EA screams, Activision barely whispers

Biggest publisher in the world. Smallest presence imaginable.

Want to own Los Angeles? You're going to have to go big, or go home.


EA is everywhere at E3 2011, with one of the most visible publisher presences the show has ever known. Take one step into the Los Angeles Convention Centre, and you cannot miss the company's ridiculously huge stand - right at the very front of the giant South Hall.

FIFA 12, Need For Speed: The Run, and a wealth of sexy Apple hardware are all available for Johnny Public to get its grubby mits on, as a giant cinema screen blares out showstoppingly loud footage of Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and The Old Republic.

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Meanwhile, right at the back of the Hall, it's a very different story. Activision's stand is around a third of the size of its biggest rival's, containing very little colour, and just a handful of modestly-sized TV screens showing trailers.

The most surprising move from the world's largest publisher is that there are no demo pods whatsoever. If you don't have behind-closed-doors access, there's simply nothing to play.

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It's an oddly muted, small-scale participation from Bobby Kotick's team, particularly considering the multi-million Dollar extravaganza the firm hosted at the show in 2010.

This year, Activision offers none of the skyscraping, attention-grabbing props boasted by EA and the likes of THQ, Microsoft, Sony, Sega and Ubisoft - who are offering everyone the chance to play Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online, Driver: San Francisco and Just Dance.

Acti is offering special guests the chance to see Modern Warfare 3, Call Of Duty: Elite and its new Spyro game behind the scenes - whilst EA has The Old Republic, Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect under lock and key.

But as our video footage from the event floor shows, the reserved nature of Acti's stand lies in stark contrast to the that of its fiercest competitors - and, indeed, its fellow members of the Entertainment Software Association, the industry organisation in the States that runs and hosts E3.

Acti's lack of major announcements or keynote conference means it's allowing EA and Ubisoft to own the limelight in Los Angeles - no doubt keeping its powder dry for a less crowded moment in the sun.