The bulk of Activision's CEO of publishing Eric Hirschberg's Gamescom keynote was dedicated to encouraging the company's unnamed "competitors" (hint: EA) to concentrate on developing their own games and to stop trash-talking about Call of Duty.
"Competition is of course a good thing. It keeps us all on our toes and ultimately makes the games better. It's healthy," he said. "But it's one thing to want your game to succeed and another thing to actively, publicly say you want other games to fail."
"Can you imagine the head of Dreamworks animation coming out with a new movie and going to the press and saying that he wants Toy Story to 'rot from the core'," he asked. "It's kind of hard to imagine, right?"
That last comment refers to statement made by EA CEO John Riccitiello about the Call of Duty fan base. Put in context, we don't believe that Riccitiello's statement was inflammatory. The EA CEO argued that the majority of Call of Duty audience buy it because of the hype even if they don't play it half-way through. Riccitiello believes that the best way to lure those gamers to Battlefield is by winning the hardcore gamers over, hoping that the rest of the flock would follow them; he called this technique making the fan base "rot from the core."
In the Gamescom keynote, Activision CEO reminded his "competitors" that the videogames market is not a zero-sum market. "This isn't politics," he said. "In order for one to win, the other doesn't have to lose."
"The only way to do that is to continue to make great games. We shouldn't be tearing each other apart fighting for a bigger piece of the pie - we should all be focused on trying to grow a bigger pie. If we as an industry act like there's a finite number of games in the world, then there will be."