The fierce rivalry between Activision's Modern Warfare 3 and EA's Battlefield 3 has hit boiling point - as John Riccitiello proudly boasts of "getting the goat" of Bobby Kotick.
The showdown kicked off on Wednesday, when Kotick called into question Battlefield 3's chances in the console market, saying he couldn't "objectively comment on it" as EA had only shown the game running on PC so far.
And since then, the bad blood's really started to flow.
EA boss Riccitiello has now stated that E3 2011 will be remembered as "the beginning of the war" between the two games - and that Kotick "recognises [Activision's] going to be threatened". His comments have been reposted on Twitter by a fired-up DICE (see pic, below).
"We're going to have a clash of the titans this fall," Riccitiello told Reuters. "The very fact that he's trying to cast doubt on our game is a perfect example of how we got his goat. In terms of where this goes, we think our PS3 game is better than their Xbox game and our PC game is better than their PC game.
"If that's all he's got to say, it's obviously going to evaporate as we launch all three. If you went to our press conference, you saw the PS3 footage and the Xbox footage. If Bobby thinks that is PC footage, he's in real trouble."
A respected CVG source told us that Kotick's team were turned away from the EA booth at E3 this week when they asked to play the title. Activision has since denied that the incident took place, but our senior informant remains 100 per cent adamant that he witnessed it.
DICE has also since commented on the event. Gameplay Designer Gustav Halling said on Twitter:
"Well, he wasn't on our invited list so he have to stay in line as everyone else at E3 =) EA said No to Kotick ."
"They think they can go in unannounced before the hundreds of people queuing? =) We have invited people only who can do that."
"We were blocked last year at E3, Gamescom so this is a mutual experience between rivals :P Dont care much about it."
There was a notable difference in bombast between the EA and Activision stands at E3. EA's was at the front of the large South Hall, with plenty of games playable on pods - whilst its rivals was around the third of the size, with no publicly playable games on the show floor.
EA's Battlefield 3 will be released on 360, PS3 and PC on October 25 in the US and three days later in Europe.