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Whether it is Bobby Kotick wanting to raise game prices even further, trying to take the fun out of making videogames or even driving away one of the most popular studios in the industry, one thing is for certain: Activision has been a PR nightmare lately. While Activision is attempting to improve its public image, Electronic Arts seems to be taking advantage of Activision’s growing unpopularity amongst gamers. During a recent interview, EA Chief Operating Officer John Shappert took the opportunity to make backhanded comments towards Activision when asked about the rival company.

When asked about Activision, Shappert noted that “… stories of late [regarding Activision] haven’t been very positive. And we couldn’t be happier to have Jason [West] and Vince [Zampella] as part of our EA Partners program, or Ted Price of Insomniac”. In addition to rubbing salt in Activision’s wound regarding the loss of  Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward, the interview allowed Shappert to differentiate his company from the likes of Activision.

In doing so, Shappert inferred that Activision discourages creative development and mistreats their employees. “I would say we’re two very, very different companies. What we try to be is a company that embodies creative development, that fosters the development of games, that treats talent as well as you possibly can,” said the silver-tongued spokesman.

Further distinguishing his company from Activision, Shappert noted that “Without great people we can’t have great games, and without great games we don’t have much of a company and so it’s all about taking care of the people that make the products and treating them as the most precious resource because they truly are. So that’s really our philosophy.”

The snide nature of the comments aside, it is easy to find truth behind Shappert’s statements. While Activision seems hell-bent on whoring out its franchises to the point of market saturation, Electronic Arts has focused on fostering new and interesting intellectual properties such as The Saboteur, Mirror’s Edge, Dante’s Inferno and the Dead Space series. Hopefully, EA will treat the former Infinity Ward developers at the newly created Respawn Entertainment a little better than their former publisher did.

[Via Industry Gamers]

  1. While admittedly Activision isn’t doing much to deserve gamers’ respect (I for one am still mildly annoyed at their StarCraft II pricing decision), it’s hard to take anything EA says at face value. The publishers take shots at each other constantly, and this isn’t too far out of the ordinary. For example, while EA may accuse Activision of driving its franchises hard:

    Currently, EA’s most successful products are sports games published under its EA Sports label, games based on popular movie licenses such as Harry Potter and games from long-running franchises like Need for Speed, Medal of Honor, The Sims, Battlefield and the later games in the Burnout and Command & Conquer series. They are also the distributors of the Rock Band series.

    So, it’s not like EA are absolute paragons of the industry. Hell, who is?

  2. EA has not become the industry’s second largest third party publisher by solely appealing to hardcore gamers with new and interesting IPs. They have strong, established franchises and look after their bottom line. Don’t get me wrong, EA is far from perfect, but releasing yearly updates for their sports franchises is something entirely different from Activision releasing seven Guitar Hero titles last year (including DJ Hero & Band Hero).

  3. Honestly his comments can only be considered snide and backhanded if they aren’t true. In this case they are. EA itself has plenty of issues along side Activision but their Partner’s Program has been a major reason why they seem to be getting alot less heat these days. In my opinion they are also cracking out better games. *shrugs*

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