Riccitiello says he has “no choice but to wait and watch,” what Activision does with Elite

Thursday, 16th June 2011 22:06 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

EA CEO John Riccitiello believes that Modern Warfare 3 is “going to be a really good game” and that the war of words between his firm and Activision is all part of the business.

When two tribes go to war

Speaking in an extremely quote-worthy interview with Industry Gamers, Riccitiello used a pharmaceutical company analogy to describe the battle between the two “titans.”

“The honest truth is I think Modern Warfare is going to be a really good gam3, he said. “I think that in a weird way it’s starting to feel a little to me like the Disneyland abstraction of a war game – a little bit jump the shark. So it feels a little bit like that to me. And I think there’s a market for that. I think our game is more authentic. It’s definitely going to do a lot of things better. Lighting’s better, physics is better, animations are better, particle effects are better, vehicles are better. I think there’s a lot of things to like about our product and I think it’s going to be a great battle.

“So headline number one, having a clash of the titans in entertainment [is great]. If you’re battling your cholesterol drug versus somebody else’s cholesterol drug, there are only so many people who need cholesterol drugs. The market is getting bigger, but it’s all about cholesterol. So the market divides. Your chips versus my chips. Maybe it gets bigger. But this is great for consumers. When two titans go up against each other, and battle each other for how you’re going to spend your entertainment time and dollars, it doesn’t get better than that. So as a headline, I think this is the best time in the game industry. I love when this happens.”

EA still has “the better game, the better tack”

Despite the fun bit of spin Riccitiello seems to be putting on the matter, he is still confident that Battlefield 3 is the better game, but Modern Warfare 3 will win out with the “mass audience.”

“I do think, though, that we’ve got the better game, the better tack,” he said. “[There's] a concentration of people that might tell the difference between a good game and a bad game. We’re going to do really well there. A lot of people bought Modern Warfare more for the coffee table and didn’t play it for 2 months. There’s sort of that mass audience… they’re going to win there. 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.”

Understanding Elite and what it does

Riccitiello said he was also keeping on eye on where Activision is going with Elite, and is unsure why the firm announced the service in the manner in which it did. In his opinion, the firm “led with its chin” with the announcement, but feels Activision has “plenty of time to recover” from what he is essentially calling an announcement blunder.

“I don’t know what’s in Elite right now, but based on what I’ve seen, I think they might’ve been better off holding the Elite thing and been a little more careful and show up a month after they’ve launched Modern Warfare 3,” he said. “‘Hey, we’ve got an expansion pack. It’s going to be x amount of money, but if you give us y amount of money, you get extra stuff.’ As opposed to leading with their chin. But maybe there’s a reason they led with their chin. I think the reason they led with their chin is that they needed to say something against what was clearly a more powerful presentation of Battlefield 3 over Modern Warfare. So they needed something to say. I think they picked the wrong thing, but there’s a lot of months between now and November so they’ve got plenty of time to recover.

“And so if we can start that process, we’re in a good spot. I do think the core is going to be particularly anxious about a pre-announcement of a subscription and I think the reason they’ll be anxious about it is because if they led with, ‘Here’s 10 great things you get,’ and they go, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to buy them,’ that’s one thing. If they lead with a business model that’s another thing. But wait and see. I give them… well, I don’t really give them the benefit of the doubt, but I’ve got no choice but to wait and watch.”

Battlefield 3 launches on October 25 in the US and October 28 in the UK, while Modern Warfare 3 is out November 8.

Both will be made available on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.



  1. Razor

    “Lighting’s better, physics is better, animations are better, particle effects are better, vehicles are better.”

    But is it going to make money….you know, that thing in business that you’re supposed to create?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    More to the point, is it going to be fun?

    Not that BC2 wasn’t fun, but it was hardly a roaring adrenaline rush. I think Ricitiello might want to consider the fact that more people are going to visit Disneyland than their local war museum.

    Once you do make the better game, people will go there instead.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. kuma

    EA makes great game but screw up with their ea sever… always have some sort of connectivity issues…and especially on shooter.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Talyis

    Sorry but Activision’s server are by far the worst I have ever played on! Honestly BC2 wasn’t the best either though!

    #4 3 years ago

    Of course he’s waiting and watching to see what Activision do with Elite.

    So EA can blatantly rip it off…

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Gekidami

    Talk about your own damn games, EA. Rather than Acti’s.

    Honestly, its quite obvious at this point they want to do all of BF3′s marketing off MW3′s back.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Grimrita

    It’s asbout time Riccitiello focused on what he has achieved at EA. A company that is yet to make a full year profit in almost 5 years.

    And what stunned me about the whole EA E3 presentation is sure – its nice to have all these online features, servers, league tables/battle logs etc but EA have a habit of closing them ALL down within 2 years.

    /no sale

    #7 3 years ago
  8. NightCrawler1970

    We have a saying “let’s the best game win”, my vote goes to BF3…

    #8 3 years ago
  9. IL DUCE

    Yeah the unfortunate thing is that no matter how good Battlefield 3 is, Modern Warfare 3 has the bigger brand and will probably still win out game sales wise…I do however, think Battlefield 3 will get better reviews and will get my vote as the better game…hell I wouldn’t even buy MW3 if it wasn’t for my friends playing it, otherwise I would prob just rent it and send it back to GameFly two weeks later…Battlefield for me has been a must buy since I heard it announced, and if they do things right I think they will make good enough sales to be real successful…hell MoH sold 5 mil and released only a month before Black Ops so I think BF3 is good enough to release two weeks prior and bring in big sales…and if BF3 has an infantry based hardcore no respawn mode similar to S&D in CoD then forget it, I know my friends will convert from MW3…

    Not to mention just on the single player side BF3 looks much more realistic, both graphically and situation wise while MW3 looks like another 5 hour trip at break neck speed through set piece after set piece to the point that the gamer is eventually numb to the ridiculous action taking place…CoD campaign has been pretty much a joke since CoD4, which was a great campaign…and while Treyarch’s have been by far the worst campaigns, IW’s MW2 campaign was not much better…

    #9 3 years ago

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