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EA vs. Activision: Does mudslinging affect your buying decision?

Debate: Is there more to the FPS battle than what goes on in game?

The relationship between EA and Activision has never really been rosy, but with Modern Warfare 3 on the way and EA making a real play for a significant share in the FPS market with Battlefield 3, things are getting tense.

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The latest example of trash talk between the pair came yesterday, when EA's Jeff Brown implied that Call of Duty will be dead in three years.

A pretty direct and fierce attack, but what made it worse was that it was in direct response to Activision's Eric Hirshberg suggesting that the "mudslinging" should end between the pair.

"Big fat no!" Brown effectively responded, welcoming Hirshberg "to the big leagues" before dishing out the spiky prediction above.

It's not the worst to come from EA though. That initial plea for peace from Acitivsion came after the publisher's CEO John Riccitiello said in no uncertain terms that he wants the Call of Duty franchise to "rot from the core".

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Acitivision is by no means passive in all of this, with in-house developer Sledgehammer's co-founder brushing the significant of the impressive Frostbite 2 engine aside telling DICE 'You ship a game, not an engine'.

Sure, it's not quite as bad as all this 'Welcome to the big leagues, newbie, hope your game rots from the core' stuff that EA's been shovelling recently, but you can't claim Team COD is keeping its head down.

Maybe that's all part of Activision's desire to remove its reputation as 'the evil empire', but does it really make a difference?

With EA having arguably been the more aggressive of the two publishers are you more reluctant to support the company with a Battlefield 3 purchase? Is it a hatred for Acitvision's antics in the past that really deters you from Modern Warfare 3?

On the other hand, when Activision points out the fact that DICE's powerful new engine doesn't necessarily guarantee a great game, are you convinced?

Essentially, what we want to know is; how much are you affected by the verbal exchanges between competing studios and publishers? Are you drawn in by the trash talk or do you manage to make a decision based on what's on the screen entirely?

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