Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg hasn’t taken too kindly to EA’s recent spate of public “midslinging” at the company over Modern Warfare 3/Battlefield 3 showdown.
Speaking during his gamescom keynote today, Hirshberg requested publishers encourage each other to produce amazing games rather than tearing chunks off each other in the press.
“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 felt that EA CEO John Riccitiello’s comment about he’s like to see Call of Duty”rot from the core” were really uncalled for.
“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 then argued that the industry will make better games and attract more punters if everyone supported one another.
“As someone who runs one of the biggest publishers in this business, I can tell you that I want as many games as possible to succeed, whether we created them or not,” he continued, “because I want this industry to keep growing and bringing in new people.
“I believe when someone in this industry does something great, whether they work in California, or Sweden, or North Carolina, or the United Kingdom, it doesn’t just benefit their company. It benefits us all.”
He went on to say that there are enough potential customers in the market to be able to do your own thing and still be successful. If a company is able to make a great game, it’ll sell, no matter what the competition is up to.
“I believe that as many great games as this industry can make, that’s how many people will buy,” he said. “I say that not only as the CEO of Activision but also as a gamer.
“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 all still have a lot to prove in our position in the pop cultural landscape. We still need to stand the test of time. We need to show we can withstand the kind of disruptive change and new competition that we’re facing now.
He stressed that the key to success is coming up with great games, and rather than fighting amongst one other in order to be more successful at the expense of the competition, companies should focus all their energy and resources in moving towards that ultimate objective of producing a great game.
“The only way to do that is to continue to make great games. We shouldn’t be tearing each other apart fighting for a bigger piece of the pie – 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,” he concluded.
EA’s Battlefield 3 releases on October 25 while Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will release on November 9.
Both of the titles will be releasing on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.