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When Unprofessional Blog Posts Attack: Call of Duty Edition

Infinity Ward rep pushes right on D pad, calls in a blog strike on Activision internal producer.

In case you're wondering...
One thing I've found over my time covering the game industry is that there are a lot of common conflicts that take place between the development side and the business side of a game's creation. There also seems to be a lot of anti-internal-producer venom out at some external development houses. Get into enough unguarded, regular-guys-just-talking conversations with a guy who's working at a developer and I'd say you'll encounter some variant of this static more regularly than you might think.

The latest example comes out of Infinity Ward's Robert "fourzerotwo" Bowling, the studio's Director of Communications and Community Manager. He's definitely become one of the more prominent faces for IW. And yesterday he made one thing perfectly clear: he is not a fan of the way Infinity Ward's last game is being name-dropped to promote the next Call of Duty game, World at War.

Noah Heller - Stop Doing Interviews...

Seriously man…. You’re killing me!

If I see one more Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare google alert come through my inbox, that ends up being a COD:WaW article that is only showing up because YOU referenced Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare more times than you mention World At War….

Especially when you’re pulling shit out of your ass. Come on man, interview about your game. Not OURS! Call of Duty: World at War can stand on it’s own merits, leave ours out of it. Like this gem of a quote from today’s article on CVG…

“In the previous Call of Dutys it might take three or four shots from a bolt action rifle,” he explained. “We made sure that a single shot centre mass would kill that opponent because that’s the expectation of the player.”

WTF are you talking about?! “in previous Call of Dutys blah blah blah”. First of all, you didn’t work on “previous Call of Dutys”, so don’t talk as if you’re down with how / why things were designed the way they were. Second, you’re completely fucking wrong.

Bolt Action rifles are one hit kills in every Call of Duty we (Infinity Ward) made!!

I won’t compare it to World at War’s Bolt Actions, I can’t speak to that because I don’t work there. Just like you don’t work here, so please stop talking about our games.

A rule of thumb I like to use is…. when promoting your game. Promote YOUR game. Don’t compare it to another game, or reference what OTHER games did in the past, pitch YOUR game. I mean, you have lots of cool things you could talk about… like Nazi Zombies….

Can you guys please stop interviewing this guy, talk to someone who actually works on the Dev Team at Treyarch and knows what the fuck they’re talking about. Not Senior Super Douche Noah Heller from Activision - who apparently has never played the game and doesn’t even work at the developer.

Alright, I’m done ranting… but I can’t take another google alert of garbage coming through my inbox with bullshit quotes from this guy.


Heller is a Senior Producer at Activision who manages the Call of Duty series. He has been with the company since March of 2007.

You know, I think Robert's blog sort of speaks for itself, and I'm not really interested in "taking sides" or whatever, so I don't have a whole lot to add other than wondering how badly Infinity Ward wishes it could get one of those Bungie-style independence deals and get away from Activision's sinister-sounding annual release schedule. I'll just say that I suspect this has to do with more than just bolt action rifles. But hey, maybe I'm just reading way too much into all this.

I'd try to start a betting pool to see how long you all thought it would be before the original blog post gets removed, but at this point, it's been up so long that it might as well just stay up.

Hey, cheer up, everybody! Call of Duty: World at War ships next week! We'll have a review on Tuesday!!!!!! Video games!!!!!!!!
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff
In case you're wondering...
One thing I've found over my time covering the game industry is that there are a lot of common conflicts that take place between the development side and the business side of a game's creation. There also seems to be a lot of anti-internal-producer venom out at some external development houses. Get into enough unguarded, regular-guys-just-talking conversations with a guy who's working at a developer and I'd say you'll encounter some variant of this static more regularly than you might think.

The latest example comes out of Infinity Ward's Robert "fourzerotwo" Bowling, the studio's Director of Communications and Community Manager. He's definitely become one of the more prominent faces for IW. And yesterday he made one thing perfectly clear: he is not a fan of the way Infinity Ward's last game is being name-dropped to promote the next Call of Duty game, World at War.

Noah Heller - Stop Doing Interviews...

Seriously man…. You’re killing me!

If I see one more Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare google alert come through my inbox, that ends up being a COD:WaW article that is only showing up because YOU referenced Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare more times than you mention World At War….

Especially when you’re pulling shit out of your ass. Come on man, interview about your game. Not OURS! Call of Duty: World at War can stand on it’s own merits, leave ours out of it. Like this gem of a quote from today’s article on CVG…

“In the previous Call of Dutys it might take three or four shots from a bolt action rifle,” he explained. “We made sure that a single shot centre mass would kill that opponent because that’s the expectation of the player.”

WTF are you talking about?! “in previous Call of Dutys blah blah blah”. First of all, you didn’t work on “previous Call of Dutys”, so don’t talk as if you’re down with how / why things were designed the way they were. Second, you’re completely fucking wrong.

Bolt Action rifles are one hit kills in every Call of Duty we (Infinity Ward) made!!

I won’t compare it to World at War’s Bolt Actions, I can’t speak to that because I don’t work there. Just like you don’t work here, so please stop talking about our games.

A rule of thumb I like to use is…. when promoting your game. Promote YOUR game. Don’t compare it to another game, or reference what OTHER games did in the past, pitch YOUR game. I mean, you have lots of cool things you could talk about… like Nazi Zombies….

Can you guys please stop interviewing this guy, talk to someone who actually works on the Dev Team at Treyarch and knows what the fuck they’re talking about. Not Senior Super Douche Noah Heller from Activision - who apparently has never played the game and doesn’t even work at the developer.

Alright, I’m done ranting… but I can’t take another google alert of garbage coming through my inbox with bullshit quotes from this guy.


Heller is a Senior Producer at Activision who manages the Call of Duty series. He has been with the company since March of 2007.

You know, I think Robert's blog sort of speaks for itself, and I'm not really interested in "taking sides" or whatever, so I don't have a whole lot to add other than wondering how badly Infinity Ward wishes it could get one of those Bungie-style independence deals and get away from Activision's sinister-sounding annual release schedule. I'll just say that I suspect this has to do with more than just bolt action rifles. But hey, maybe I'm just reading way too much into all this.

I'd try to start a betting pool to see how long you all thought it would be before the original blog post gets removed, but at this point, it's been up so long that it might as well just stay up.

Hey, cheer up, everybody! Call of Duty: World at War ships next week! We'll have a review on Tuesday!!!!!! Video games!!!!!!!!
Posted by spiceninja

The sooner IW gets away from Activision and takes COD with them the better.

Edited by Octaslash

What a stupid way to lose your job. Activision owns Call of Duty, get over it

Your working on Activision's game, if you are really that hurt that another developer gets to play with your toy, then leave.

Posted by Scooper

I really hope IW. can get away from Activision and actualy make all the COD games. World at War is fine and all but I really wish it wasn't attached to the COD name because people will pick up WaW thinking it was made by "the guys that made Modern Combat". I guess this guy's just annoyed that the game he works on is being attached to something IW left behind, and really, for good reason.

Posted by Gump

Video games!!!!!!!!

Posted by lordofultima

Tell it like it is! WE DON'T NEED YOUR STINKING NAZI ZOMBIES! Or something. Yeah.

Posted by Mourer

Three words, Senior Super Douche.

Posted by Lewis

While theres a lot to be said regarding the marketing of videogames, this guy missed the first rule of getting your point across; remain calm. 

Posted by AndrewB

I think what we can all take from this (if it wasn't already so very clear before) is that yes, Infinity Ward does have a gripe with other studios being given the reigns for Call of Duty. And why not? Everyone can agree that the one game not developed by Infinity Ward, Call of Duty 3, is the low point of the series. It mars the reputation of the series as a whole to the people out there who don't pay attention to who develops what game, and only care about that title on the cover of the box.

And when you keep using the name "Call of Duty 4" to promote World at War, you are tying the two games together. If World at War ends up being as disappointing as Call of Duty 3, you've now lost a percentage of your audience who won't pick up the next game based on that experience. So it's easy to understand why anyone involved with Infinity Ward would be miffed about this relationship.

I also have to agree that the sooner IW is given full rights to the COD series, the better. They have a passion for what is for all intents and purposes *their* game, and they do a hell of a job improving on their game with every iteration.

Posted by TooWalrus

I read that whole article imagining that Marcus Fenix  was shouting it, lol

Posted by Homer39

The guy is right. Activision needs to stop mentioning COD4 in their interviews. Your supposed to be getting us to buy YOUR game not one that was released a year ago.

Posted by p4ddym1607

"I read that whole article imagining that Marcus Fenix  was shouting it, lol"

lol

Posted by p4ddym1607

"I read that whole article imagining that Marcus Fenix  was shouting it, lol"

lol

Posted by Death_Burnout

Crikey!

Posted by grainger

have any of you played/seen beta videos for waw online? call of duty 4 with a paint job anyone? world at war looks totally fucking un-original and has me pissed off, no doubt i'll still end up getting the game bacause i've always loved the series but i will play it with an undertone of anger at treyarch and activision!!!!

Posted by ZmillA

Games.

Posted by mubress

Way to go dude, you tell em!

Also, excellent use of profanities :)

Edited by Captain_Fookup

Played the Beta, came to the conclusion that it's a turdsammich much like call of doody 3.

Posted by Zatoichi_Sanjuro

I think Bowling has played the CoD: WaW demo and is rightly miffed they're comparing it with CoD4.

Also, having played CoD:WaW, bolt-action rifles do not always kill with one centre mass shot, even on hardcore. The hitbox discrepencies on that game are a frickin pain in the centre mass. And since they just took the game engine from Modern Warfare there are already hacks and aimbots abound on the MP demo.

I'd rather waste my money on Littlebigplanet than this dreck. That's right, I said dreck.

Posted by CleverLoginName

I can understand being passionate about your product, but you don't need to be a fanboy of your own company... 

Posted by MasterSplinter

ouch.

Posted by Joru

I think it sucks that people will look at this and think that IW hates Treyarch and hates world at war... This propably wont be good pr for the game, even though it doesn't have anything to do with the quality of it, it's just that the pr person who's promoting it happens to be an idiot. Like most pr people actually.

Posted by TDot

Activsion seems to be doing a lot of this. Look at the interviews for Guitar Hero "for years now we've been thinking about how to put drums in Guitar Hero" when of course they've been working on guitar hero for barely a year.

Posted by stephengotlost

Umm.. in the WaW beta, the bolt actions take two shots to the torso to kill someone; which practically makes every bolt action rifle inferior to the semi automatic rifles.

Posted by redgauss

Jeff: "Video games!!!!!!"
Yeah ya yes!!!!

Posted by BiggerBomb

Good for him (Rob Bowling,) that's the exact reaction anyone who would be in his shoes would think but feel like they couldn't say. Once in awhile, you just have to tell it like it is.

Posted by Oni

And I couldn't care less about World at War because they're selling me a fucking mod at full price, yay! Seriously, using another game's engine is one thing, but straight up using the exact same interface and (it seems) code is just fucking lazy. I'll wait for the next real Call of Duty game, thanks.

Posted by Jotun

It really sounds like he's miffed about Activision bastardizing the IP they worked so hard on creating and establishing. To be honest, I would be too. What I find interesting, though, is how he doesn't sound disapproving of Treyarch themselves. Just this foot-in-mouth PR guy who's trying to sell a game by referencing their hard work.

I know Activision thinks they need a CoD game every damn year but why turn such a great series into something like Need for Speed? Give IW CoD back and make Treyarch do something orignial for you. The proved they could make other games with Quantom of Solace.

Posted by sdauz

WTF just happened, seriously i cant figure out, one guy who does not work for IW is bashing CoD WaW against an IW whoose trying to promote CoD WaW or is it the other way round?

im going back to sleep
Posted by AegisOfDawn

This is all Activision's fault for having their stupid philosophy on alternative developers on the same franchise. Inherently, it's going to lead to this...

Posted by RazielCuts

I think this dick is way to big for his boots now dude. 

So you have a success and you think you're the shit. Ever heard of being humble you dick? 

I don't find it entirely wrong for Treyarch to be name dropping the COD4 name, I mean why call the World At War game a COD game if you won't allow them to relate it to the prior games in the franchise and build on that to give people a basis of what to expect from the game. 

And who are you to talk anyway, its not as if you're heavily involved in the creative process at IW anyway Mr. Director Of Communications/ Community Manager.

So shut the fuck up and see you on the downfall. 
Online
Posted by Homeslice

TMI, Bowling.

Posted by bjorno

I played the multiplayer demo.
Yeah, WW2 sucks.

Posted by lantus

Call of Duty 4 FTW!! World at War FTL!!

Posted by GIVEMEREPLAY

EVERYONE knows bolt action rifles do WAYYY more damage than their semi-auto counterparts. Fast shootey guns do less damage IRL because if they did the same as bolt actions it would be imbalanced. Reality is always balanced pew pew!

Posted by jakob187

I can easily see where this dood is coming from, but at the same time, I think he needs to realize that most of the general public who plays the CoD games doesn't know the difference between developers.  They just see that it's Call of Duty, and that's all they care about.  Guys like us, who know the difference, can understand the frustration that homie is having.  I wouldn't want my games to be name-dropped in order to sell another game...but at the same time, we are talking about Call of Duty 4, which was the previous game in the franchise...and whose engine World at War is based on and expanded upon!  Therefore, I think Bowling needs to chill out a little bit.  Yeesh.  Yes, "we" know that Treyarch isn't the second coming of the Messiah like IW is.  However, sometimes you just have to realize that shit is out of your control.  Instead of blowing up in blogs, you could just as easily put that passion and rage into developing Call of Duty 6 and making us all bust our nut over a video game yet again.

Posted by BawlZINmotion
Regardless of the developer I'm not interested in an annual release schedule for any franchise. If anything I'd be pissed (as Infinity Ward) that people may become tired of Call of Duty because Activision wants to release one every year. This is the same thing EA did and I think they learned the hard way that it's not a long-term strategy. Activision is clearly a company wanting to make money from games, which is difference than a game company trying to make money. EA learned the hard way this kind of strategy does not work and will lead to general disregard for your products. At least they're trying to repair themselves.
Edited by MichaelScott

While they probably should not compare WaW to CoD4, it doesn't look good on IW when you have this dude coming out and being a complete dick in blog posts like this.  No need to post something like this for everyone to see, have some professional courtesy.

Also, it totally does take more than one perk-less .50 cal shot to kill someone in CoD4. -_- (on a shot to the torso)

Maybe they fixed that.

Edited by Fiziks

"I mean, you have lots of cool things you could talk about… like Nazi Zombies…."
Completely tongue-in-cheek remark on how the only thing Treyarch added was the Nazi Zombie mode. Even this is going to be overshadowed by Left 4 Dead.

I knew it when I heard "WWII shooter" that WaW was going to be a massive re-hash. The sad part is, they failed at re-hashing. Treyarch just acted as a paid mod developer, creating the WWII visuals, new perks, and support skills. What's sad is that this abortion has been under development for 2 years now, and the game still has simple balancing issues, bolt-action rifles being the prime example.

Cheer to IW on actually caring about their IP. They should either retain full control, or come up with a new IP, again.
 

Posted by Gregomasta

Activisons fault.

Posted by MjHealy

Who pissed in his cornflakes? Also I agree, Nazi Zombies are awesome

Posted by Smallville123

Harsh

Posted by Brackynews

I recommend Bowling cancels his Google alerts before he gets an aneurysm.
Because bending people to your will is hard enough when they work for you, never mind being a competing Señor Super Douche.

Posted by jyurakyumihawk

I kinda understand what the man is saying. He and his team spent a good chunk of their lives making the greatest game in the Call Of Duty frachise, and it burns seeing it being dangled so offhandedly in front of the press. But that's just it, it's a Call Of Duty game. Regardles of what you think, Activision can say whatever they want about any one game from the franchise simply because it's theirs.

Just know that Modern Warfare is the greatest game from the Call Of Duty franchise. Hell, it's the greatest game of 2007 according to most, and we all know who made it so.

Posted by SusurrusKarma

First off, the only game I can recall having bolt actions that took more than one bullet to kill is CoD3. Secondly, I would love to take this idiot producer on with a bolt in 2, and kill him with ONE bullet, straight to the head. If WaW sucks as much as 3 did, I'm staying away from all odd releases from then on in.

Posted by John

First things first, bolt action riffles are serious business. Second, this should have been an e-mail, not a public blog for crying out loud. When your calling a co-worker from the same company a "Senior Super Douche" a line has been crossed.

Posted by Phished0ne

wow....i thought i've read  some douchy blogs before..but that post is the top banana...this is why dev-blogs are bad,  its too easy for developers to slip into a comfort zone and say things they shoulden't. I understand having a gripe about what Acti. does with Call of Duty, but keep it to yourself. or take it up with Activision.

Posted by SmugDarkLoser

they need to realize one thing: it's the same series.
yea, it's produced in different studios, but it's the same series, nearly the same game.  Obviously they're going to use COD4, much like how Halo will use it's previous as well as Final Fantasy

Posted by MadExponent

I think the WaW feels very tight and is much better than I expected.  The bolt actions not killing in one hit every time is wack though.  I mean if you shoot above the waist with the bolt action people should die.  And if you rock someone with the BAR...they should die.  The BAR and Garand need the dot sight also.  I don't care if you couldn't put a dot sight on it in 1944, do it, for the love of god.  Oh and the sniper scope on the Garand is awesome, gotta say.

All things considered, IW produced a great engine, and Treyarch didn't fuck up COD: WaW.  I mean, the MP works well, hell I'm enjoying it.

Posted by VilhelmNielsen

The internet can steal your job, so watch out for what you write on it.

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