THQ has its figurative fingers crossed that the launch of Homefront will make it a serious contender for the modern combat championship belt.

When it comes to military shooters, the undisputed king of the castle is Activision. The Call of Duty series is an absolute monster, with each new release setting even greater records than the one before it. Electronic Arts made no bones about its desire to seize the crown with the Medal of Honor reboot, which is presumably an ongoing process, but now it looks like we may have a new player in the game: THQ.

THQ isn’t a heavyweight publisher like Activision or EA but Vice President Danny Bilson is hoping to pick a fight with them anyway. “When we started Homefront, I said, ‘Guys, if you want to build a first person shooter that deals with modern combat you’re competing with Call of Duty‘,” he told Eurogamer. “The mission is – we just want to be in the conversation. With Battlefield, with Call of Duty, with Medal of Honor. And I like to think we’re in the conversation.”

“Can we beat them? Those are insane numbers for fantastic games, over many years,” he continued. “This is a franchise launch but so far so good. I think we have a really good game. And I think in particular in the multiplayer battlefield is as much fun as anybody’s.”

Bilson clarified that the 200,000 pre-orders he talked about yesterday, which made Homefront the most pre-ordered game in THQ history, were strictly from GameStop and didn’t take into account other retailers or European pre-sales. “They’re not Call of Duty numbers,” he said. “But we’re also a more nimble company, so a moderate hit will mean a lot to us. And a blockbuster hit would be ridiculously huge for us. All we can do is make the best game we can, sell it as well as we can and hope for the best.”

Homefront comes out on March 15 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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