Treyarch has apologised for comments calling Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway "a crappy war game".
The Call of Duty: World at War developer said it found the statement made by an Activision representative "offensive", and that it had "nothing but respect" for its World War II competitor Gearbox.
"Over the weekend, we learned that some disparaging comments were made by an Activision rep at a recent Call of Duty: World at War press event. We want to let everyone know that we found those remarks offensive, and they do not in any way represent the feelings of any developer at this studio or at Activision," said "JD", Treyarch community manager, on the Xbox forums, as reported by Kotaku.
"We hold all of our peers in the development community in the highest regard. We have nothing but respect for the guys and gals at Gearbox."
The offending comments were made to Eurogamer Germany by Noah Heller, senior producer on COD5. He concluded that Hell's Highway wasn't "in the same league" after watching a trailer for the game.
"They're not a game we even think about when we're playing, we think about the best shooters, we play [Call of Duty 4] Modern Warfare, we play Gears of War, we play Halo. That's the competition. We want to look at the games that do great storytelling," Heller told Eurogamer Germany during a video interview.
"We don't want to look at someone who's just making a crappy war game."
Treyarch share the Call of Duty franchise with the franchise's originator Infinity Ward and developed the third in the series before working on the current fifth title.