Scott Steinberg: EA’s Mud-Slinging is a ‘Smart Move’

EA's trash-talking to Activision about its Call of Duty franchise may be frowned upon in some circles, but Scott Steinberg of TechSavvy Global sees it as a clever ploy on the company's part to draw attention to its Battlefield series.

"It reflects just how seriously Electronic Arts and Activision take the coming clash of the titans – and how much each side has invested in the conflict's outcome," Steinberg tells Industry Gamers. "Modern Warfare 3 enjoys tremendous brand recognition and a massive fan following, giving it a marked advantage over Battlefield 3 at the cash register… but Battlefield 3 may very well be the more ambitious, polished and critically-acclaimed of the two titles. Moreover, each side plans to spend well into the eight or nine figures promoting the titles, reinforcing just how high the stakes are they're playing for."

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter noted that EA may look bad, but the sassy talk is certainly garnering some interesting publicity. Marketers will tell you there's no such thing as bad publicity..

"Smart move, AND petty and unprofessional," Pachter noted, adding that Activision isn't an innocent bystander in the war of words. "That's the nature of competition. Bobby was loudly trashing BF3 at E3 (not ready on consoles, 30 frames/sec), so it's arguable that ATVI 'started it' and it's easier to take the high road when you're in first place, so they are doing so now."

Steinberg says that mud-slinging in the industry is not a new phenomenon (I can remember members of Ion Storm and id Software going at it in .plan files in the late 90's – ED.). "From a broader perspective, tasteful or no, the mudslinging means little from the perspective of semantics – subtelty's never been an industry strong suit, as gaming rivals have been hurling insults since the days of 'Genesis does what Nintendon't.' But what such smack-talk does do is galvanize attention around the coming showdown: A win-win for both sides from the perspective of pure publicity."

"Whether or not that's by design, or simply a natural outpouring of the enthusiasm and emotional investment each publisher has invested in the projects is largely irrelevant," he added. "Regardless of your appetite for name-calling, there's no denying the clear upsides gained via such scuffles, as these heated exchanges help keep both games in the headlines, and top of mind."

Source: Industry Gamers


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  1. 0
    axiomatic says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I respect that but I'm not entirely sure that a game session where 64 people are in combat with 64 different people (something that can't be done in Modern Warfare) could be considered "slower-paced" by any stretch of the imagination.

    Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved IW's Modern Warfare and play it still but this time around I fear DICE/EA's product will trump the product from IW/Activision. Without West and Zampella, IW/Activision's product is starting at a deficiency.

  2. 0
    AndrewWinters says:

    It just depends on your preference. Battlefield is more about the environment and is slower-paced. Modern Warfare is faster-paced and is more about the combat.

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