How To Become: Robert Bowling

After giving the stars of the industry a break over the festive period (see our earlier Veronica Belmont edition), How To Become is back with one of the biggest names in the industry, Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling. We have some plans for a few more editions of HTB but we’re always looking for ideas. If you have anyone you would like to see me track down and question then leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to capture them and feed them to the HTB machine. Enjoy.

Name: Robert Bowlingrobertbowling
Age: 24
Birthplace: Ft. Thomas, Kentucky
College attended: None
Background information: Working for Infinity Ward will definitely have its perks but it’s not an easy job to get. Robert Bowling has worked hard all his life to get where he is and it seems the only way is up but where did his success begin? And what makes him human? His GamerScore is 63,591, by the way. That’s impressive.

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Q: Your role as Creative Strategist at IW is clearly a very important one but we all have to start somewhere, so what was your first ever job?

A: My first real job was when I was 14 years old. It was a record label / artist management company that I created and ran out of my bed room at my parent’s — at least when it first started — and eventually developed into a much larger and broader company, eventually focusing much more on the development of artists and entertainment properties than the record label aspect. I got a computer for my 14th birthday that first year, along with a business license I got at the local court house, and a website I learned to create from books at the county library; I was able to build a business that eventually lead to me going on tour, traveling across the US with bands (clients) and ultimately starting my own music & entertainment magazine with an ex-client turned best friend of mine that we secured nationwide distribution for. Everything after that, as they say, is history.

Q: And what was your first job in the industry?

A: In the Games Industry, my first job on the development side was as Community Manager for Infinity Ward. At the time, we were developing DLC (the first map packs) for Call of Duty 2 on Xbox 360 and PC.

Q: The Modern Warfare series is obviously a massive success on every platform. How are things going behind-the-scenes and do you have any little teasers for us?

A: Everyone at Infinity Ward is still soaking in all the reactions, success, and feedback of Modern Warfare 2 now that everyone has it in their hands and can experience it for themselves. The team’s main focus at the moment is on the first round of DLC for the game, and continual community support in the meantime including updates that respond to user feedback as well as Playlist updates like the Mosh Pit and Hardcore Headquarters Ricochet playlists we’ve added a little while back.

Q: So do you have any other projects within the industry just now or is everything contained within IW?

A: Nope. Modern Warfare 2 is the main focus for everyone on the Infinity Ward team at the moment, including myself. With a game this big, it doesn’t really afford for a lot of free time or side projects.

Q: No fanboys here, so what are you; PS3 or Xbox?

A: I actually own and play on both regularly; Recently though, the majority of my gaming time has been spent on Xbox 360 because my main Modern Warfare 2 save is on there. I’m lvl 70 and haven’t yet convinced myself to prestige yet, so I’m thinking I’ll get my PS3 MW2 account up to 70 as well and then decide.

Q: If you could be any gaming character, which would you love to be and why?

A: The random EDF soldier from Earth Defense Force 2017 that enthusiastically chants “EDF! EDF! EDF!” as he charges into battle. I choose this because, despite the fact that your “defense” includes completely demolishing entire cities, and half of your forces are being ripped apart by giant ant jizz and poison; you refuse to bend in your unyielding patriotism and relentless excitement for battle with giant alien insect/robots from space. Plus, you know, he’s just a normal guy, doing his thing, against unthinkable scenarios.

Q: Everyone has something weird going on, so what’s your thing?

A: I don’t have any weird talent, that I know of. Although I’m sure I do something that’s completely strange to an outsider that I totally believe is normal. I do however, have countless weird behaviors, like the fact that my wife and I will regularly get into spontaneous karate matches — despite the fact that neither of us know any sort of karate — it typically just consists of us kicking each other in the shin and/or butt, until one of us tires out, while our daughter stares confusingly at us from her bouncer.

Q: Anything else to add?

A: Sure! Give me a follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fourzerotwo if you’re interested in Modern Warfare 2 or random other personal insights into what it’s like to work in the industry and the random places it ends up taking me.

Bowling is one of the hardest working people in the industry and knows where he wants to go. I mean, a record label when he was 14. I was out chasing the ladies at that age… to no avail. But he still knows how to kick back and relax with some casual karate with his wife. Maybe that’s his secret? Anyway, don’t forget to head on over to his blog and check out some of his frequent updates.

Click here to read our previous How To Become, with Veronica Belmont.

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