Activision CEO talks EA competition, makes lots of sense

CEO of Activision Publishing, Eric Hirshberg, is not afraid to admit that there’s a certain level of competition between Activision and Electronic Arts. Both publishers are about to release some serious FPS titles in the coming months: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. EA has not been shy about mudslinging as release dates approach, and Hirshberg has pegged that as a strategy the rival publisher has decided to adopt when it comes to Battlefield 3.

EA is boasting that it will steal at least twenty percent of Activision’s market share thanks to Battlefield 3. Hirshberg, however, has a different way of looking at it: “…stealing market share…What about creating market share? I feel like [this attitude] comes from a place that assumes that there’s a finite number of gamers in the world.”

Hirshberg cautions that this idea of a finite number of gamers runs the risk of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy: “If we as an industry act like there’s a finite number of gamers in the world, and just beat each other up to get access to them, I think that will come true.”

Fortunately, his alternative way of looking at things paints a rosier picture for the future of the FPS market: “On the other hand, if we act like we can constantly pull people into this passion, which is what has happened – the industry has grown exponentially – then I think that we can bake a bigger pie instead of fighting over a bigger slice of the existing one.”

“Competition is good for this industry,” Hirshberg admits, “there’s a difference between wanting your game to succeed and openly wanting other games to fail. To me this is an art form, and the more great content we create as an industry the larger the market for it will be.”