I posted this originally as an one of my Examiner articles, but I wanted to share this with the Giantbomb community. This is a thing I've been wanting to write this for a while. Remember, despite what you may think I wrote this as someone who likes, not loves both Call of Duty and Battlefield. Here's a link to my original article if you want to check it out. But you're welcome to read and comment on it on my blog.
Modern Warfare 3 versus Battlefield 3, if you go to any forum on the internet that has anything to do with video games you'll likely see this topic floating around. Last year it was Modern Warfare 2 versus Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and then at the end of the year Black Ops versus Bad Company 2. EA has taken notice, and the marketing for Battlefield 3 is that it's designed to "Take Call of Duty down".
This seems like the laziest way they could market the game. It not only feels lazy, but also makes it sound like they don't have enough confidence in the quality of the game itself. A baseball team doesn't need to talk trash about the other team to win; they just need to play better than the other team. EA shouldn't have to call out Modern Warfare 3 for people to pay attention to Battlefield 3. EA should just let DICE make a great game, then show the game and let it speak for itself.
The whole idea that Battlefield 3 is going to lead to the death of Call of Duty is a bit ridiculous. Call of Duty continues to break sales records every year it's released. Last year Black Ops sold around 5.6 million copies in a single day, while Bad Company 2 sold 2.3 million copies in its first month. While Bad Company 2 was no doubt a success, it still doesn't have the kind of name recognition that Call of Duty has.
To "Take down Call of Duty" something would have to come out that becomes more popular than Call of Duty. No existing game franchise will be able to do that in its current state. That's not saying Call of Duty is the best franchise ever, but it's easily the one of the most accessible multiplayer games that's actually fun in today's market, if not the most accessible multiplayer game franchise to date.
For something to take the spotlight from Call of Duty, they would have to innovate. Call of Duty 4's success was no doubt a surprise. Call of Duty 4 was not only a fantastic game, but it was extremely innovative. There was nothing quite like Call of Duty 4's multiplayer at the time, and it quickly captured the attention of not only gamers, but people who didn't even play games.
What we've seen of Battlefield 3's multiplayer doesn't really seem to be very innovative. From what EA and DICE have shown Battlefield 3 looks like Bad Company 2's multiplayer, except on a much bigger scale. While Bad Company 2's multiplayer was great and easily the best part of the game, it didn't steal a huge number of Modern Warfare 2 players away. While Battlefield 3's multiplayer will probably be great and possibly better than Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer, it won't steal that big of Call of Duty's fan base away.
In the end a lot of the back lash towards Modern Warfare 3 is probably due to the old way of thinking that if something's popular than it's no longer cool to like. Call of Duty has proved again and again that despite being released year after year, it remains a high quality franchise. Despite what some people may say, whether you enjoy Call of Duty or Battlefield better still boils down to your opinion and your personal taste. There's nothing wrong with you if you like Call of Duty over Battlefield, and vice versa
Battlefield 3 probably isn't going to "Take Call of Duty down". If you pick up ether game or both and enjoy one over the other that's your right. Saying your game is going to be the fall of another isn't a great way to market your game, and is never an approach EA should have took. There's nothing wrong with marketing, but a great game is something that should speak for itself.