Activision’s Eric Hirshberg spoke during last week’s gamescom in Cologne, Germany about the mudslinging coming from EA in reference to the upcoming marketplace battle between Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. EA has, on multiple occasions and from multiple sources, often publicly said that the Call of Duty franchise is, basically, garbage and should “rot from the core.”
Hirshberg claimed that he wanted the trash talking to stop, and that he wanted Battlefield 3 to succeed for the good of the industry. Those sentiments, while easily shared from the top of the mountain, did not sit too well with EA’s Vice President of Corporate Communication Jeff Brown.
Brown spoke with InudstryGamers directly about Hirshberg’s call for truce. And, put simply, he laughed at it. Brown manages to slam Hirshberg, his company and its franchises in one quick go:
“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.
You’ve got every reason to be nervous. Last year Activision had a 90 share in the shooter category. 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. If you don’t believe me, go to the store and try to buy a copy of Guitar Hero or Tony Hawk.”
Activision has been standing squarely in the crosshairs of the gaming industry for years now. Between their less than charismatic boss Bobby Kotick and their penchant for releasing franchises on an even faster than yearly frequency, gamers have come to see the company as a corporate monolith. It’s likely that most gamers will fall behind EA once they read this war of words, especially given the gamer-first mentality that DICE and EA’s Battlefield 3 seems to be bringing to the table.
Confidence is a great thing to hear about, as far as I’m concerned, but there comes a time when professionalism is also at stake. Which company do you think is taking the smarter route? Activision’s stance of polite defense, or EA’s approach of aggressive name-calling?
Love it or hate it, this stuff has been fun to read.