Call of Duty 4 community manager Robert Bowling won't like it, but COD: World at War producer Noah Heller has been sounding off to Eurogamer about comparisons between the Treyarch and Infinity Ward shooters.
"It's a different game to Call of Duty 4," Heller insisted, when we asked him if he thought World at War was a better game. "I'll say this - if you're interested in picking up an M16 or blowing six people away with the red dot sight, you're still going to love Call of Duty 4.
"We're offering a flamethrower, a .30 cal, a vicious, brutal enemy and co-op - there's a lot to love here and I'm very satisfied to say that between this game and Call of Duty 4 you've definitely got the best two shooters on the market."
When pressed on whether World at War is a better first-person shooter than Infinity Ward's acclaimed effort, Heller refused to be drawn, claiming: "I would be killed if I answered that question." And Bowling would be prime suspect.
He added: "Can you guys please stop interviewing this guy... I can't take another Google alert of garbage coming through my inbox with bulls*** quotes from this guy". Sorry, Rob.
Heller, speaking to Eurogamer at a recent press event in London, revealed that while there had been technical discussion between Treyarch and Infinity Ward (since World at War uses the COD4 engine), the game was very much Treyarch's own.
"The engineers have a chance to talk to each other, but the design teams are very separate," he explained. "It's really important for healthy game development that the teams have their own voice and their own time to do design.
Heller further suggested that Infinity Ward would actually benefit from the work Treyarch had put in with the engine, particularly with co-op.
"If something makes the code run better, it only helps everyone to share that kind of knowledge," he noted. "But getting into the details of what we share, it's way too technical.
"I'm sure Infinity Ward is proud of the fact they had nothing to do with World at War, just as much as Treyarch is proud of the fact that it's their own game and their own chance to shine. It's a different shooter than Call of Duty 4, and if you're a gamer it belongs in your library."
Call of Duty: World at War releases on home consoles, PC and DS this Friday.