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Robert Bowling Unexpectedly Announces He is Exiting Activision [UPDATED]

No word yet on reasons, nor where he may be headed next.

UPDATE: Activision has replied with a short statement on Bowling's exit.

"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.”

Does that sound at all to you like the sort of thing a company not quite expecting this type of thing to happen might say? Read that way to me, anyway, but maybe I'm off-base.

----

In a startling bit of news that pretty much just happened, Robert Bowling, the longtime creative strategist for the Call of Duty brand at Activision and developer Infinity Ward, has announced he is resigning from his current position.

I don't know if I should apologize to Robert for using this photo of him, but I'm just going to go ahead and preemptively do so.

No reason was given for the announcement, but the terms were absolutely clear. He stated as follows:

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.

Bowling had been with Activision since 2006, working early on in the franchise's existence as a community manager, and eventually rising up to become the most recognizable face associated with the brand. For all intents and purposes, he has been Call of Duty's primary mouthpiece since the Modern Warfare era began, especially in the time following the exit of Infinity Ward founders Vince Zampella and Jason West, who went on to found Respawn Entertainment.

We've reached out to Activision for an official statement regarding Bowling's exit. We'll update this story should they respond.

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177 Comments
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Posted by PeasantAbuse

These comments suck.

Posted by TheHumanDove

...And them hover hands

Posted by TehChich

@gorkamorkaorka said:

HOVER HANDS

HOVER HANDS?! -scrolls up- HOVER HANDS!!! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by leejunfan83

Out with the old in with the new

Posted by Branwulf

Lets be honest, not much need for a "creative" strategist at Activision is there, HO HO HO.

Posted by EuanDewar

BOLT ACTION RIFLE, CENTER MASS

Posted by aurahack

These comments, as usual, are terrible. Dude was always upfront and should be respected for that. Sad to see him go, though I'll giggle some if he ends up at Respawn.

Posted by Otrebor

Se~or Superdouche?

Posted by evanbower

"Does that sound at all to you like the sort of thing a company not quite expecting this type of thing to happen might say? Read that way to me, anyway, but maybe I'm off-base."

I think it sounds like what a huge company would say regardless of the situation. I wouldn't read too much into it.

Posted by mynthon

I learned a new meme today

Posted by Milkman

CALL OF DUTY SUXOR AMIRITE?!

Internet.

Posted by Bane122

@AnEternalEnigma: W@AnEternalEnigma said:

I lost all respect for this guy when he stood on a stage at Call of Duty XP and announced "NO MORE LAST STAND!" to a screaming crowd of approval when he damn well knew Final Stand, which is much worse, was going to be kept in the game. Not to mention all the other lies he's fed the community since CoD4.

GTFO.

Was Last Stand taken out?

Posted by OllyOxenFree

Bowling doing the ol' hover hand in that one picture. So beta!

Posted by kpaadet

Creative Strategist?, give me a break, its fancy talk for community manager. So nobody should really care about him leaving.

Posted by jedge

@Milkman: That is the most brilliant comment I have ever seen in my time at Giant Bomb. Bravo sir, bravo.

Posted by OneManX

@Bane122 said:

@AnEternalEnigma: W@AnEternalEnigma said:

I lost all respect for this guy when he stood on a stage at Call of Duty XP and announced "NO MORE LAST STAND!" to a screaming crowd of approval when he damn well knew Final Stand, which is much worse, was going to be kept in the game. Not to mention all the other lies he's fed the community since CoD4.

GTFO.

Was Last Stand taken out?

Yeah, but they kept in Final stand (which is the Death Streak version). So yeah he wasn't exactly lying, but he wasn't telling the truth either... so... yeah,

Edited by WhiteLotus01

Hopefully BLOPS2 FLOPS. Yeah, I'm witty!

Posted by laserbolts

If I felt that him leaving might result in some changes to call of duty to make it feel at least a little fresh again then I would be happy but I know this means nothing.

Posted by TheHT

@Floppypants said:

@Tamaster92 said:

That photo is proof of winning.

Winning does not involve hover hands.

They never fail to make me chuckle though.

Posted by adoggz

so what are the odds he ends up at respawn?

Posted by Sergio

@msavo said:

Who?
Posted by TzarStefan

I wonder if he asked if it was ok for him to touch them before he did the hover hands.

Edited by 234r2we232

Enjoying all of these "meh I don't care but here's me commenting anyway because I'm Internet k00l and don't have anything better to do".

I only remember this guy because of how much he would pander as a community manager to the "hardcore". Didn't he have a feud with some YouTube troll, where he posted team killing videos and Bowling got him banned or something along those lines? Funny Internet/world.

Maybe this has something to do with on-going legal war between Activision and Respawn (obvious observation). I can only imagine it was a pretty easy job all things considered.

Posted by Jimbo
@positron said:

Well there was no point in him joining Respawn until they had something to talk about.

Good point.
Posted by YukoAsho

So tomorrow he gets hired by Respawn?

Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials

@rebgav said:

@SaturdayNightSpecials said:

Remember the "one shot center-mass" thing?

He sure changed his tone since then.

Wasn't that Noah Heller? Or are you talking about the angry blog post?

Yeah, the blog post.

I guess he was scared into silence by West and Zampella being fired. Which might have cost him a job at Respawn today, though maybe EA itself could use him.

Posted by Phatmac

Good luck to him and his future endeavors.

Posted by GunslingerPanda

He obviously wasn't very good at his job.

Posted by TheHumanDove

I cant stress his hover hands enough people.

Posted by project343

@Mystyr_E: He's one of few major names that stayed with Infinity Ward beyond the shit-fan incident. I think it's a pretty big deal that he's leaving, and it's perhaps an even bigger deal if we find out where he's going.

Posted by wsowen02

Respawn needs a mod for their message boards.

Posted by Zabant

@TheHumanDove said:

I cant stress his hover hands enough people.

Posted by rm082e

@YukoAsho said:

So tomorrow he gets hired by Respawn?

Reading the headline I instantly thought "Okay, so Respawn is announcing their game at E3 and he needs two months to get settled into the company before he's out their pitching the game. Got it."

:)

Posted by FritzDude

He will open 'Robert's Bowling' down the street.

Posted by MrKlorox

Yes, how totally "unexpected" of him, and not at all predictable.

Posted by Danda

So this guy was the visible scab who wasn't even a developer but who seemed to convey the message "hey, it's still great to work here at IW, not EVERYBODY has left!". And now he leaves.

Posted by david3cm

@FritzDude: God damn I love me some word play, well done sir.

Posted by Zamir

caption of the photo of Robert Bowling in the article "Bitches Love Community Management"

Posted by MariachiMacabre

@Sooty said:

Is Creative Strategist (Community Manager) sort of like how Subway call their employees Sandwich Artists? fourzerotwo always struck me as either incredibly ignorant of the PC platform or he was being told what to say by Activision.

It IS Activision we're talking about. My guess is they scripted him like crazy. He always seemed like a nice guy who had no control over what he said in public. I wish him luck. Maybe he has a position at Respawn? MAYBE?

NEVER.

But seriously, maybe.

Edited by Adaptor

He had a tough job. I can see how he could get demotivated by higher-ups insisting on keeping stuff in the game that he knew the fans wouldn't like and the subsequent hate directed at him personally. The CoD community isn't the most considerate and it's quite a feat to keep your sanity for 6 years being the face of a game that so many people love to hate. Maybe he's smart to leave now before the annual milking really starts to ruin the CoD franchise.

Posted by Enigma777

@Sooty said:

Is Creative Strategist (Community Manager) sort of like how Subway call their employees Sandwich Artists? fourzerotwo always struck me as either incredibly ignorant of the PC platform or he was being told what to say by Activision.

Hey, it takes a real artist to make a sandwich like that.

Posted by slyspider

respawn got a new person?

Posted by Ronald

Maybe he finally got paid his bonus from MW2, so it was time to move on.

Posted by big_jon

Owned

Posted by Xeiphyer
@TheHumanDove said:

I cant stress his hover hands enough people.

You don't touch the dancers!
Posted by NapTimeSleeper

I hope he ends up working somewhere he enjoys. I can only imagine working as a community manager for Infinity Ward and dealing with all the shit that they get.

Posted by ArcLyte

@Mystyr_E said:

<checks pockets>

<checks under bed>

Hm, can't seem to find a fuck to give

\end of thread.

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