It’s been a long and dirty ride to this point. For over five years and counting, Activision’s Call of Duty franchise has totally and unequivocally dominated the first-person shooter genre, leaving all other franchises miles behind. But why? The answer’s simple: Ever since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the shooter’s taken off to astronomic heights, becoming more than a game, but rather part of American and even European culture. You probably never heard of, say, The Elder Scrolls, but mention Call Of Duty, and persons who’ve never touched a vidoegames console will know what you’re talking about.
But just like anything or person that’s been at the top for ‘too long’, hate started building. Not from the fans of Call of Duty, mind you, but rahter from jealous onlookers who revel in the fall of another. In fact they’d back anything to their own detriment just to see the ruling king fall, and sadly, that’s the case with many gamers these days, quintessentially with the MW3 vs BF3 war. Yet, it’s not only the gamers who are turning me off DICE’s stellar shooter, but more so EA. The company’s attitude is really starting to get to me now, and because of it I’m on the verge of boycotting all things EA, beginning with its biggest risk yet: Battlefield 3.
Why Battlefield 3? Because it’s EA’s biggest bet, and the publisher really needs to learn what to say and when. Why would you want Call of Duty to “rot from the core“, according to EA boss John Riccitiello?. As the weeks pass it seems EA’s becoming all the more immature with its statements, and blatant Call of Duty attacks. Also, it wouldn’t be too bad if Activision was flinging dirt EA’s way alike, but the publisher’s remained quiet, trying its best to stay out of the fray, and even went as far as to try and bring peace to the situation.
Here’s Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg:
“Competition is of course a good thing,” He said. “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 then spoke on Riccitiello’s Call of Duty bad-mouthing: “Recently a competitor of ours 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,” he said. “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.
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’? It’s kind of hard to imagine, right?”
Hirshberg was obviously trying to stop the stupid war of words, hoping EA would cease on the opportunity and in turn send some kind words the other way. You must understand, the “rot from the core” statement wasn’t EA’s first dig against Call Of Duty; not by a long shot. EA’s said in the past very damning things about Activision’s franchise, yet Activision hasn’t responded with negativity. EA’s latest outburst, however, takes the cake, and to add insult to injury, it was in response to Hirshberg’s olive branch.
“Welcome to the big leagues Eric,” Jeff Brown, EA corporate communications boss told Industry Gamers in response to Hirshberg’s GamesCom 2011 keynote. “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.”
What kind of response was that? It’s the most childish and unprofessional piece of talk I’ve heard in a long, long time – yet I’m not surprised. EA’s childish behavior’s been getting worse by the day and I’ve arrived to my limit.
Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Fifa 12 and all other known EA games stand the risk of not getting my money; and many other gamers who are sensitive to this kind of rubbish will do the same. A message must be sent.
Pride goes before a fall, and where there is arrogance, pride lurks. EA’s not even to the top yet, (probably never will be) and yet their pride is having the best of them. Modern Warfare 3 will ultimate mop the floor with Battlefield 3, and even more so now EA’s executives are acting like little children. You want you game to do good, then develop it proper, but don’t hit the competition with vile, derogatory words which only hurts the industry in multiple ways, sending gamers further apart and painting a picture of immaturity all about.
See, I don’t need to play BF3, it will be a great shooter undoubtedly, but there are many other great shooters coming out that I can give my money to. I’m not dying to play Battlefield 3 at all.
And as for the Battlfield 3 fans….
Recently Ben Dutka of PSXextreme asked a simple question: How Many BF3 Lovers Are Just MW3 Haters? Which got me thinking. I’m starting to believe many of the Battlefield 3 fans just want to see Modern Warfare 3 die; they’ll support anything but the reigning king, whether said king’s been doing a great job or not. It’s like getting rid of something good because of animosity towards it for no other reasons than its success. I sincerely hope the aforementioned does not describe you.
To close, there’s no doubt in my mind that Battlefield 3 will be a great game, that’s not the point. Sometimes you have to stand for something, and if EA continues down their stinking path of criticizing the competition without a cause, I will not buy Battlefield 3.