Activision CEO reprimands EA 'mudslinging'

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said at Gamescom yesterday that EA is wrong for throwing 'insults' at Activision's Call of Duty franchise.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Will Battlefield 3 help EA "rot" Call of Duty "to the core?"
Will Battlefield 3 help EA "rot" Call of Duty "to the core?" EA/DICE

The rift between Electronic Arts and Activision won't be mended anytime soon.

Speaking yesterday at the Gamescom conference in Germany, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said, according to Eurogamer, that EA has engaged in "mudslinging" that simply isn't beneficial for the industry or gamers themselves.

"This isn't politics. In order for one to win, the other doesn't have to lose," Hirshberg reportedly said during his address. "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."

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The trouble started in June when EA CEO John Riccitiello sat down with IndustryGamers for an interview. During much of the interview, Riccitiello took aim at Activision's Call of Duty franchise, saying that he believes his company's upcoming alternative, Battlefield 3, is a better option for customers. But then Riccitiello fired a salvo that ostensibly annoyed Hirshberg: "all I want to do, if you will, is to have [Call of Duty] rot from the core," he said during the interview.

In response, Hirshberg reportedly didn't fire back at EA, saying instead that he believes his job "is to help our incredibly talented, passionate teams to make the best games they can, not to throw insults around at others." However, he did say that he believes Riccitiello's comments are "bad for our industry."

Regardless of what either side says, sales will be the last word on the matter. And most believe that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which is scheduled to launch in November, will easily outshine Battlefield 3 at retail.

However, Battlefield 3, which is scheduled to launch in October, has proven quite popular so far. The game publisher announced earlier this month that preorders for the title are 10 times higher than they were for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the last title in the franchise.