Activision's CEO of publishing, Eric Hirschberg, has publicly criticized EA for what he calls "mud-slinging tactics" over the rivalry between the Modern Warfare series and Battlefield 3. According to Eurogamer, Hirschberg took some time out of his Gamescom keynote to encourage Activision's competitors to focus on development, rather than making negative comments in the press.
"Competition is of course a good thing. It keeps us all on our toes and ultimately makes the games better. It's healthy," Hirschberg said. "But it's one thing to want your game to succeed and another thing to actively, publicly say you want other games to fail."
Hirschberg pointed out a recent IndustryGamers interview where EA's John Riccitiello said he wanted the Call of Duty franchise to "rot from the core."
"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'," Hirschberg asked. "It's kind of hard to imagine, right?"
"This isn't politics," he continued. "In order for one to win, the other doesn't have to lose. 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."
"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."