When Bobby Kotick called Halo dev Bungie "probably the last remaining high quality independent developer" last week, it was bound to upset people. What we didn't reckon on was one of these people setting him a challenge.
In an open letter, former Bungie executive vice president, and current president of Atomic Games, Peter Tamte doesn't stop at warning Mr Kotick that Activision would be "screwed" if he's correct.
He lays down the gauntlet - asking Bobby to show how forward thinking Activision is, by making multiplayer Call Of Duty: Black Ops available for a small fee, with no obligation to buy a retail product.
The exec's reward? Getting a prominent cameo in a new game. Atomic even went so far as mocking up a screenshot, which you can see here.
The open letter, obtained by Kotaku, reads:
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.