Activision and EA continue to exchange barbs; some subtle, others not so subtle.
During a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz , Activision boss Eric Hirshberg addressed EA's attempts to steal away valuable Call of Duty market share when Battlefield 3 launches on October 25. Said Hirshberg:
"It’s not a new strategy for challenger brands to try to get themselves mentioned in the same breath as leader brands. Coke didn’t do the Coke challenge, Pepsi did the Pepsi challenge. It’s a tried and true strategy to try and get yourself mentioned as much as possible in the same breath as the leaders so people start thinking of you in that context."
Translation: we're the leaders. Just try and catch us. Hirshberg also talked about the concept of "market share" itself; i.e., why isn't it possible for Activision to create an even bigger share (via more fans)? Why is there only a limited group?
"What about creating market share? I feel like [EA's comments] comes from a place that assumes that there’s a finite number of gamers in the world. If we as an industry act like there’s a finite number of gamers in the world, and just beat each other up to get access to them, I think that will come true. On the other hand, if we act like we can constantly pull people into this passion, which is what has happened – the industry has grown exponentially – then I think that we can bake a bigger pie instead of fighting over a bigger slice of the existing one."
We all know that Modern Warfare 3 will emerge victorious in the sales battle; it could very well become the biggest game of all time. But EA already knows this, and they're only interested in narrowing the gap. And they just might do that.
But that will only cause the mud to fly through the air at higher velocity.