EA boss John Riccitiello has directed a fresh barrage of taunts at Activision in the aftermath of the Battlefield 3 showing at E3, declaring the conference "the beginning of the war" between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3.
In reality, the war started months ago. Riccitiello and Kotick have been at each others' throats since late last year. The latest exchange was started by Bobby Kotick's comments on the Battlefield 3 E3 showing, which also sum up his feelings on the PC as a platform.
"Well so far I've only seen Battlefield 3 shown on a PC, so I haven't seen it on a console which is where the bulk of our business is," he says. "If it's just a PC title as it looks like today, that's a very small audience to participate."
"The product that we're about to release, Modern Warfare 3, is the result of an enormous amount of audience research," he added. "It is what our tens of million of players are saying they'd like to see in their next action experience, so we're very confident about its launch."
Riccitiello responded quickly. "The very fact that he's trying to cast doubt on our game is a perfect example of how we got his goat. In terms of where this goes, we think our PS3 game is better than their Xbox game and our PC game is better than their PC game.
"If that's all he's got to say, it's obviously going to evaporate as we launch all three. If you went to our press conference, you saw the PS3 footage and the Xbox footage. If Bobby thinks that is PC footage, he's in real trouble."
"We're going to have a clash of the titans this fall," he told Reuters.
A "senior informant" told CVG that Kotick tried to get into EA's booth to see Battlefield 3 at E3 last week, but was told a behind closed doors showing "would not be possible." Activision denied that Kotick's request, delivered by an assistant, was turned down, but CVG's informant remains "100 per cent adamant that he witnessed it."
DICE gameplay designer Gustav Halling explained on Twitter that "[Kotick] wasn't on our invited list so he have to stay in line as everyone else at E3 =) EA said No to Kotick."
"They think they can go in unannounced before the hundreds of people queuing? =) We have invited people only who can do that."
Battlefield 3 did its level best to try and win E3 with a spectacular eight minute in-game demo of a single player tank mission, a trailer showing the Operation Metro multiplayer map , and an impressive demo Frostbite 2 tech demo .
The war of words between Kotick and Riccitiello is set to continue throughout the summer. Battlefield 3 is out on October 25, Modern Warfare 3 is out on November 8.