EA's recent spate of public "mudslinging" over this year's Modern Warfare 3/Battlefield 3 showdown is bad for the industry, so says Activision exec Eric Hirshberg.
Speaking in his Gamescom keynote today, the Acti Publishing CEO called on publishers to encourage each other to make great games rather than tearing chunks off each other in the press.
"Competition is of course a good thing. It keeps us all on our toes and ultimately makes the games better. It's healthy. But it's one thing to want your game to succeed and another thing to actively, publicly say you want other games to fail," he said.
"Recently a competitor of ours was quoted as saying that he wants to see Call of Duty 'rot from the core'. I've been asked countless times to respond to this comment and I've generally chosen not to. My job is to help our incredibly talented, passionate teams to make the best games they can, not to throw insults around at others. But I actually feel this kind of rhetoric is bad for our industry.
"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 continued. "It's kind of hard to imagine, right?"
Hirshberg went on to argue that if everyone supports one another then the industry will make better games and pull in more punters.
"As someone who runs one of the biggest publishers in this business I can tell you that I want as many games as possible to succeed, whether we created them or not," he continued, "because I want this industry to keep growing and bringing in new people.
"I believe when someone in this industry does something great, whether they work in California, or Sweden, or North Carolina, or the United Kingdom, it doesn't just benefit their company. It benefits us all."
He added that there are plenty of potential customer out there to go around. Make a great game and it will sell, no matter what the competition is up to, he argued.
"I believe that as many great games as this industry can make, that's how many people will buy. I say that not only as the CEO of Activision but also as a gamer.
"This isn't politics. In order for one to win, the other doesn't have to lose. This is an entertainment industry, it's an innovation industry and, at best, it's an art form. But we're still a young art form. If we were the movie industry the movies wouldn't even be talking yet.
"We all still have a lot to prove in our position in the pop cultural landscape. We still need to stand the test of time. We need to show we can withstand the kind of disruptive change and new competition that we're facing now.
"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."