EA CEO: Battlefield 3 is "designed to take Call of Duty down"

Tom Senior at

Call of Duty Moder Warfare 2

EA is already preparing for the showdown between Battlefield 3 and the Call of Duty game that hasn't even been announced yet. CEO John Riccitiello predicts that EA and Activision will easily spend more than $100 million each on marketing when both games are released later this year, and admits that Battlefield 3 is targeted at taking the shooter top spot from the Call of Duty series.

Speaking at the Ad Age conference, covered by Gamasutra, Riccitiello said that we can expect EA and Activision "a couple hundred million dollars [worth of] marketing against these two products."

Riccitiello observes that the game industry has an audience of 1.5 billion players worldwide, and predicts that this could grow to 3 billion people in the next three or four years, dwarfing television audiences, and opening up more opportunities for advertising companies to run huge marketing campaigns.

The ads won't just extend to billboards and TV spots. EA already run advertising in multiplayer lobbies. Barack Obama ran ads in EA games ahead of the presidential election, and Riccitiello says we can expect more of the same as Battlefield 3 gets ready to take on Call of Duty in the coming months. "Today's consumer is very much expecting advertising," he says "we didn't have that understanding a few years ago."

One thing's for sure. As we get closer to Battlefielsd' release in November, it'll be hard to get away from the $100 million marketing campaigns EA and Activision will be running. For more on Battlefield 3, check out the latest Battlefield 3 trailer.