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EA: Acti has made "horrific mistakes"

Riccitiello doesn't "feel sorry" for Kotick.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

EA boss John Riccitiello feels no sympathy for Activision CEO and games industry piñata Bobby Kotick, insisting that the Call of Duty publisher has made "really horrific mistakes".

Remember a few years back when it was EA, rather than Activision, that was the publisher gamers loved to hate? Well, EA CEO John Ricitiello has told IndustryGamers that the competition only has itself to blame for finding itself in the firing line.

"No, I don't actually feel sorry for the other guys," he explained. "I think they're making some really horrific mistakes."

He didn't specify, but Riccitiello could be referring to all those high profile studio closures and controversial sackings.

"Without being too directly negative about a particular competitor," he explained, "I would say that what often happens is a scenario where you've lost your customer, so you lean on your employee to do evermore impossible things which generates profitability for two or three years where you sort of live off past success.

"The reason I know what this looks like is we've been through it, but I think in the end, abusing your customer, followed by abusing your employee, usually leads to ruin and it usually leads to abusing your investor."

The EA boss went on to explain how his once reviled organisation managed to claw its way back into favour.

"Three years ago, we were not making any money and we'd lost the support of our shareholders, and we had lost the support of our gamer, and our attrition was at an all time high," said Riccitello. "So your quality's down, the gamer hates you, the investor's not happy, and you've got nowhere to go and employees are leaving.

"Since then, I think it is fair to say we've got most of the gamers back, we like what we're doing, not in every case, but a friend of mine defined brand loyalty as when somebody criticises your brand on a website, how long does it take for someone to come back and fight on your behalf.

"I find that interesting," he continued. "You look at the timestamps on a lot of blogs and the vast majority of time it takes less than a minute for somebody to come back and say something positive about EA."

What with this, and Riccitiello's recent claim that Call of Duty: Black Ops developer Treyarch isn't all that, there's some lovely tension building between the two publishing powerhouses, wouldn't you say?

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