For the last few years, many headlines leading into the holiday season have centred around the first-person shooter contest between Activision and EA. The former has held the sales crown with Call of Duty, while the latter has been seeking to overthrow it with the one-two punch of Battlefield and Medal of Honor. This contest is shaping up once more with Infinity Ward readying the new sub-series début: Ghosts, and DICE once again bringing what promises to be the technologically superior Battlefield 4.
Speaking with CVG, EA Labels chief Frank Gibeau responded to the question of whether he thinks that Battlefield 4 has a chance at sales supremacy with the following:
“Look, we are absolutely going for it. It’s a competition and we feel really good about Battlefield 4, and we have an old saying at EA which is ‘transition is our friend’, and we’re going to try to lap them with new technology, new innovation and new capabilities. So do I think we’re going to do better than last time? Absolutely.”
Though shying away from unreserved optimism, he has reason to be hopeful. The latest game to emerge from DICE has been getting quite a bit of press attention, with most of it positive, though focusing on the multiplayer side of things. The developer is clearly trying to make a leap in this field large enough to put them well ahead of the competition, but whether they can succeed is another matter. Whichever way the domino ends up falling, Gibeau reiterates that these closely fought battles are a good thing for the industry as a whole, referencing similar situations between Madden and 2K’s NFL titles and FIFA and PES:
“…these fights are good for the industry. They’re good for customers. Competition drives innovation, and from our perspective some people snigger at these two companies going head-to-head but actually it’s good for our industry, it’s good for customers and it’s good for our dev team.”
Considering the rather mediocre standing of last year’s Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and its consequent removal from release rotation, it leaves a potential gap for next year, if DICE maintains its two-year development cycle. Gibeau also addressed this with the statement that they will remain competitive by focussing on the trifecta of Battlefield, Star Wars: Battlefront and Titanfall. It’s an interesting situation and with three shooters that will apparently focus on very different ideas, there is some potential for EA’s continued growth in the sector. Of course, only time will tell.
While we wait to see how these intentions pan out, why not let us know how you feel about these revelations, and which, if either, of the two blockbuster shooters you’ll be buying come November.