EA attacks Call of Duty: Elite strategy

Hopes franchise will "rot from the core".

Activision botched the announcement of its Call of Duty: Elite community portal, so says EA boss John Riccitiello.

Talking in an interview with IndustryGamers, Riccitiello suggested that its competitor would have copped less flak from gamers over Elite's premium paid-for features had it been announced after Modern Warfare 3 had hit the shops.

"I don't know what's in Elite right now, but based on what I've seen, I think they might've been better off holding the Elite thing and been a little more careful and show up a month after they've launched Modern Warfare 3," he explained.

"'Hey, we've got an expansion pack. It's going to be x amount of money, but if you give us y amount of money, you get extra stuff.' As opposed to leading with their chin.

"I think the reason they led with their chin is that they needed to say something against what was clearly a more powerful presentation of Battlefield 3 over Modern Warfare. So they needed something to say.

"I think they picked the wrong thing, but there's a lot of months between now and November so they've got plenty of time to recover."

Elsewhere in the chat, Riccitiello fired off a few more choice salvos in the publisher's ongoing war of words with the Call of Duty custodian.

Not only did he suggest that the third entry in Infinity Ward's series was "a little bit jump the shark" but he also argued that the decision to focus on the core gamer with Battlefield 3 over Modern Warfare's courting of the mainstream would help tip the balance in EA's favour.

"So I do think, though, that we've got the better game, the better tack. And if you think about your readership, it's got a concentration of people that might tell the difference between a good game and a bad game. We're going to do really well there.

"A lot of people bought Modern Warfare more for the coffee table and didn't play it for two months. There's sort of that mass audience... they're going to win there. The question is, 'So, if the gamer buys our game and the mass audience buys their game, where do the two meet?' And all I want to do, if you will, is to have them rot from the core," he explained.

"And so if we can start that process, we're in a good spot."

The EA boss then hammered home his criticisms of the Elite announcement.

"I do think the core is going to be particularly anxious about a pre-announcement of a subscription and I think the reason they'll be anxious about it is because if they led with, 'Here's 10 great things you get,' and they go, 'Oh, I can't wait to buy them,' that's one thing. If they lead with a business model that's another thing.

"But wait and see. I give them... well, I don't really give them the benefit of the doubt, but I've got no choice but to wait and watch."

Battlefield 3 is due to launch on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 28th October, a couple of weeks ahead of Modern Warfare 3 on 8th November.

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