EA CEO John Riccitiello has launched his most scathing attack on the Call of Duty franchise yet, criticising both developer Treyarch and Activision’s leading executives.
"I don’t know that having two guys that probably don’t play the games, in the form of the CEO of Vivendi and the CEO of Activision, come out and say ‘Treyarch is our lead developer,’ like you could anoint that," Riccitiello told Industry Gamers.
"[Treyarch] didn’t make a 90-rated game; I think it’s 86 now. I don’t think review scores are the be-all, end-all, but we all know a mid-90 when we see it, but this was mid-80s. I don’t think you could anoint them by an executive saying, ‘it’s so.’
"The question, I think, really is, ‘what developer is going to put forward the next great FPS that sort of follows [what Infinity Ward did]?’ It’s wishful thinking, and let’s hope for Activision’s sake they’re right. I think it’s far from proven that the gaming consumer views a product from Treyarch in the same category as a product from what was Infinity Ward."
Attention then turned to EA’s own franchises, with Riccitiello moving dismiss statements made by Patrick Soderlund, who said in November that the game didn’t meet our quality expectations”.
"I don’t know what you heard about Medal of Honor," he added. "I think it ended up in the mid-70s reviewed, and it was polarising for some people for a variety of reasons. It exceeded our expectations going in. We knew we were building a game on Unreal; we knew that it had limitations in terms of what it was going to do, but by and large if you listened to our last earnings call, we stated unequivocally that it exceeded expectations.
"Activision will do 25m on the tail of last year’s Modern Warfare 2 and the start of this year’s Black Ops, and then probably something similar next year. But it took them, what, five or six editions to get into double digit millions?"
The exec then went on talk up the next instalment in EA’s successful Battlefield franchise.
"This management team started with this goal really two and a half years ago and our first entry really was Battlefield: Bad Company, and you’ll see a lot about Battlefield 3 next year, which I think is, at least from our perspective, designed to be the one that is the big leap forward; the one that is going to help a lot," he asserted.
"We’ll do north of ten million units in shooters in calendar 2010 between Battlefield: Bad Company and Medal of Honor, up from 2m. I think we’re the only major player with a 500 per cent growth, is one observation."