Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says EA's intense focus on taking down Call of Duty is only helping to build public awareness of Modern Warfare 3.
EA's talked up its chances of stealing Call of Duty market share this year with Battlefield 3, with CEO John Riccitiello going as far as to say DICE's game has been "designed to take down" its rival.
And while Hirshberg acknowledges Call of Duty faces "tough competition" every year, he told MCV that Activision's more focused on producing a quality product than on what its rivals are doing.
"When you are in the number one position you have a lot of people gunning for you," he said. "It sounds trite but it's true: we focus on what we need to do to make the best games we can.
"We don't pay much mind looking at what the competitors are doing. I know they are focused on us... well that's all I'll say." Except it wasn't all he said.
"Well, I think EA might talk about our games in the press more than we do," Hirshberg added. "So, the first thing I say to them is 'Thanks for the assistance in building awareness.'
"But when you think about it, we've had tough competition every year for Call of Duty. It's never been easy. This is one of the most competitive genres in one of the most competitive industries.
"Last year we had Halo: Reach and Medal of Honor, and it's not like they weren't amazing developers gunning for the top of this mountain either," he continued. "And it's the same this year - Gears of War is back along with lots of other games.
"So, of course, we take all the competition really seriously. But at the end of the day I really mean it when I say we are focusing on the finish line, not the competition. We are making the best game we can, and are throwing every resource, innovation and all the creativity we can at it. And hopefully that will maintain our position."
The latest Modern Warfare 3 leak claims the game's multiplayer component will feature new perks and killstreaks - including team-based ones for the first time - but no dedicated servers.