You have to feel for Robert Bowling. Infinity Ward's creative strategist has over 100,000 followers on Twitter (dwarfing ours, obviously), the press hangs on and repeats his every substantive word, and he's on the phone doing rounds of interviews for the Modern Warfare 2 "Stimulus Package" map pack.
You have to feel for him because, right now, everyone would rather ask him about the very public split between Infinity Ward's former management, Jason West and Vince Zampella, and mother-publisher Activision. The same goes gor the good-natured, DICE-originated ribbing Modern Warfare 2 - and its marketing strategy - have received thanks to rival title Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which has been eating up the charts and reducing the gap between EA's shooter efforts and Activision's.
But then Bowling takes it all in his stride, telling us he was unaffected by the Infinity Ward reshuffle, and that he not only respects Bad Company 2, but he "loves" it. So fair enough. The following is the other stuff we discussed - and particularly the Stimulus Package, which is released today on Xbox 360.
Eurogamer: Now Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is out and gunning for your audience, is the 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.20 / €14.40) price 'right' for Stimulus?
Robert Bowling: Anybody who invests in the Stimulus Package is going to get their money's worth and not feel cheated. There's so much mileage to be had in these five new maps, three of them brand new, two of them classics. No one's going to be disappointed, especially if you play Modern Warfare 2 online a great deal.
Eurogamer: How much new life does this Stimulus Package realistically breathe into Modern Warfare 2?
Robert Bowling: These guys are putting hundreds and hundreds of gameplay hours into the current maps, and they will do on these as well. All these maps are great regardless of what playstyle you're in, so there's really something for everyone. Crash and Overgrown were some of our most popular maps from Modern Warfare 1 and even the beta of that. There's no denying the playtime you're going to get out of those.
Eurogamer: Which part of the Stimulus Package are you most excited about?
Robert Bowling: I'm most excited about Bailout. It takes place in an American apartment complex and it's the most versatile map - it works really well regardless of what gametype you're playing. But there's going to be a large section of our community that are going to love these flashback maps, and it's going to be really cool to see them adapt with all this new equipment and stuff they have in Modern Warfare 2.
Eurogamer: Do you expect future packs to consist of five maps?
Robert Bowling: We don't really set moulds. What will be in the next one is anyone's guess - it might be the same, it may not. With the Stimulus pack we wanted to add variety and give you a mixture of experiences that you've never played and some that you're familiar with.
Eurogamer: Will you only add new maps to Modern Warfare 2?
Robert Bowling: In the Stimulus Package, yeah. What happens in the future, we don't know - that depends on schedule. We also do playlist updates and things like that, but we always do that separately.
Eurogamer: So we could see something other than an extra multiplayer map added to Modern Warfare 2?
Robert Bowling: I wouldn't want to speculate too much. Our community, I'm talking to them every day, and they'll definitely take something and run with it and get their hopes up. So I don't want to speculate on anything in the future unless I have something hard down on paper that I know we're going to do.
Eurogamer: When are PC and PS3 owners getting the Stimulus Package?
Robert Bowling: No date has been set for those platforms, but as soon as we know, we're going to be alerting our community.
Eurogamer: Give us a clue? Are we talking one month, two months...?
Robert Bowling: No, er, we don't have a date yet, so I don't want to speculate and then miss it.
Eurogamer: Microsoft's promised another, second batch of timed-exclusive Modern Warfare 2 DLC for Xbox 360. We waited from November 2009 for the first lot - can we assume this will turn up quicker, given the presence of BFBC2?
Robert Bowling: The second map pack? I don't think a date's been set yet. Right now we like to focus on one map pack at a time and not let marketing or competition determine our development cycles. We set a quality bar; we really want our DLC not to be pushed out for quantity. That's what dictates our development cycle.
Eurogamer: You've announced a first double-experience weekend for Modern Warfare 2 in April. Are these going to become more common?
Robert Bowling: I'd like them to! But we're gong to reserve them for special events. We're doing our first one the weekend following the DLC release. We like to keep them scarce - if you do too many then you devalue the whole rank-up system.
Eurogamer: When you read Major Nelson's Xbox Live Activity charts, does a cheer sound through the office when Modern Warfare 2 is at the top?
Robert Bowling: We definitely celebrate those lists when they come out. That's what matters most to us. That's a direct reflection of what our players are doing. Definitely we take a lot of pride in those lists, when we see Modern Warfare 2 is number one since launch.
Eurogamer: How long can you stay top for? How long are the legs of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer?
Robert Bowling: They're proving to be pretty long! As long as our community keeps playing it every night we're going to keep supporting them by coming up with new content and playlist updates - we're supporting them for supporting us. If we keep that up and they keep that up then I think we can stay up there for a while.
Eurogamer: What sort of hours are people pouring in to MW2? Can you track that stuff?
Robert Bowling: We would have to do some digging. Just talking to some of our most hardcore players, I mean some of these guys have 14, 15, 16 days of playtime! It's pretty insane. Personally I have a little over five days, and I thought that was hardcore!
Eurogamer: Are you proud when Modern Warfare 2 fans stick with your game even when Treyarch releases a new Call of Duty title?
Robert Bowling: We definitely take pride that our players stick with us regardless of any other games that come out. We definitely have a very loyal community and we love that.
The Stimulus Package is out today on Xbox Live and costs 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.20/€14.40)