Monday, December 16, 2013

Is One Really Better than the Other?, Will Maddox

Is One Really Better than the Other?

Will Maddox

DICE and Activision have been competing for buyers for over a decade. DICE created its Battlefield franchise in early 2000 and followed up with its Game of the Year winner, Battlefield 1942 in 2002 (Mclaughlin, 2011). Activision and Infinity Ward did not release Call of Duty until 2003 (Call of Duty: History and Timeline, 2013). For some reason Call of Duty is far more established in the gaming market then Battlefield. And because Call of Duty is more established DICE feels that it has to attack Call of Duty verbally in order to ruin their reputation.

The feud between DICE and Activision is nothing new in the world of advertising. There are numerous brands that are well established in a particular market and their rivals feel the need to attack them.

Microsoft’s BING ads have been known to bash one of the most popular search engines on the web, Google.  Microsoft claims that people who try Bing are more willing to use the website over Google. 

Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy 3 and 4 have countless commercials attack Apple’s iPhone by stating that the iPhone is old tech compared to the new Samsung Galaxy or other Android phones.   

So why do franchises feel the need to bash their competition? Well brands like Call of Duty have a winning formula that sales product.  The game has been known to change very little each year but sales remain high. The latest installment into the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Ghost, sold $1 Billion dollars worth of games in the first day alone (Lejacq, 2013). 

Nick Cowen of The Guardian wrote a review of the latest Call of Duty and stated,

            With Call Of Duty: Ghosts, one gets what one expects.
While this may sound like a damning appraisal of the game, bear this in mind; if your lip is curling into a contempt-filled sneer, this game is no longer aimed at you. It's aimed at the people who buy CoD every single year and, for all it faults, enjoy the heck out of it. It's aimed at trash-talking eSports crews, potty-mouthed online warriors and connoisseurs of Big Dumb Entertainment that blows your hair back until the roots snap.
Infinity Ward's core audience is bigger than the population of the greater London metropolitan area. To that end, the developer deserves a couple of nods for creating a campaign that takes risks with a template that, while eminently recognisable, contains a new narrative and attempts to make the player's progression more varied than before (Cowen, 2013).

Call of Duty does in fact have a faithful following.  This following is what scares DICE into bashing the Call of Duty name.  Naturally DICE does not want to compete with Activision for sells therefore they bash them. 

While Call of Duty has a formula for success, Battlefield is constantly being updated.  Battlefield titles always have the latest and greatest technology behind them and DICE proudly promotes this like a parent proud of their child.  Battlefield 3, released in 2011, was suppose to be a complete overhaul of the Battlefield franchise. Rus Mclaughlin of IGN stated: 
For a series not generally know for spectacular graphics, Battlefield 3 just might rank as one of the best-looking, best-sounding games of the year. Jets make a welcome return, campaign gets co-op mode, and environmental destruction now works in both macro and micro directions. And in a supreme show of confidence, for the first time, DICE and EA chose to go head-to-head against the Modern Warfare juggernaut that unseated Battlefield as gaming's premiere military shooter. (Mclaughlin, 2011)
Battlefield 3 had the latest gaming engine developed by Electronic Arts, EA.  This engine, named Frostbite 2, was used in many of EA’s sports and racing games that provided gamers with spectacular visual and audio effects. 

Battlefield 4 was supposed to be even bigger and better than its predecessor.  Battlefield 4 was made with Frostbite 3, which allows for larger maps and more people to play together on one server.   But boasting about the new engine wasn’t enough for DICE.  DICE felt that their accomplishments weren’t enough and they still had to attack the new Call of Duty game.  The picture to the left is from the back of the Battlefield 4 box and it clearly has a quote that bashes the new Call of Duty game.

The box for Call of Duty: Ghost has nowhere on it anything about Battlefield 4 or DICE.  The only thing it has are the good things the game offers such as a new Squad mode and a free map download in the box. 

From all this bashing and new tech Battlefield must be the better game.  On the other hand, Call of Duty did sell $1 billion dollars worth of games on the first day.  So which game is better?

I must admit that I play video games quit avidly and own both Call of Duty: Ghost and Battlefield 4. Having played both I can say that comparing these two games is like comparing Star Wars to Star Trek.  They appear to be the same on the surface but when you get right down to it, they are completely different.

On the surface Call of Duty and Battlefield both appear to be first-person shooters.  They both have a campaign and a large multiplayer online mode.  This is where the similarities stop.

The main difference between the two games is the style in which you play the multiplayer mode.  Call of Duty is known for its relatively small maps and its run-and-gun style of play.  Battlefield is more for strategy and communication.  Battlefield also has massive maps because of its extra strength computing power from the Frostbite 3 engine.  

Call of Duty also has a much shorter campaign compared to Battlefield.

Despite the fact that they are so different, these games are continuously compared.  And because they are compared so much, DICE feels that it must bring down the Call of Duty franchise in order to sell Battlefield games.  This is why DICE bashes Call of Duty and every game they come out with is bigger and better.

Both Call of Duty and Battlefield have die-hard fans that like to think that one game is leaps and bounds better than the other.  In reality these two games are two very different things that should not be compared. 


Call of Duty: History and Timeline. (2013, June 13). Retrieved from

Cowen, N. (2013, November 13). Call of Duty: Ghost – Review. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Lejacq, Y. (2013, November 6). 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' ships $1 billion in copies — but how much did gamers spend?. Retrieved from

Mclaughlin, R. (2011, October 3). The History of Battlefield: A look into the past to bring you the full story of the twists and turns that have brought us right up to Battlefield 3. Retrieved from

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