Riccitiello: Shooter rivalries “good for customers and good for the industry”

By Brenna Hillier, Thursday, 9 June 2011 08:09 GMT

EA boss John Riccitiello has poured oil on the troubled waters of an executive squabble over the merits of Battlefield 3 versus Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Riccitiello said the headline war is just “a bit of fun”.

“Everybody loves a heavyweight fight. All the fanfare and pomp and circumstance that goes into it is good for customers and good for the industry,” he said.

“It brings a lot of new attentions to things. It forces innovation in terms of the category. It gets customers to choose.

“So from our perspective, we’re at our best in these types of situations and we enjoy them, perversely. We’re having a bit of fun with it.”

Explaining himself, Riccitiello likened the rivalry of the two shooters to that of EA’s FIFA and Konami’s PES, both bestsellers with every iteration.

“It helps keep the business and industry vibrant and driving forward as opposed to getting stale and, ‘Boy, there haven’t been any good movies out this summer,’ type situations. The competition is great for innovation,” he said.

Last month, EA Games head Frank Gibeau said Battlefield 3 is “flat out superior” to Call of Duty, while EA Europe boss Jens Uwe Intat said it would “certainly” take the FPS crown from Activison’s franchise. Activision executive Eric Hirshberg responded disdainfully.

Battlefield 3 is due in October, while Modern Warfare 3 is expected in November, both on all three major platforms.

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