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EA swipes back at Kotick

Schafer also responds to latest round of industry mud-flinging

EA has responded to accusations made by Activision boss Bobby Kotick that the publisher had lost its way, had a tendency to drum identity out of its studios and had become an unappealing prospect to employees.

In a statement released to the media, EA's vice-president of corporate communications, Jeff Brown, claimed that "Kotick's relationship with studio talent is well-documented in litigation."

This was in reference to the Infinity Ward legal battles, sackings and resignations earlier this year.

"His company is based on three game franchises," Brown continued. "One is a fantastic persistent world he had nothing to do with; one is in steep decline; and the third is in the process of being destroyed by Kotick's own hubris."

Brown was referring to, respectively, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero and Call of Duty.

In comments published in EDGE magazine and published online yesterday, Kotick had said of EA: "It's been struggling for a really long time. The most difficult challenge it faces today is: great people don't really want to work there... Its stock options have no value. It's lost its way."

Kotick had also responded to derogatory comments made about him by Double Fine's Tim Schafer in July, claiming he had never met the man and that Brutal Legend deserved to be cancelled.

Schafer last night offered a riposte to Eurogamer.net. "It's sad is that instead of just insulting me personally, he goes after the product of my hard-working team - a group of people he almost put out of work a while back."

"But what's even sadder is that it took him two months to think of a comeback."

Kotick had also claimed that, despite a perception to the contrary in some quarters, he is a lifelong and passionate game fan himself.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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