Call Of Duty Makers Say Competitor’s Anti-Call Of Duty Talk Harms The Gaming Industry

Call Of Duty Makers Say Competitor’s Anti-Call Of Duty Talk Harms The Gaming Industry

EA CEO John Riccitiello, head of the company making this year’s premiere Call of Duty competitor, Battlefield 3, recently said he hopes that he hopes Call of Duty would “rot from the core”.

In Germany, this week, Riccitiello’s counterpart at Activision, CEO Eric Hirshberg, fired back, defending not just his company’s Call of Duty/Modern Warfare franchise but saying that smack talk like that is bad for everyone making games.

“This isn’t politics,” Hirshberg said, as he wrapped up an awards ceremony keynote at the Gamescom event in Cologne. “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… We shouldn’t be tearing each other apart, fighting for a larger slice of the pie. We should all be focused on trying to grow a bigger pie. If we as an industry act like there are a finite number of games in the world, then there will be.”

While he never mentioned Riccitiello, EA or Battlefield, Hirshberg was clearly talking about them. He called the EA boss’s comments and similar rhetoric “bad for our industry. “

Riccitiello’s comments were originally reported by website Industry Gamers in June. While discussing Battlefield‘s ability to unseat Call of Duty he had said, “The question is, ‘So, if the gamer buys our game and the mass audience buys their game, where do the two meet?’ And all I want to do, if you will, is to have them rot from the core. And so if we can start that process, we’re in a good spot.”

You can read Riccitiello’s comments, in full, at Industry Gamers. You can see and hear Hirshberg’s response, delivered at Gamescom, in the clip above.

Kotaku has reached out to EA about Hirshberg’s comments and will let you know what their take is on them, should they share it with us.

Welcome to the livestream of the official opening of gamescom 2011 and award ceremony gamescom award 2011! [Gamescom official site]


  • Sweet, let’s get cracking then… I say be a good example. Go and grow the pie yourself. Do something that isn’t Call of Duty/Modern Warfare and throw millions of dollars behind it as if it *were* a Call of Duty game. Because there are more games than *just* that game out there to be made….

    What’s that? Oh. Not gonna happen?

    What kind of pie were you talking about then?
    Ohhh, you were *pretending* to talk about art and love and brotherhood but you’re really just in it for the monies… sorry, I misunderstood.

    Seriously, get this guy off his high horse, he’s embarassing himself.

    • “”Do something that isn’t Call of Duty/Modern Warfare and throw millions of dollars behind it as if it *were* a Call of Duty game.””

      This is how game companies fail.
      That is why only smaller companies can risk games that are not CoD, because there is a much smaller market for them.

  • No what hurts the industry is the continual re skinning a tooling of games and pumping them out yearly instead of taking the time to make the game properly.

    instead of shoehorning thing’s into the engine youve got and ditching the stuff you can’t put in.

    Build the engine for the game.

    FFS your one of the biggest franchises in FPS yet you have refused to provide a true sequel to Cod4.

    • THIS!!!

      Activision is the one hurting the industry by pumping out same-old after same-old every year.

      Hirshberg summed it up perfectly himself with “it’s an innovation industry”. Why don’t you start practicing what you preach, because you’re the biggest part of why the industry is becoming stale.

    • Thirded

      The biggest threat to an entertainment industry is stagnation. When new ideas stop, when we just keep remaking the same games, then the games industry will truly be in trouble.

      COD is the perfect example of a series that has stagnated.

      • Fourthed (Is that even a word?)

        I popped onto MW2 a few days ago, just for nostalgia. While I do prefer it to Black Ops, I can’t help but get the feeling that the whole franchise is so derivative. There really wasn’t anything new at all that came out of Black Ops. Any it seems that any game that comes out and tries to spice up the FPS genre gets smothered out if it’s not a CoD clone – Crysis 2 I’m looking at you! A game that I felt held so much promise in multiplayer just seemed to die locally because no one bought it, since it’s not CoD. Grrr…..

  • These two companies are as bad as each other. Look at what happened to Infinity Ward over at activision. Then look at EA and the way they pulled B3 from steam. They are all greedy pigs who would knife each other for a shot at their slice of pie.

  • He makes a very good point about mud slinging, the gaming industry should be supporting each other and giving credit where it is due.

    I hope all sides take some of these words to heart and start doing what is right by gamers… Make great games, new games, amazing games and not say things like “rot from the core”. Both EA and Activision are at blame because they have both said some bad things towards the other.

    Both sides need to step up, kiss and make up and let the fans decide which is better out there.

    • you sir are an idiot.

      Im a COD fanboi and even i hate what they are doing, BF3 Looks millions of times better than MW3, you cant even question that.

      as all other comments have said, its regurgitated crap like MW2 and black-ops that are ruining the game industry.
      Make a TRUE sequel to COD4, allow dedicated servers (not hosted) and allow the gaming community the tools to create a great game instead of shoving 3 million fans into a sandbox built for 4.

  • Well stop releasing the same game over and over again and invest in some new ip’s, or is that not in line with the activision business policy of exploiting every profitable franchise and over saturating the market with said franchise?

    Either way in my eyes EA and Activision are as bad as each other. EA publishes some great games but Activision is now realising the same games over and over again and I am just losing interest in them like I have with nintendo.

    • +1

      Lame of EA to say that, and pull games off Steam. But I just can’t feel sorry for anybody who has “Activision” in their job description after the FPS whoring and terrible tactics that forced most of IW’s talent to quit.

  • Maybe I’ve missed the point. I get what you’re all saying about cookie-cutter games being pumped out every year, but what is Riccitiello claiming COD is actually doing that deserves the gift of rot? Is he concerned that the same old same old is going to kill off FPS’s and therefore the Battlefield franchise along with it?

    • He’s just being as bipartisan as he can as an exec, in wishing a ceasefire to the smacktalk. Personally, I liked the speech, I wish Activision would show this face more often than Bobby Kotick. Then people wouldn’t think they’re the devil as much.

      The problem is that he’s asking for artistic integrity with his games. Remember, this is Activision. The company who flogged the the dead horses that were Tony Hawk, Call of Duty and Guitar Hero. The company whose modus operandi is based around releasing as much repackaged dogshit as they can each year.

  • Activision harms the gaming industry, EA harms the gaming industry. Re-hashes harm the gaming industry. Failed releases of hardware with no software to play, harms the gaming industry.. Failed promises, pathetic marketting techniques to hype games that consequently suck, fanboys, blatant duplification of games, lack of creativity, it all harms this industry. Corporations are at the top of the list in my point of view. Suits trying to call the shots from those that actually make the games, just let the creativity flow from people who actually work in it.

  • Everyone has missed EA’s point. They think bf3 is better than any cod game but cod sells shiploads. They want battlefield to put doubt in the buyers mind about cod, thus “rotting the core” so that they accrue a shipload of potential buyers. He probably won’t use those words in the future but that’s the intent.

  • I don’t know why everyone is bagging out Activision for “rehashing games” yearly. EA has been doing the exact same thing with all their sports franchises since the 90’s :/

  • Ah the true face of the Battlefield fanboys. Funny how a lot of you guys spend so much time saying how childish and stupid the CoD fanbase is and then you have moments like these.

    Pot meet kettle.

    Regardless of what you guys think about CoD it is popular. Sure it’s not innovative but if that’s what the majority wants then why not give it to them? The industry still grows and expands and the money pulled in with “cookie cutter” titles like CoD allow developers to fund other titles that can be innovative.

    • That’s all well and good if Activision actually put some money back into some new IP’s. Brutal Legend or Gohostbusters anyone? As for the games themselves I couldn’t care about either one. Xenoblade Chronicles, Skyward Sword, Deus Ex and Lollipop Chainsaw. These are games we should be interested in, because they are actual games. Not realistic war sims.

    • “the money pulled in with “cookie cutter” titles like CoD allow developers to fund other titles that can be innovative.”

      What makes you think this is even remotely realistic? There has NEVER been any indication that money ever goes into new IPs. Indeed, Activision has actively stamped out on ‘risky’ projects like Brutal Legend.

      You think that if people buy more CoD then Activision will do anything BUT make more CoD? If Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk were any indication, they’d shove as much DLC, packaged expansions and plastic peripherals into the market as they think they could get away with.

      It’s like the film industry, if the $150 million tentpole/summer blockbuster model is so successful, why bother spending $20-30 million on an unproven script?

      -Movie audiences don’t vote with their wallets > shit like Battleship gets made.

      -Gamers don’t vote with their wallets > shit like MW3 gets made.

      It’s not even a BF/MW argument anymore, so don’t confuse with your fanboy meltdown. If people buy derivative garbage (regardless of publisher), they encourage its production. The reason EA has been getting some slack (compared to Activision) is because lately they HAVE been taking chances outside their blockbuster franchises, even picking up abandoned Activision projects.

      To bring it back to the topic it at hand, simply look at BF3 and MW3. Now ask yourself which one has really done the most credit to its franchise, the genre and even game technology in general.

  • Activision is unfortunately correct. Mudslinging is immature and idiotic. Plus, MW3 and BF3 aren’t perfect substitutes in the first place; quite a few consumers will buy both.

    I’m no fan of either franchise, but really this childish pissing contest is groan-inducingly bad.

  • pixar doesn’t come out with the same movie every year just rebranded they come out with original movies and every couple of years they’ll make a sequel.

  • I don’t think COD selling millions of copies is hurting the industry. That sounds like a good thing to me. Sure I’m getting tired of yearly releases but I still enjoy the COD games.

    Anyway, whether you like the game or not, wanting it to “rot from the inside” just isn’t right.

  • So wait. ACTIVISION is the one NOT shit-talking, and trying to get everyone to be friendly?

    Wow. They must be REALLY worried about Battlefield 3.

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