An Activision producer has labeled Gearbox as "someone who just makes a crappy war game."
With developer Treyarch taking over the creation of Call of Duty 5: World at War and simultaneously returning the series to its roots in World War II, the FPS innovators will be competing with Gearbox's Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway.
When asked about competing with another popular World War II franchise, Activision senior producer Noah Heller had some choice shots to throw at his competitor.
"We don't even think about them. They're not even a game we even think about when we're playing," dismissed Heller. "We think about the best shooters. We play Modern Warfare... Gears of War, Halo, BioShock, that's our competition. We want to look at the games that do great storytelling. We don't want to look at someone who's just making a crappy war game."
Treyarch Creative Director Rich Farrelly chimed in with calmer commentary, "It takes so much effort and so much concentration to make a great game that most of our team, that's all they think about."
Even after seeing Brothers in Arms footage, Heller wasn't impressed. "I watched their trailer and I was like 'These guys aren't even in the same league,'" he said.
Yesterday, Treyarch Community Manager JD posted on the Xbox forums an apology from the entire company, distancing itself from the Activision representative's statements.
"Over the weekend, we learned that some disparaging comments were made by an Activision rep at a recent Call of Duty: World at War press event," apologized JD. "We want to let everyone know that we found those remarks offensive, and they do not in any way represent the feelings of any developer at this studio or at Activision. We hold all of our peers in the development community in the highest regard. We have nothing but respect for the guys and gals at Gearbox."