

Granted, not everywhere is like that, (and I'm happy to have escaped that kind of toxic environment), but don't get it twisted; the games industry as a whole has a long way to go before it gets to "normal" work conditions.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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100% agree with the both of you, and a nice bonus is their games happen to not suck.
Indeed. Valve is a studio that hasn't let me down.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:31 AM   #15
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Sai, I think we agree on the state of the industry. Valve is probably the exception, not the rule. I don't like sweeping generalizations like Bowling's. The Valve handbook is something that should be on every manager's desk, in every type of business.
Well, I hope you didn't tale it like I was busting your balls. Just throwing in my two cents.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:36 PM   #16
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How the hell did a trumped up community manager open his own studio??? Self funded at that? He must have been paid big bucks by activision for being the COD mouthpiece.

I'm doing it wrong, apparently.
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