What is becoming a war of words between Electronic Arts and Activision over Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 continues to escalate. In our opinion it is clear that Activision is paying more attention than they have in the past, as the footage has clearly gotten their attention.
Activision’s main man, Bobby Kotick, is quoted as suggesting that all of the footage that DICE has shown so far comes from the PC version of the game; to which John Riccitiello from EA retorted that, “If Bobby thinks that is PC footage, he’s in real trouble.”
While Riccitiello has said to have suggested that the rivalry between the two competing products is “a bit of fun,” it is clear that this clash of the titans will be something to watch. It is also obvious now that Activision is at least trying to downplay Battlefield 3 in favor of Modern Warfare 3.
Industry analysts that we have spoken with say that it is clear that DICE has made significant progress with Battlefield 3, and they have spent a lot of energy trying to make the public aware of the title. Despite the fact that gamers are paying attention, and pre-orders for Battlefield 3 are far ahead of where they have ever been in other previous releases in the franchise, it will take much more than this to outsell the king.
Modern Warfare 3 is also gaining significant pre-orders, and retailers that we have checked with tell us that many people are placing orders for both. As one analyst told us, “The fact that gamers are embracing Battlefield 3 is great for EA, but Activision really has nothing to worry about at this point, unless Modern Warfare 3 is really bad; and even then it will likely still outsell Battlefield 3.” Another analyst added this: “Battlefield 3 will make a big sales impact for EA, and it for sure is a step in the right direction; but getting players to play it will be the real trick, as many players will still remain loyal to the CoD franchise.”
No matter the comments flying back and forth, it will be an epic match to watch in October when Battlefield 3 arrives ahead of Modern Warfare 3. As far as we are concerned, we hope that both sides continue to dial the rhetoric up, as we believe that it will make good theater to watch in the meantime.