BF3: $100m in marketing, designed to beat MW3

If you thought that the fiercest competition among big-name video games was the graphics, think again. Gameplay? Story? Storyline? No… according to EA CEO John Riccitiello, it just might be marketing.

John Riccitiello

John Riccitiello, in black and white

Battlefield 3 is set to make a grand return to a well-loved, but long-ignored franchise – and it’s got relative newcomer Call of Duty squarely in its sights.

At a recent conference in New York, Riccitiello explained that BF3 is “designed to take down” Modern Warfare 3, before making the startling revelation that EA is planning on dropping $100 million on the game, just to make sure it’s marketed properly.

Riccitiello also spoke about video games – in particular EA titles – being used as an “up-and-coming” mass audience for advertisers. In his presentation, Riccitiello referenced the fact there are 1.5 billion gamers worldwide these days, a number anticipated to double in the next three to four years.

These gamers really are a captive audience, he observes:

“People don’t really do anything else when they’re playing games, they’re focused on it. When people watch TV or use the internet, they’re usually doing something else.”

Sounds like we can expect more advertising popping up in games, like when then-Presidential hopeful Barack Obama purchased display ads in a bunch of EA titles. Before the ads, the politician was a “distant second or third” in the race for the top job – and look where he is today.

“I guess it worked,” chuckled Riccitiello.

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