Activision is less than pleased about EA’s public “mudslinging”

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Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, two modern combat games that are being released within the same window,  are obviously rather direct competitors. One of the game’s publisher has publically criticised the competition, while the other has not.

Speaking at his Gamescom presentation Activision executive Eric Hirshberg called out such inter-publisher mudslinging, saying it’s bad the industry as a whole.

"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," he said.

"Recently a competitor of ours ( EA’s John Riccitiello) was quoted as saying that he wants to see Call of Duty ‘rot from the core’. I’ve been asked countless times to respond to this comment and I’ve generally chosen not to. My job is to help our incredibly talented, passionate teams to make the best games they can, not to throw insults around at others. But I actually feel this kind of rhetoric is bad for our industry.”

Hirschberg, quite rightly, states that they should be working together to grow gaming communities, not divide them.

"As someone who runs one of the biggest publishers in this business I can tell you that I want as many games as possible to succeed, whether we created them or not," he continued, "because I want this industry to keep growing and bringing in new people.I believe when someone in this industry does something great, whether they work in California, or Sweden, or North Carolina, or the United Kingdom, it doesn’t just benefit their company. It benefits us all."

He also believes that there are enough customers to go around – and you can ensure great sales by making great games.

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"I believe that as many great games as this industry can make, that’s how many people will buy. I say that not only as the CEO of Activision but also as a gamer.This isn’t politics. In order for one to win, the other doesn’t have to lose. This is an entertainment industry, it’s an innovation industry and, at best, it’s an art form. But we’re still a young art form. If we were the movie industry the movies wouldn’t even be talking yet.”

"We all still have a lot to prove in our position in the pop cultural landscape. We still need to stand the test of time. We need to show we can withstand the kind of disruptive change and new competition that we’re facing now.The only way to do that is to continue to make great games. We shouldn’t be tearing each other apart fighting for a bigger piece of the pie – we should all be focused on trying to grow a bigger pie. If we as an industry act like there’s a finite number of games in the world, then there will be."

That’s a pretty impassioned, mature and rational response from Activision – and I agree with him. Berating others’ games doesn’t do your brand any good, it just kind of makes you look like a bit of a dick.

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Source : Eurogamer

Last Updated: August 18, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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