The world of video game warfare is getting political – and by that I mean full of polarizing trash talking and combative rhetoric. The verbal conflict between the team behind Battlefield 3 and the Call of Duty gang has been long established, but Activision’s publishing boss Eric Hirshberg recently gave a speech which spoke out against this negative attitude.
“Competition is healthy for this, or any other industry.” Hirshberg stated. “But it’s one thing to want your game to be successful. It’s another to actively want the games of others to fail.” In an effort to point out the ridiculous nature of the conflict, Hirshberg compared their competitive nature to animation companies like Dreamworks and Pixar, and asked the audience to imagine them at each other’s throats. “Seems to me we should all support great content, even if we didn’t create it.”
Despite the plea, it seems that EA’s Vice President of Communications, Jeff Brown, is having none of it. Firing back, Brown began by simply stating “Welcome to the Big Leagues, Eric.” He went on to remind the somewhat new figure at Activision that this industry in particular is competitive, reinforcing that sentiment with a declaration that their company “has every reason to be nervous.”
“Last year Activision had a 90 share in the shooter category,” Brown continued. “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.” Brown, of course, is referring to the recent downhill fall and termination of both previously hit franchises.
Strangely, it’s usually the gamers and not the game designers that get the popular reputation for being immature brats. Perhaps that needs to be switched around if debates of mutual respect devolve into spats about sales numbers.