Activision: "EA's 'Mudslinging' is Harming the Game Industry"

by Jake Weston, posted on 18 August 2011 / 3,817 Views

The showdown between Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 this winter is set to be the most epic in video game history, or at least that's what EA wants you to believe. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg disagrees, stating the EA's name-calling and "mudslinging" of Modern Warfare 3 is detrimental to the game industry. 

"Can you imagine the head of Dreamworks Animation coming out with a new movie and going to the press and saying that he wants Toy Story to 'rot from the core'," said Hirshberg. "It's kind of hard to imagine, right?"

Hirshberg is of course referring to comments made by EA CEO John Riccitiello in a recent interview, where he attacks Modern Warfare 3's quality and accuses it of "jumping the shark."

"We shouldn't be tearing each other apart fighting for a bigger piece of the pie," continued Hirshberg,  "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."

Hirshberg sums it up quite well by saying, "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've already discussed why EA's marketing tactics for Battlefield 3 may be doing more harm than good, but I guess we'll find out who the real victor is this winter. 

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SxyxS (on 18 August 2011)

Both/EA/Activision) are harming the game industrie with soulless sequeled games

MARCUSDJACKSON (on 18 August 2011)

considering COD is the only one that comes out every yr. id say your wrong about Dice.

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Rath (on 18 August 2011)

EA is trying to manufacture a rivalry with MW3 so that Battlefied 3 actually looks relevant in comparison. As slimey as it is I actually think it's quite clever - if they manage to get it into CoD fans heads that BF3 is a legitimate rival then there is a huge fan base to potentially tap into.

JayWood2010 (on 18 August 2011)

I agree. It's a great marketing strategy.

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ijesseee (on 18 August 2011)

aw, poor activision :'( they're getting bullied, at least they told the internet

Jumpin (on 18 August 2011)

Haha, So true!

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ZechsMerquise (on 18 August 2011)

EA are obviously trying to ramp up the kind of tension between BF3 fans and MW3 fans that existed between Nintendo and Sega owners in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They want people to choose between the two games and for fans of BF3 to start mocking those who choose MW3. It's a pretty silly way to try and build support for your own product. We're not talking expensive consoles here, just two games. I'll just get them both.

theshonen8899 (on 18 August 2011)

I hate both EA and Activision....but I love DICE way more than the fake Infinity Ward. For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, look up "Respawn Entertainment" to find out where the real Infinity Ward went.

Porcupine_I (on 18 August 2011)

let him who is without sin cast the first stone

Play4Fun (on 18 August 2011)

You mean let him who is without mud.

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Play4Fun (on 18 August 2011)

You mean let him who is without mud.

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ninty3 (on 18 August 2011)

EA really is the lesser of 2 evils, at least they actually spent time with BF3 and spent more than 2 years to make it .

hagelt18 (on 18 August 2011)

Regardless of my opinions about EA, Activision, or their games, he does have a good point.

UltimateUnknown (on 18 August 2011)

I agree, EA are acting like 5th graders, not what you would expect from a multi-million dollar entertainment company,

Justp94 (on 18 August 2011)

....Activision ruins the gamers by making them all A**holes from playing Call of Duty. Modern Warfare 3 is horrible.

kickazz113 (on 20 August 2011)

lol thats why i love to see game company fight each other

morpheusx (on 19 August 2011)

Rivalries are always necessary, it will push both products to be better and make them both more money. Without one there wouldn't be anything to push the other to innovate. And it happens with every entertainment industry. Nintendo / Sega Xbox Live / Playstation Network Disney World / Universal Studios ESPN / Fox Sports Net Marvel / DC Star Wars / Star Trek Beatles / Rolling Stones 2Pac / Biggie Backstreet Boys / Nsync

UnknownFact (on 19 August 2011)

I like what this dude said.

SONYisBP (on 19 August 2011)

I think its great! how lame would sports be if no body ever trash talked.

usrevenge (on 18 August 2011)

the rivalry hasnt hurt the game industry in any way. another vgchartz biased article..

Lyrikalstylez (on 18 August 2011)

Good Job EA, the people need to realize the truth that Call of Doody is trash

trasharmdsister12 (on 18 August 2011)

I'm tired of people slinging my family name through the mud with Activision.

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loy310 (on 18 August 2011)


Monteblanco (on 18 August 2011)

I have little respect for either EA or Activision as corporate entities, despite the fact I do like some of their games. That said, EA always played like a bully regarding the competition. This was always particularly bad with EA Sports and now it seems to be spreading to other divisions. Considering this and the poor taste they recently showed in campaigns such as the Dead Space 2's moms adds, I believe they should revise their PR tactics from ground up.

scottie (on 18 August 2011)

@ Comments that the video game industry would be comparable to silent films First motion picture = 1894 First picture with talking in it = 1926 So 32 years of silent film. If we look back 32 years, we see, in 1979 that we have already had the first generation of home consoles, and the video game crash. Looking back even further, we see that the first video game ever made was in 1947. Yes, the video game industry is 64 years old. This means that video games now, are about the equivalent of films made in 1958. By 1958, films have audio, colour, 3D.

Rath (on 18 August 2011)

In my opinion industry implies a commercial aspect. There were no commercial operations involving video games until 1971 (or at least thats what I get from wiki) but there were films being shown for money in 1895.

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MARCUSDJACKSON (on 18 August 2011)

well done scottie

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Seece (on 21 August 2011)

I agree, shut up EA

Araknie (on 19 August 2011)

A so good message of hope and community so ignored by so many comments? So?

Nybbas (on 19 August 2011)

but COD IS rotten to the core : / The fact that gamers let themselves be milked like cows for such a crap product is mind blowing.

Gnac (on 18 August 2011)

Shit-talking the competition has been a part of the industry for at least 20 years now. 4th gen advertising was particularly obnoxious.

ninty3 (on 18 August 2011)

EA really is the lesser of 2 evils, at least they actually spent time with BF3 and spent more than 2 years to make it .

oniyide (on 18 August 2011)

you people have got to be kidding, say what you want but this guy makes sense. BF3 is going to be a better game??? Who cares?? THey are not going to outsell COD, EA is still steamed that COD came out of nowhere and made MOH irrelevant. The same things that make BF3 superior will ensure it never outsells COD. If you think that the millions of people care about sub HD and running the same engines then you need a reality check. It didnt work last year with MOH and it wont work now

gamerjerome (on 18 August 2011)

Activision: "We shouldn't all be focused on trying to grow a bigger pie." EA: "That's what losers say"

Dodece (on 18 August 2011)

Those comments are painfully naive. War is not only good for gaming, but it is actually necessary. Complacency is the real enemy, and the only enemy with a proven track record of causing serious damage to the industry. These comments wreak of short term profiteering over long term productivity. Complacency as far as gaming is concerned is a terminal cancer which with little to no warning can destroy franchises, systems, and the market itself. I have no problem what so ever with the competition becoming heated. That is only going to result in what is best for the consumers. When they are hurt that is what drives the industry down. You got to keep the people happy first. They create your market, and they are the ones that will expand the market. Take them for granted, or get to assuming that you are entitled, and you stand to lose everything. This all reads like the height of hubris to me. Hirshberg reads like a market manipulator rather then a player. The same as any price fixer. There is a reason that is illegal, because it is unfair to the consumer which fairly expects competition for their money. That is the fast path to a market implosion. It reads more like mob history then the free enterprise we expect. Talk about a crook in a suit.

Thefrag (on 18 August 2011)

Even if Bf3 is superior to MW3, which it prolly will be, Its still not going to sell a 1/3 as much. How do I know this? the most bought game on ps3 (and 360) is also the most flawed, bug ridden, sub-hd (960-544 - thats the same resolution as the PSV!) under 60 fps piece of garbage that also goes by the name Black Ops. If they can sell 10 million copies of a game still in alpha stage then what chance does even a stellar, top notch game have from a competitor?

richardhutnik (on 18 August 2011)

So, do people who are engaged in a "red ocean strategy" expect one where you compete for marketshare actually going to increase the size of the market? "Red ocean" is chosen for a reason.

static360 (on 18 August 2011)

Either way the consumers win

the2real4mafol (on 18 August 2011)

oh yeah, i just think activision can't take being beaten by a far superior game.

Zlejedi (on 18 August 2011)

If by harming the industry they mean turning attention to shitty annual sequels then yes I could see it as dangerous rhetorric ;) Especially if your company also releases Madden and Fifa ;)

DialgaMarine (on 18 August 2011)

If anyone is hurting the game's industry, it's Activision. They make the same exact every year because they know it will sell more and more as time goes on. They're stealing gamers from developers who actually want to put more than 6 months of effort into their titles, by making a shit game that is easy to play and stupid consumers buy into it just like that. Sales of many titles have been dropping because of C*ck of Duty. You want to help the games industry, Activision? Stop milking the same f*cking title.

NinjaV (on 18 August 2011)

Reminds me of Sega Vs Nintendo in the 90's now THAT was an awesome battle!But it was between two consoles so all the competition really caused some great games to appear on both consoles, plus there library of games was completely different from each other which systems today just don't have.

Zlejedi (on 18 August 2011)

Pity that good guys always seem to lose in such wars.

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Allfreedom99 (on 18 August 2011)

If you think about it the only way for EA to "defeat" Call of Duty is for consumers to not by MW3. That's just simply not going to happen. People are going to end up buying both games if they both look attractive. Most people are not going to force themseleves to "Choose between the two!" If there is a very attractive looking FPS out there for FPS fans they will buy it. Call of Duty is something almost all FPS fans are going to buy every year regardless. What makes companies "winners" (winning!) is the sales and profit margins.

JayWood2010 (on 18 August 2011)

No offense to this article but you are missing the big picture. Call of Duty has a target on its back now because it is the best selling game on the 360/PS3. It may sale the most copies but it doesn't mean it is the best quality. This is why EA is attacking them. They are basically saying, "Hey, Call of Duty hasn't updated it's games since call of duty 4. They are using the same engine and being lazy. We on the other hand have bult a brand new engine and are not only here to sale copies but to make the customer happy." I actually like EA's approach to this. Call of Duty needs to step it up because other companies are like DICE are doing a better job than them and deserve better sales. Doesn't mean they will but deserve.

yum123 (on 18 August 2011)

the words of someone who knows no matter what they will win

MARCUSDJACKSON (on 18 August 2011)

MW3 actually looks to be a good game, although i'm still not likely to pick it up. i have no idea wht Hirshberg is talking about? this is publicity which is wht both games need so for me this is good. Hirshberg is just a cry baby, and fears losing to a better product. BF will not win this holiday season but like MW it will continue to increase in sales making the argument harder to make but BF will always be a better qulity product.

SxyxS (on 18 August 2011)

COD is the only one?LOLOLOL-have you forgotten the yearly sequels of Tony Hawk,Fifa,NFL or the monthly sequels of guitar hero which have killed the game.There are many others but keep on sleeping.

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SuperAnthony64 (on 18 August 2011)

BF3 is going to be eaten alive by MW3.

Nybbas (on 19 August 2011)

while you are probably right, I do not see how this is a good thing.

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M.U.G.E.N (on 18 August 2011)

shockingly enough..I agree. EA does go a bit too far when it comes to COD

wilco (on 18 August 2011)

Yeah this whole thing is just a fake rivalry constructed by EA to get attention. They are trying to piggy back off the beast that is COD and its kinda pathetic. Activision shouldn't even bother responding to them at all, they'd only be helping the competition by responding.