EA Slings More Mud at Activision

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Activision preaches healthy competition, but EA wants Call of Duty‘s sales numbers.

The two largest third party publishers of videogames already compete for profits, but Electronic Arts wants to make it personal. Activision Publishing’s new CEO Eric Hirshberg took the stage at GamesCom this week to say that vitriolic barbs traded between game companies in the press only serves to bring the industry down. EA’s Jeff Brown response was that Activision is just acting like a little bitch because they are scared by Battlefield 3 stealing Call of Duty customers.

“Competition is of course a good thing. It keeps us all on our toes and ultimately makes the games better. It’s healthy. But it’s one thing to want your game to succeed and another thing to actively, publicly say you want other games to fail,” Hirschberg said in his GamesCom address before mentioning that EA CEO was quoted saying he wants CoD to “rot from its core.”

“I actually feel this kind of rhetoric is bad for our industry,” Hirschberg said. “I want as many games as possible to succeed, whether we created them or not, because I want this industry to keep growing and bringing in new people.”

In response to that, EA basically said, “Fuck you, Hirschberg.”

“Welcome to the big leagues Eric – I know you’re new in the job but someone should have told you this is an competitive industry,” Brown said.

“You’ve got every reason to be nervous. Last year Activision had a 90 [percent] share in the shooter category,” he continued. “This year, Battlefield 3 is going to take you down to 60 or 70. At that rate, you’ll be out of the category in 2-3 years.”

Brown then threw some recent failures in Hirschberg’s face. “If you don’t believe me, go to the store and try to buy a copy of Guitar Hero or Tony Hawk.”

Zang a doo!

I’ve got to admit that I’m on the fence in the whole EA vs. Activision gang fight. I can certainly respect Hirschberg for taking the higher ground and making clear his desire to push the medium forward. And childish remarks by games CEOs doesn’t really make me feel confident in the growth of the industry.

But dang if EA doesn’t have some stones for keeping the rivalry alive. If your enemy wants to act all self-righteously, the perfect way to get under his skin is to amp up the insult-machine. Like how sports rivalries can elevate the game to a new emotional level, perhaps EA throwing sand in Activision’s eyes is exactly what’s needed to prevent annual unimaginative CoD iterations.

Source: Industry Gamers

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