Handbags: Activision And EA Don’t Get On

By John Walker on June 2nd, 2011 at 11:59 am.

If only we could afford an art editor.

Oh, you two. I’m unsure whether the endless spat between two of the world’s biggest games publishers is healthy. With Activision currently occupying the coveted Most Hated spot at the top of the publishing ladder, once so impressively held by EA, you can see why there’s rivalry. “We’ve sacked another entire dev team! Take that!” “Well then! We’re going to cancel a game people were really looking forward to!” And so on. Currently the battle is over the world-dominating presence of Call Of Duty, and EA’s belief that plucky Battlefield can depose it. Slap! Pinch!

Back in April cheeky-chops EA CEO John Riccitiello announced that Battlefield 3, launching later this year against Modern Warfare 3, is “designed to take that game down.” He compared it to a battle between Google and Microsoft, or the Red Sox vs the Yankees. Then boasted that hundreds of millions of dollars of marketing would be going into both games. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the world’s population don’t have access to clean drinking water.

Activision have now hitched up their skirts and waded into the mud pit. “I think EA might talk about our games in the press more than we do,” says Activision’s publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg, who looks like he should be in Mad Men. “So, the first thing I say to them is ‘Thanks for the assistance in building awareness.’” Burn!

“We don’t pay much mind looking at what the competitors are doing,” he told MCV, while talking about what his competitors are doing. “I know they are focused on us… well that’s all I’ll say.” Presumably because the rest was tacit.

But to be fair to Hirshberg, he goes on to be very positive.

“This is one of the most competitive genres in one of the most competitive industries. Last year we had Halo: Reach and Medal of Honor, and it’s not like they weren’t amazing developers gunning for the top of this mountain either. And it’s the same this year – Gears of War is back along with lots of other games. So, of course, we take all the competition really seriously. But at the end of the day I really mean it when I say we are focusing on the finish line, not the competition. We are making the best game we can, and are throwing every resource, innovation and all the creativity we can at it. And hopefully that will maintain our position.”

It must be confusing to not pay much mind to what the competitors are doing while taking them really seriously, but that’s the sort of thing a CEO has to worry about, not us. But it’s good to hear him honouring the talent of the opposition.

Of course, Riccitiello’s claims are a touch optimistic. The chances of BF3 toppling MW3 – a game whose prequel, by his own admission, made $400m in revenue on its first day of sales – are extremely unlikely. Especially when Activision could do a poo in a box labelled “Call Of Duty”, charge £450 for it with DRM that kills your pets, and still come in number one. But is the battle healthy for anything else? Clearly both games will make money, and will likely make more money than even an advertising budget that dwarfs the development costs. Would they make similar amounts of money if they advertised it normally, rather than etching the game’s name with lasers into the moon? I imagine they probably would. Money that could then be invested into other more interesting projects that aren’t about following other people around as they shoot soldiers in the face.

__________________

« | »

, , , , .

127 Comments »

  1. Bilbo says:

    I think you mean “Call of Doody”

  2. HexagonalBolts says:

    I’m not so sure, among dedicated gamers we’re always waiting and watching the news for any new game. But for the casual man… I think advertising is one of the ways that games pierce in to the mainstream.

    • President Weasel says:

      One does rather suspect that the reason these games make more money than God is because of the vast advertising budget poured into them.
      Personally I am rather looking forward to Battlefield Manshoots Three and probably won’t be spending money on Modern Warfare: Moderner and Warfarier. I believe that’s due to sincere personal preference but perhaps it’s just the advertising, or to Battlefield’s positioning as the scrappy underdog of the multimillion selling manshooter sector.

    • Ian says:

      Also God hardly tours any more.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      I would go as far as to say that advertising is much, much more important than the final quality of your game. Activision know what they’re doing. They don’t spend three times as much advertising a game as making it if it’s not going to make them more money.

    • Calabi says:

      There is tons of proof that advertising works. These companys would not do it otherwise. They know exactly the amount to spend and the likely returns they can get with that, from the plebs.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      Meanwhile there is less proof that God works… ergo advertising makes more money than god. QED.

  3. ran93r says:

    I approve of the graphic and I have BF3 pre-ordered, that is all.

  4. Velvetmeds says:

    BF3 – day 1 purchase
    MW3 – wut?

    Besides, Activision’s handbag is pink. PINK!!! You know what that means?

  5. Milky says:

    “Especially when Activision could do a poo in a box labelled “Call Of Duty”, charge £450 for it with DRM that kills your pets, and still come in number one.”

    Haven’t they already been doing that for the last several games?

  6. N says:

    War is the father of all things :)

  7. CMaster says:

    EA’s obsession with “taking down” Call of Duty seems really unhealthy. So far they’ve tried it with Medal of Hono(u)r and and Crysis 2, and next they’ll throw Battlefield 3 at it. But to what end? Why does it really matter. I mean sure, having a game franchise as money-making as CoD would be great from EA’s perspective. But much like you won’t dethrone WoW with a copy of it, nor do you need to to make a lot of money from MMOs, you aren’t going to dethrone CoD with a clone, nor do you need CoD-level sales to make a financially successful FPS. Also, while that $400 million is a hell of a lot, my understanding is that at that point, Activision still aren’t in profit. Some chunk of that will go to the retailers, some more of it goes on the distribution and media production. And beyond that, were’t the Dev costs for MW2 approx $100mil and the marketing approx $300mil? CoD is a hell of a money machine, but its an expensive one to run and a single flop would be catostrophic for Activision’s finances.

    • Richard Beer says:

      It’s partly marketing on EA’s part; they want their game mentioned in the same sentence as COD as often as possible so that people who already like COD will make a positive association to another high-budget manshoot game.

      It’s also very much driven by the media. It’s entirely typical and you see it everywhere. How many times have you heard that the next smartphone X is going to be an iPhone beater? Or how many times have you heard that the next ‘random product’ is going to be an ‘established leading product’ killer? It’s an easy way to create a frame of reference and draw readers/viewers to your preview stuff.

      Also, on a minor level, it’s probably a way to boost team morale inside EA and get them motivated. It also displays big balls to anyone listening. People like big balls.

    • JackShandy says:

      Having Call of Duty sell millions is good for all man-shoots, because the billions of dollars they spend on making people like their particular brand of run-shoot-drive-explode has the side-effect of selling everyone on the basic idea of run-shoot-drive-explode. Trying to take them down like a competitor is ridiculous.

    • suibhne says:

      It’s also an obvious by-product of corporate capitalism. If EA didn’t make a point of constantly going after the market leader, shareholders would start grumbling. EA’s sole mission, after all, isn’t to create good games; it’s to build shareholder value. Welcome to The Corporation ca. 2011.

    • Carra says:

      “But much like you won’t dethrone WoW with a copy of it, nor do you need to to make a lot of money from MMOs, you aren’t going to dethrone CoD with a clone”

      That hasn’t stopped EA from trying to dethrone WoW with game after game (Warhammer online springs to mind).

      Ea just sees the billions WoW & CoD rake in and they want that money.

    • Jad says:

      I’m old enough to remember when everyone in the industry was trying to make the next Quake-killer (and before that the Doom-killer). I’m sure some others could fill in with even earlier examples. Everyone goes after the biggest dog on the block.

      And I think PC gamers are sometimes blind to actually how huge COD is. MW2 and BLOPS both made over a billion dollars. Two years ago everyone in the mainstream media was going apeshit over Avatar getting above that number. A month before that a videogame had already had the largest entertainment launch in history, and that franchise repeated and bettered that one year later, and probably will do the same this year.

      There has not been another Avatar, yet every movie studio has been frantically trying to make similar big-budget 3D-glorifying movies to capitalize on what they perceive to be its successes. Activision pulls in Avatar-levels of cash every single year with COD. Any game publisher CEO that doesn’t try to grab a piece of that pie doesn’t belong at the head of an entertainment business.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I think most film execs are smart enough to realize that you don’t make money by producing another film like Titanic or Star Wars or Avatar. The 3D thing is more of a tech fad than attempting to copy a formula.

    • Lukasz says:

      Acitivision is behemoth standing on small but sturdy legs.

      one of those legs is blizzard.
      other is call of duty.

      break one leg and the behemoth will suffer.

      For EA even if BF3 costs more than it makes but as long as it hurt Activision it will be a success. because EA has lots of games and IPs to fall back on.
      Activision does not have any…

      we will see what bungie will make tough…

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      There so should be an online mode where B3 players can deathmatch COD players

  8. McDan says:

    Don’t they know that war never changes? THE GAMES ARE ALL THE SAME.

  9. Morgawr says:

    “We are making the best game we can, and are throwing lots of money, more money and all the money we can at it”

    Fixed

    • Stick says:

      Heh. I read it as “nevermind the game design, our marketing budget can beat up your marketing budget”.

      Surely the consumer isn’t impressed by this manly wallet-size comparison contest? Oh, wait, I forgot: it’s supposed to impress the shareholders, not us.

  10. goldrunout says:

    Boycott COD, buy BF3 at day one, on pc. COD elite is the last punch in our faces… this is the first time i really think the entire COD franchise should die..

    • Unaco says:

      Why? What is so bad about COD Elite? Really, I don’t understand all of the hatred here. They’re offering a FREE service to the legions of COD players, with a premium option. In this day and age, it would be even more surprising if there wasn’t a premium option.

      So, explain to me, if you will, why COD Elite is such a punch in the face to you?

    • Chuck84 says:

      Or, y’know, wait to see if BF3 is as amazing as it’s hyped to be. Swearing undying fealty to a franchise is foolish. Perhaps MW3 will be awesome (probably not), and BF3 will be a pile of poo (probably not), but it’s too early to determine that.
      Maybe the CoD franchise should die, but it won’t, ’cause people still enjoy the games, flaws and all.
      I think of CoD like the Transformers of gaming. Huge, dumb, popular. Nothing wrong with that, nobody’s forcing you to play/watch. Sometimes you want depth and character, and sometimes you want to see giant robots fight.

    • D3xter says:

      I find it amazing how a few days after its announcement people are calling that *retch* *cough* *phlegm* se…rv…ice’s *phlegm* features… something which has been free for 10 years+ “premium features” or “premium option” now without batting an eyelid… I sometimes really wonder at the sheer stupidity…

    • Unaco says:

      D3xter… do you know what services will be in the Premium option, that COD players can currently get for free? Explain to me how COD Elite is so terrible because it’s going to start charging for something people already get for free? Tell me what those premium features are, that can currently be got for free. Please. Someone explain to me why it’s so terrible! I really want to know WHY people are so against it.

      I’ve asked numerous times on comment threads here, and all I’ve got is “It’s COD. The devs need to choke to the death and the franchise needs to die”. That doesn’t tell me why COD Elite is so terrible. From what I can tell about it, it’s a Free service, that will have some premium features. What they are, and why charging for them is so evil, no one can tell me.

      Don’t get me wrong here… I am no fan of COD/MW. I inherited a copy of MW2, thought the multi player was like having my teeth pulled, and the single player like touching your tongue to the contacts on one of those square batteries. But, I don’t understand the irrational, flailing, illogical backlash to the COD Elite announcements.

    • Bursar says:

      Bill Harris did a nice blog post about the pro’s and cons of elite. Short version… it’s the thin edge a wedge that’s ultimately going to milk paying customers.

      Long version….

      http://dubiousquality.blogspot.com/2011/05/call-of-duty-elite-service.html

    • D3xter says:

      Because it’s nothing more than a stupidity tax for console players (like XBox Live already is), those “services” do not cost anywhere near the amounts people are supposed to pay to use them and the incurred development and upkeep costs are a fraction of what they get through related revenue models.
      I obviously can’t tell you what exactly those “premium features” *are going to be* but abstract from the information already there…

      Exhibit A: http://www.callofduty.com/elite
      “Find the players YOU want to play Call of Duty with. Connect with online friends, co-workers, classmates or meet new Call of Duty players.”
      Social Network/Friends/Connect type, has been done countless times before, one of the most prominent showings Battle.Net around 1998, since then it’s become more popular and spread through various services (Steam, GFWL etc.) and games (for instance whatever EA is using for Battlefield BC2)…

      “Test your skills in tournaments and events designed for players of all skill levels. Compete for awesome virtual and real-world prizes!”
      There’s been leagues and prizes and everything before… it was a prominent feature of the “LAN PC Scene” thing in the early 90s and even before in console competitions (for instance fighting games). The most recent (and free) example being StarCraft 2.

      “Get the tools to elevate your Call of Duty game. Access your personal stats, view exclusive strategy videos and get detailed intel on maps, weapons, and more.”
      Again, stat tracking has been done… never Pay4Content, Battlefield had it for over 6+ years (for instance here are my BF2 stats: http://bf2s.com/player/59173458/ ), Battle.Net/StarCraft 2 has it, , Leagues of Legends and HoN has it, Valve has it etc.

      Exhibit B:
      http://bulk2.destructoid.com/ul/135924-rumortoid-activision-creating-a-service-for-call-of-duty/CoDsubscrip01-noscale.jpg
      http://bulk2.destructoid.com/ul/135924-rumortoid-activision-creating-a-service-for-call-of-duty/CoDsubscrip02-noscale.jpg
      http://bulk2.destructoid.com/ul/135924-rumortoid-activision-creating-a-service-for-call-of-duty/CoDsubscrip03-noscale.jpg
      A survey they did a few years ago to see what kind of “Service”/Features people would prefer… there’s nothing in there that couldn’t have been part of the game, especially seeing as they sold… what 7 million copies of the last one in the first week or something and made over 1 billion dollars in just a few months… you’d think that at least SOME of that money would go into making a better product (like say… what DICE is trying to do), yet they still kept the same engine and basic features and churn them out yearly (like they did with Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk).

      Anyway, the so-called Premium features range from “Character Customization”, “Persistent Attributes to Contie from Game to Game”, “Team management and Support”, “Leagues”, “War Room to Strategize”, “Exclusive Tournaments”, “Team Matching”, “Exclusive Challenges”, “Weapon Customization”, “Early Access to Buy Multiplayer Maps”, “Taunt Customization”, “Skill Matching”
      and also “Receive access to the 12 most recent downloadable multiplayer maps (in addition to the base multiplayer maps available as part of the purchased game). IF YOU STOP THE SUBSCRIPTION, YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO USE THE DOWNLOADED MAPS.
      (not to forget that they literally removed modding so they can exploit that market and some of the console audience sees modding as a way of “cheating”.)

    • Unaco says:

      A ‘thin edge of the wedge’ argument isn’t the greatest though. It’s like the slippery slope argument. It’s speculation, what might come about, what we expect them to do. Yes, Activision are terrible, they probably do want to milk as much money as they can… but, they’re also a business. A successful business. Businesses don’t get as successful as Activision are without knowing a little about business, and how far they can push their customers and their markets. I think they’ll know their limits with the COD Elite service. I think they’ll push, almost as far as they can… but never too far.

      So, I don’t buy the slippery slope/thin edge arguments. I don’t think they’ll go that far, lest the whole house of cards fall in around them.

    • D3xter says:

      So I guess my comment is still “awaiting moderation” and is invisible after 3 hours xD

  11. B0GiE-uk- says:

    The rumour mill (Kotaku.com) is saying no dedicated servers for MW3.

    After the MW2 no dedicated server debacle I will definatley be in the BF3 camp and not purchasing MW3.

  12. Monchberter says:

    Ho hum. Nothing to see here.

    Two similar manshoots. Shooting.

    Gamers buy one, the other, both or none.

    I’m past caring when what’s on offer is so bloody derivative.

    • subedii says:

      I’m glad you care so little about the whole thing that you stopped in to make sure everyone knows how little you care. :P

    • ColOfNature says:

      What’s the point in not caring if nobody knows you don’t care? You might as well have no opinion whatsoever. Like me!

  13. Tatourmi says:

    OOoooooh Game Dev Story reference amaright?

  14. StingingVelvet says:

    Hey John, marketers have to eat too ya know!

    • Joc says:

      Childrens’ tears don’t grow on trees, y’know.

      I have to agree though. Both companies need to pay some heed to the Nash Equilibrium, and perhaps invest the money they save in something more worthwhile (read, almost anything).

  15. Mordsung says:

    BF won’t topple COD anytime soon because COD is the easier game to be good at. The guns don’t recoil, the bullets don’t spread, you can do well running around knifing people.

    The easier game to look good at will always sell best as the majority of people who play games are pretty f’ing terrible at them.

    I mean, go load up BLOPs and unload an assault rifle into a wall at 40 meters.
    Then, go load up BC2 and do the same.

    In BLOPS, you’ll pretty much have a super tight grouping even off the hip.
    In BC2 you’ll probably recoil so bad you won’t be hitting the wall anymore.

    Real oldschool shooter fans will always be the BF fans but BF will never win in the console market because it’s hard to aim well.

    • zergrush says:

      I thought real oldschool shooters were all about strafe jumping and rocket launchers.

    • Mordsung says:

      Depends what old school shooters you were into.

      Some people were Quake/UT players, some were old CS, Delta Force, Rainbow Six players.

      I’ve always preferred a more immersive and realistic shooter, even if it has sci-fi themes. I like aiming down the sights, I like recoil and bullet spread.

      I think the mark of a truly good shooter is one where aiming accurately requires a lot of skill in recoil control and burst fire.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Just need to say: this is untrue, both BFBC2 and CODBO do have recoil and spread, they just handle them differently. Both are also great games in multiplayer, again by handling these things differently. Comparing the two as if they were equivalent is not really valid.

  16. jezcentral says:

    Meh, this is what happens when a CEO talks to investors. What are they supposed to say? “Battlefiled 3 will be aces, but not sell”? They are just hyping up their own product, and will doubtless say the same things when MOH2 or whatever Respawn are doing come up for release.

  17. TheApologist says:

    Peow peow wooossshhhh bfffffggggghhhhh…peow peow peow

  18. El_MUERkO says:

    The trailers and gameplay clips EA have shown already kick ass but they need to ramp that up closer to the release date, constantly rubbing Frostbite in MW3′s face.

    Show a player in (a close approximation of) CoD kicking a door an nothing happening. Then show a player with an AA-12 auto-shotgun exploding the shite out of the door, destroying every bit of furniture and some surprised bad guys in the room before making an exit in the far wall.

    Show a player in CoD calling in an air-strike and watching the plane they have no control over, get shot down OR the bomb drop but the enemy be fine because they hid under a sun parasol. Show a player in BF3 calling for help and his friend dodging anti-air missiles to drop a bomb and level a building.

    I’m sure there are dozens of other examples, but basically show how one game scripts while the other lets you do what you want.

    Then after all those videos bullying CoD for being crap EA releases a demo that proves it, and that demo needs to be fucking insane, it needs to show frostbite in all it’s glory, and ram home the point that CoD is more of the same, and the same is old and should be taken out back and shot.

  19. bonjovi says:

    the only thing BF was lacking for mainstream was unique/amazing/shocking single player.

    I know BF games are not about SP, but i believe COD has made its success on that. If you are hardcore MP you are playing BC2 on PC. But if you’re a new to genre or old halo fan, you will not be hardcore MP player and you probably own console. You will be attracted to SP the most, and shooters have been done so many times that you need to do something unique or shocking for all these folks to be interested. only on that base they will only transfer to MP customer and usually become fan-boys of the game. Since they have scarce any comparison.

    So BF3 to win needs to pull something awesome in SP, that would bring mainstream media attention to it. any ideas? :-) portraying US president as child molester? too strong?

  20. Joshua says:

    And then Serious Sam comes in and beats them all because of the pure fun factor.

    • Wilson says:

      In a perfect world. I would happily buy Serious Sam X: The Seriousening for two new one-liners, a few new monsters and a campaign every year. I still wouldn’t buy the £15 Five Multiplayer Maps DLC though…

  21. Jetsetlemming says:

    Battlefield 3 doesn’t need to sell more than Modern Warfare 3, or even come close, to dethrone it. It just needs to steal the spotlight. Both games will get tons of sales from people who will never actually touch the multiplayer side of these multiplayer-centric games. What will really make the long run difference is that population that does play the multiplayer, stick with it, play it regularly, and keep the game culturally significant.
    Especially with MW3, since Activision is attempting to monetize their multiplayer community through Elite, now’s the perfect time to try and generate a backlash against COD. If EA can get mainstream media attention with Battlefield, I can actually see them making significant damage to the self-fulfilling prophecy of Call of Duty.

  22. JackShandy says:

    “Listen, I can’t claim that I pay much attention to our competitors dick, but I can say without a shadow of doubt that ours is at least 50% bigger. I’ve seen the graphs, the lab boys have run the figures, the math adds up. Now we obviously take our opponents dick very seriously, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that their dick really is not the bottom line; In the end, we’re just trying to put out the biggest dick we can. Meanwhile, the competition seems to focus more on our dick than their own, so I guess I should say thanks for building awareness, guys.”

  23. Unaco says:

    ” Activision could do a poo in a box labelled “Call Of Duty”, charge £450 for it with DRM that kills your pets, and still come in number one.”

    Sounds to me like they’re doing something right.

  24. Berzee says:

    “Meanwhile, two-thirds of the world’s population don’t have access to clean drinking water.”

    So will you be writing this at the end of every article henceforth, then?

  25. Mechorpheus says:

    I feel the main problem with EA trying to use Battlefield as a means to dethrone COD is that, lets be brutally honest, probably 90% of the money COD makes year on year is made on console, and I really doubt that even with the (relative) success of BC2, the console-ites don’t really ‘Get’ Battlefield. While I think its really great that DICE are putting so much effort into the PC version of the game, even if the PC version sells 3 times as much as the PC version of MW3, it won’t matter a jot as the console versions of MW3 will outsell all of BF3 by a similar amount.

    I personally will be buying both games, as I enjoy BC2 enough to warrant getting BF3, and I’ll be buying MW3 primarily for the SINGLE PLAYER. Shocking I realise, but I’ve never not enjoyed a COD single-player, even if they do the same things every time. The story-line is MW is becoming increasingly ridiculous, so its entertaining to see what they’ll try and get away with next. Maybe they’ll try and work in a scenario where Captain Price is captured by some Russian vodka smugglers and has to escape using nothing his moustache and a small herring.

  26. tomeoftom says:

    “Meanwhile, two-thirds of the world’s population don’t have access to clean drinking water.”

    Thank you for that, John. I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was too see that sentence. I can’t understand why we even bother being so negative about boring manshoots when we could instead be complaining to politicians, the media, and each other about the state of the world. We play games for art , entertainment, and escapism. For fuck’s sake, everyone, if you haven’t got something positive to say, turn your efforts to something more important. In this case, “something more important” is really ANYTHING. Christ. Here you go: rather than whining about Kotick, how about encouraging people to help prevent the 5000 deaths from AIDS that happen every single day? Rather than crying about how Company X betrayed you by making the “wrong” game, how about writing a letter to your MP about doing more to stop the world boiling? How about, if you can’t be interesting to read in the comments, being at least a decent fucking human being?

    • Berzee says:

      er…

      you know those things aren’t mutually exclusive, right?

      In today’s news: man whines about computer games, suddenly loses ability of helping the needy!

    • tomeoftom says:

      Any two activities that consume time and can’t be done simultaneously are mutually exclusive – I’m saying you could write a stupid comment or instead write a letter to an MP, which would take equivalent time. Obviously my main gist here is to not /bother/ being negative about this, and to only take the time to write something out if it’s /not/ needlessly depressing.

    • Berzee says:

      The day that someone sighs and says “Man, I *would* write a letter to an MP but I just can’t take the time away from writing stupid internet comments!” is the day I agree with you. Any two activies that consume time and can’t be done simultaneously are mutually exclusive [[[if you are out of time]]].

      In other words, I do not think that time wasted on needlessly depressing internet comments is the main reason why people don’t take on more societal responsibility. =) Rather it’s probably things like not believing a letter will make a difference, or having no desire to make a difference, or not knowing how to make a difference, or not believing that a difference needs to be made.

      Also: John’s comment was not about stupid internet comments. His comment was about companies spending millions on advertising. Which is *kind of* similar, but not entirely. =)

    • D3xter says:

      Or people could…you know… start with what they are interested/invested in and care about (e.g. their own microcosm) including their own circle of acquaintances before they think about teh 18000 children that die every day. If you try to relativize everything and every decision against that at all times you’re just going to end up crying yourself to sleep every night.

    • tomeoftom says:

      Berzee: again, my focus is obviously more on “if you have nothing positive to say, say nothing” as in “cheer up you miserable bastards, there’s much worse out there”.

      Dexter: why should geographical distance and difficulty make indifference any more excusable? It certainly depresses the hell out of me, I mean /really/ depresses me, and I’m a nihilist for chrissake. People were more than happy to go out of their way to support Japan during the quakes, but people don’t do anything similar for an equivalent death toll from unclean water or malnutrition that happens /every day/. Apparently trying to actively help other humans should be restricted to media events. Anyway, my point is, if people /did/ cry themselves to sleep every night, maybe the developed nations of the world would actually eliminate the reason for such despair in the first place. I don’t see how you can consider your position morally defensible in any way. The concept of sticking to your own “microcosm” is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to media insulation and indifference to suffering outside the “bubble”.

    • Berzee says:

      While agreeing with you on many points such as how stupid it is that Lots of Death At Once is a tragedy while lots of deaths strung out over time is just…the way of things…and also agreeing that such things are worth worrying about…

      I think that the mindset which says “You can ONLY be upset about the WORST thing until it’s FIXED and then you can only be upset about the SECOND WORST thing, etc, etc…” is downplaying our ability to multitask our sorrows. =)

      Your intent to bring a little perspective to the mass wailing of slightly peeved games-players is not unwelcome. I will assume that the first 50% of your posts (which sounded like an assumption that anyone who could get annoyed and talk about being annoyed at a little thing must clearly be desensitized to big things) were just an easily-misinterpreted byproduct of the attempt to get people to Chill All The Way Out.
      Just had a bit of a…”Oh your team lost a game? That’s sad. Know what else is sad? The Holocaust, you heartless pig.” …ring to it. (actually you and John Walker should both have said that instead ^_^).

      For the Christian-y equivalent, see: Jesus Juking.

    • thegooseking says:

      I give a monthly donation to the British Red Cross. I tried to donate my right to have an opinion on video games to them as well, but they weren’t interested.

    • Berzee says:

      But there are millions of children around the world without an opinion on video games!

  27. Frank says:

    Whoa, now companies have multiple CEOs (he’s a “publishing CEO”)? Gone are the days when everyone was a VP!

  28. HeavyStorm says:

    “Money that could then be invested into other more interesting projects that aren’t about following other people around as they shoot soldiers in the face.”

    Mega-burn.

  29. adamiani says:

    You write: “Would they make similar amounts of money if they advertised it normally, rather than etching the game’s name with lasers into the moon? I imagine they probably would.”

    You seem to be assuming that marketing isn’t very good at selling things or making money. What in your experience would lead you to believe this?

  30. aircool says:

    As the CoD games get worse, the BF games are getting better. BF2 & BF2142 were buggy, glitchy affairs (yet still fun to play) that repeated the mistakes of earlier games (spawn camping and the like), whilst the original CoD, and to a lesser extent, its sequel required a bit more expertise with the weapons beyond the current games which require little more than the fastest shooting weapon available, a ton of grenades and a pair of speed boots.

  31. hamster says:

    Advertising isn’t evil. It’s only bad when it’s deceptive. And in many ways, good advertising is easily not representative of the actual product, whether we’re talking about games or whatever. The only difference is that it’s difficult to pin down what constitutes “deception” in the case of services. Is hyperbole deception? Is selectively including footage of only the coolest scenes deception? (I know it obviously isn’t legally at the moment, but in actual fact?)

    It seems that, in principle, the correct thing to do is raise AWARENESS of the product, rather than promote it, and better spend capital on product quality. But this is only possible if the company has absolute confidence in its product and advertising doesn’t mean promoting but letting people know the thing exists. Which is kind of contradictory to the practice of advertising pretty much historically.

    I suppose in the end, the onus is on the consumer to be a bit more discriminating, a bit more prudent, in their decision making process.

  32. Nallen says:

    BF3 should destroy MW3 if there is justice in the world.

    Also, John, so much love <3

  33. My2CENTS says:

    Hmm i wonder if a gamer came out of the closet, does he get the achievement “Handbag Closet”

  34. sasbean says:

    Is anyone else getting tired of the bitch fight between EA and Activision?

  35. mR.Waffles says:

    We should all be thrilled that EA are excited to compete. When companies compete we win. Look at Guitar Hero VS Rockband. Rockband became the better product, and the prices went down. Call of Duty just gets worse every year, and becomes a larger pile of technical failure. EA, perhaps in acknowledgement that PC Gamers suffered a quality drop from Activision, believes it can score some points with PC Gamers by focusing on BF3′s PC release. This is fantastic for us. If you don’t like something, stop buying it. This is why I will not be purchasing CoD this year.

  36. fullbleed says:

    Handbags at dawn!

  37. PleasingFungus says:

    John Walker makes his living writing about video games and making bad jokes. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the world doesn’t have access to clean drinking water!

    • Berzee says:

      Isn’t it an outrage? Or maybe it’s only an outrage if it’s millions of monies instead of hundreds or dozens. And if you’re a millionaire, then it’s only an outrage if it’s billions.

  38. Bobtree says:

    I’m grateful there are two (and more) evil game publishing empires to compete with one another instead of one to rule us with an iron fist.

  39. anduin1 says:

    Well imo the battlefield franchise continues to have better and better online experience, keeps dedicated servers for PC (big duh against Acti) so its clear to me that BF3 will be better than CoD #x in terms of multiplay. Ive put in prob close to 200 hours into BC2 so far and MW2 got about 20 before I said f it.

  40. Apocalypse 31 says:

    DICE/EA & Activision have destroyed PC gaming.

    I’d love nothing more to see those two behemoths destroy each other in an ultimate battle, and the survivor is Red Storm Entertainment. Sadly that won’t be the case, because those two companies have already destroyed RsE.

    Oh well. I’m still waiting for my Ghost Recon 1 remake.

  41. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    Gosh, EA. If I wanted to play CoD I’d play CoD.
    I do not, so I am disappointed you are willing to compromise the BF series.

    On the other hand, please continue this nonsense with BF3 (and 4 and 5 and 6!) and while you are going that get another team to work on BF2143, which can have the pressure taken off it and be an actually worthy successor to the rather excellent game that 2142 was.

  42. JohnnyMaverik says:

    I still hate EA more than Activision.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>