Is Bungie Really "The Last Remaining High Quality Independent Developer"?

Corporate "he said, she said" can be a little boring at times, but Activision boss Bobby Kotick calling Halo creators Bungie "the last remaining high quality independent developer" is too good to pass up.

Speaking at an investor's meeting, Kotick said "Bungie are a very unusual company. They're probably the last remaining high quality independent developer."

That's not just a swipe at, well, every independent developer on Earth. It was also aimed at Microsoft.

"When they started the process of looking for a new partner, they'd been in business with Microsoft. They had a vision for a product they wanted to create that needed certain skills and capabilities - that Microsoft had some of.

"But as they started to go and look at the obvious candidates, they realised that no company other than Activision had the skills that they needed to be successful for the vision of that product."

Oh, to be so rich and powerful that you can put on a suit and make money trolling. That's the life.

Bobby Kotick insults every indie developer on the planet... except Bungie [CVG]


    No company other than Activision had the skills that they needed... to be scammed out of royalties? To be betrayed, and embroiled in lawsuits?

    What the hell, did he completely neglect to even think of Valve? Bungie are good at Halo. Valve have proven they can do just about anything to excellence.

      thats the other thing valve owns other studio's which probably disqualifys it as independant

      Yeah i was going to say. What about Valve? 10x the developer Bungie is.

      Not knocking Valve, but Bungie have made some pretty epic games before Halo. They made great games before they partnered with MS, they will continue to make great games after reach.

      I thought Id just point out that Bungie had had previous development on games other then Halo that have won awards etc....I never played them myself though so I am only going off 3rd party opinions.

      Even patching... and repatching... and patching some more... and then tweaking... then patching again...

      Kotick will learn this when the next Bungie game is:

      1. A fps set in space with a space marine fighting an alien force...

      2. A high tech fps set in a futuristic setting

      3. A flop...

      Cause ya know its gonna be one of those three!

      To say they are good at making Halo is a bold statement - I have a hard time believing no other developer could have made better single-player campaigns than what they've turned out.

      Also, since when has Kotick mumbled two syllables worth taking seriously?

      I would argue that there is little variety in what Valve does. They do what they do well, no doubting that.

      Bungie achieves with each release of Halo sales that few can achieve on PC, PS3 and 360 combined that they achieve just on the 360.

      Valve does very well, but doesn't smash them out of the park in terms of raw sales. They also take quite a bit of time to release games given their size where as Bungie is still a single game dev team.

      All of that being said, they certainly fit the "high quality independent developer" that Kotick said only applied to Bungie. Obviously he doesn't state it as belief and fact, but rather, as the article says, it is a shot mainly at EA and Microsoft, but all other publishers. It isn't really directed at other developers I don't think, he doesn't really have a reason to put them offside.

        I'm sorry BUT WHAT go look at how many people play cs and cs:s even how many years after cs's release and on top of that its one of the few games that can be played comp (in terms of fps's i mean).

          CS was developed by a Mod team, that Valve purchase. Also, it would be interesting to see how many copies of CS have been sold (and for how much) and compare that to Halo.

          CS:S - a HD version of an old game, when most developers do that they get slammed for being lazy.

          Portal was developed by another team, Valve bought them.

          Team Fortress was developed by another studio, Valve bought the IP rights.

          Seeing a pattern here?

            I am sorry alto but you sound like the biggest idiot. Games companies bring in new people all the time. Are games only truly from the developer if the original staff from the companies inception develop it? Portal was commissioned by Valve once they saw a few independent developers amazing portfolio (They hired them). They didn't get bought out, they were given a job (A good thing). Team fortress 2 made by a seperate team? Who? The original team fortress was a mod, but valve recognised the talent of the developers and hired them. I am pretty sure the developers were pretty happy about that.

            Also console gaming leagues are still nowhere near the size of pc gaming leagues.

            Also your

              Nothing wrong with buying IP. I know the system, I work as a developer. Most games developed are actually put up for auction by publishers and the lowest bidder develops the IP. Surprisingly few games published are based on IP that is developed within a development studio. When they are original concepts, unless you are a developer of some substantial clout, the publisher requires that the IP become their to be published, you will not get an publishing deal any other way.

              Very little difference between that and what Valve do. There is a difference between hiring staff and hiring staff with IP, which is what they have done. Not saying it is a bad thing, but the inception of the game takes place externally to the company. Valve's business practices are often compared to Microsoft in the way which they acquire tech/IP through company acquisition. The fact that Gabe used to work at Microsoft probably isn't a coincidence. I don't see it as a negative, but the majority of people do see Microsoft's practices as negative, the difference here is simply the brading and perception of Valve as a company changes public perception.

              My point was not that Valve is wrong, but they aren't the creative hive of game concepts which was the implication of the above comment. Gearbox (another fantastic independent developer, who are ironically, based on my reports, developing Halo 4 for launch of the next xbox) recently acquired the Duke IP and also hired one of the original creators of Duke (who's name escapes me) as well as a few of the devs from 3D Relms. No one is going to claim that Gearbox created Duke. That doesn't mean they won't create a great Duke release. Same situation with Team Fortress (they didn't buy the developer, they purchased the IP and hired a few (I know people who worked for Team Fortress Software). Same for CS.

              I also respect what Valve has done, probably better than anyone else, is foster a mod community to allow great concepts to be developed. Lets be honest though, this is an altruistic act, it is smart business. Very smart. Something Epic (another great independent developer) has realised and is fostering with the UDK.

                TF2 wasn't made then bought by Valve, it was made by Valve.

                Portal wasn't made then bought by Valve, it was made by Valve.

                Left4Dead wasn't made then bought by Valve, it was made by Valve.

                One might say that they realised that no company other than Valve had the skills that they needed to be successful for the vision of that product. If these studios didn't want to be hired by Valve they could've turned down Valve's offer. Valve Valve, Valve Valve Valve, Valve.

                Valve Valve,

                  "One might say that they realised that no company other than Valve had the skills that they needed to be successful for the vision of that product"

                  One might if one was being daft. Assume it isn't a ridiculous statement.... they got other developers to work on console versions (lack of skills) and hired the people involved with those IPs initially such that they had the skills to develop them.

          Also Halo gets played in comps... quite a bit. I remember reading a few years ago someone was signed to a $1.5 million contract to play pro Halo in MLG.

      Uh no, Valve has proven they can turn out excellent First Person Shooters, but what else is there?

      As for Bungie, well all they've done for 10 years or so is Halo, they've done it very well but again, not much variety.

      Also I agree with Ty - they're as independant as Rare was in the N64 days - at least Rare got to keep some of their IP - not that they've done a great deal with it since. :(

    eh it kotick like his opinion's on anything matter

    and secondly considering they haven't developed anything original for quite a while its a big call

    oh and theirs that little publishing agreement that activsion has with Bungie now which kinda reeks of bias

    Im pretty sure Bobby Kotick is medically retarded.

    The media must live interviewing this guy. He is the man to go to when you want a silly quote

    I think all that we have seen from Bungie over the last ten years has only ever been Halo. Yes people can argue till the Wildgoose comes home to roost that Marathon = Halo. But that sort of argument won't get us any where. Bungie have made a name for themselves not just by being good at making one game over and over (says the Halo nerd). But they also made a name for themselves but making it clear that they are not the slaves of Microsoft. Microsoft will endeavour to suck every last dollar out of the Halo franchise long after Bungie have gone on to create something new.

    I for one would love to see Bungie go out and make a decent action adventure game. Maybe that would be too much, maybe they are one trick ponies that we dread they are. So let us see what comes from the Bungie, Activision love child. Maybe Bungie will make something we love and hopefully Activision won't make the developer feel as if they've just created something no one would want to be affiliated to (daikatana...).

    Hell, maybe even Bungie could become a Valve or Blizzard. Like the Stanley knives; they make video games, much like Stanley makes knives, but the very name of Blizzard and Valve tell people what they are about. Great (soul sucking) games that we will talk about for many years to come.


      Huh? If you implying that Blizzard is independent.... then you couldn't be further off the mark. Activision owns Blizzard.

    He's hilarious - he really is - but often I'm too infuriated or irritated by the sheer stupidity to laugh.

    I half-smiled at this one.

    So what.. Valve, Epic, Crytek, Capcom, Codemasters, Insomniac, Gearbox... the piles of Indie dev's turning about awesome stuff... Apparently they aren't worth a damn.

    For a man who's biggest money maker (CoD) is still running off tech created by iD who was up until recently also independant, he sure as shit has a big mouth.

    Man he's a tool.


    no they are not, nintendo and valve would be as good or better than bungie

    Every time he opens his mouth he proves he shouldn't be where he is.

    It's not just Valve, what about Epic, they don't only make great games, they the engine that has pretty much defined this console generation.

    Not taking anything from Bungie, they rock, but they're part of a rocking independant crowd, not out on their own.

    I'd pick Gabe Newell over Bobby Kotick any day.

    And people wonder where and why there is continuing activision hate? ITS BECAUSE WE WANT PUNCH BOBBY IN HIS BIG FAT FACE for comments like this...

    Although I think Bungie is an absolutely amazing company, Kotick is an idiot for saying this. I don't even think he believes it, seems he's just trying to boost Activision's reputation, and going the completely wrong way about it.

    His trolling guys, just ignore him.

    If Bungie had done anything remotely original, there could maybe be a hint of honesty to that statement. What they did was exploit a niche, and reaped the reward by making sequels. Halo:CE was just a fluke mashup of Unreal and Starsiege:Tribes, on a console that desperately needed standout 1st party, fullstop.

    But they're about as independent as Rare.

    If Bobby had actually built Activision instead of bought into it, I might be willing to handwave this. His success is all bullshit, though.

      I don't think there's any reason to criticise Bungie, they're making the games according to what the player/community wants. They managed to sign a deal with Activision that gives them a heap of freedom, irrespective of what people expect now from Activision.

      And to be fair, they arguably started this 'niche' market with the Marathon games - practically Halo-lite, and came out years before Tribes or Unreal.

    I think Notch of Minecraft proves this fool wrong.

    I like Bungie, but I like Level 5 more

    Hell, just look at Kotick in that picture. It's a troll face!

    My theory that Kotick is just a giant troll put on this planet to troll as many people as possible is looking more and more likely.


    Pretty sure Kotick just trolled most of you.

    The man is looking more like Jabba the Hutt every day.

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