Open Letter From Former Bungie VP To Bobby Kotick

While perhaps not seen in the full context of his talk at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference, Activision head Bobby Kotick's comments about Bungie did create quite a stir last week.

It is worth your time to go listen to the full 40-minute or so talk here, but the thing that captured so much attention during that talk at the 2010 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference was this single sentiment:

"Bungie are a very unusual company. They're probably the last remaining high quality independent developer."

Among those bothered by Kotick's talk was former Bungie executive vice president, and current president of Atomic Games, Peter Tamte. He sent Kotaku this Letter to the Editor which, as we've done sometimes in the past, we're running here in its entirety.

Mr. Kotick:

You were quoted saying that Bungie is the last remaining high quality independent developer. As a former executive vice president of Bungie, I need to tell you: If this is true, you're screwed.

Activision and every other big publisher have grown by acquiring independent developers. The industry needs a constant supply of new independent developers to buy because they're the ones creating innovative games that become franchises.

Gears of War. Portal. Borderlands. None of these games re-hashes the same old formulas. They innovate. And, they're made by independent developers, of course.

So, we challenge you.

You've called Activision the industry's online leader. If you think the newest Call of Duty online experience is that innovative, let players buy just the online part of Call of Duty Black Ops and charge them a fair price.

In fact, we'll make you a deal. Let consumers buy just the online part of Call of Duty, and we'll give you a starring role in our new online game, Breach. Trust me, starring in your own videogame would give you huge street cred. We've even mocked up a screenshot to show you how cool you'd look in Breach.

As an independent developer, Atomic can't spend its way to big sales, like Activision can. We have to innovate. So, if you're confident Activision can innovate without independent developers, this is your opportunity to prove it.


Peter Tamte President Atomic Games


    Bobby Kotick is a walking talking penis. He pretty much epitomises what is wrong with the video game industry these days.

      I find your comments disparaging to penis's.

      I have one and I love it dearly and certainly do not want to think about Kotick when I'm using it.

        You took the p.... errrr. words right out of my mouth.

    Imagine if they did put him in the game.
    Millions would buy it just for the opportunity to shoot him repeatedly in the head.

    The only letter about Bob by Kotick I'm interested in contains eithe the phrase "You're Fired" or "Tender my resignation."

    Gears of War? Borderlands? Innovative? No. And neither are from indie developers either.

      Gears presented cover as an effective, important and viable option in a mainstream game (it certainly wasn't the first to have cover, but it was the game that really brought it to the forefront). Borderlands brought randomly generated weaponry in the way of drops to the first-person shooter.

      Sure, neither of these games were completely innovative (what game is nowadays?). But they certainly did innovate; that much is inarguable.

      You also seem to forget that both of these companies started out at indie developers. And, arguably, both companies have kept most of the ideals that you see from indie companies.

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