Amid continued fights to control the fires before Battlefront 2’s launch today, Activision Blizzard’s StarCraft 2 Twitter account decided to turn up the heat by giving EA a few jabs.
Number of pay-to-win mechanics in StarCraft II: 0
Free to Play – Now Live! pic.twitter.com/a02OYUCYZU
— StarCraft (@StarCraft) November 14, 2017
The first post: “Number of hours it takes to earn the full StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Campaign: 0”.
A casual observer would think that this is just marketing for StarCraft 2’s now F2P model. However, it is a thinly veiled rivalry dating back to 2009 when EA was trying to unseat Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 with Battlefield 3 – not easy when one considers how massively popular COD was during that time period.
It deepens further when Activision called out EA for “suffocating” studios in 2010, to which EA replied “(Bobby) Kotick’s (Activision’s CEO) relationship with studio talent is well-documented in litigation.”
The worst of it came in 2010 after Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella were let go, seemingly for no reason, by Activision and their founding of Respawn Entertainment to make Titanfall for EA (EA now owns Respawn). Legal battles went on for years, the biggest of which saw Activision demand 400m from EA for the supposed poaching of West and Zampella.
I’m not saying that the person behind the Twitter post had any of this in mind when they posted… Surely it was just to show off their free-to-play model, the timing was just a coincidence.