The studio behind this year’s biggest game was offered a “ridiculous” development budget from the world’s biggest publisher; a budget big enough for the team to politely decline.
In the first half of an extensive interview with Develop, Infinity Ward community manager Robert Bowling revealed the extent in which Activision was willing to go to ensure Modern Warfare 2 hits its marks.
“Early on – when we decided to make a sequel – Activision estimated out a ridiculous budget. And we were like: ‘No, we don’t need that’,” he said.
Though Bowling didn’t go into numbers, his description of the handsome budget is a telling sign of how important the franchise is to Activision. He added, however, that Infinity Ward was typically “pretty tight” with its development budgets.
Bowling was philosophical on the value of high budgets, discussing how they can even impede on the development process:
“Much like we don’t let ourselves get distracted by hype, if you have excess you feel like you should use excess,” he said.
“So we said ‘let us design a game the way we’d always design a game. And let us focus on that.’ So we didn’t let the budget affect our mentality. We would only put stuff in the game that is right for the game, and not because we can.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Bowling discusses how extraordinarily high expectations affect the development process, admitting to the pressures placed on the studio with Modern Warfare 2.
But Bowling added: “very early on we decided to shelter ourselves from being distracted by the hype. We are focussing on making a game that we can be proud of and our fans will like. We approached it like we would any other game.”