EA: ‘Medal of Honor’ Not Dead; ‘We Should Have Done Better’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 13th, 2013 at 9:45 pm,

Medal of Honor Franchise Future

Scorned and now shelved, EA’s Medal of Honor franchise garnered nothing but Purple Hearts during its contemporary-reboot attempt. Transitioning the series from the second World War to the Global War on Terror, 2010’s Medal of Honor and 2012’s Medal of Honor: Warfighter both released to paltry reviews and sales. The former forced EA to admit that it “didn’t meet” the publisher’s standard for quality; the latter forced them to pull the series “out of the rotation” altogether.

The reason for its failure, as we’ve established before, is quite simple: Medal of Honor was an exercise in counterintuity. EA created a hopelessly inferior competitor to its own flagship shooter, Battlefield 3, using the same engine, the same time period and less resources to produce two uninspired single-player campaigns and multiplayer that felt like a recycled oddment of its larger cousin. Tier One-operative protagonists, Bin Laden-killing development consultants, Linkin Park — they were never enough for distinguishing the franchise by its own merits.

Despite its troubles, however, EA isn’t ready to completely abandon Medal of Honor just yet. Speaking in a recent postmortem interview with Rock, Paper Shotgun, EA chief creative director Rich Hilleman asserted that, despite January’s decommissioning, Medal of Honor is still a viable franchise for the publisher going forward… it just has a number of, shall we say severe, challenges to overcome.

Medal of Honor Not Dead

Starting with the publisher itself. The current state of the series isn’t a referendum on modern military shooters, Hilleman’s says, but rather a result of EA’s failed execution:

“We don’t think its a genre problem. It’s an execution problem. We don’t think Medal of Honor’s performance speaks to any particular bias in that space against modern settings or World War II or any of that. It’s much more that we had some things we should’ve done better.”

According to Hilleman, EA has come to the realization that developing two distinct but similarly appealing shooter brands side-by-side just isn’t sustainable:

“What we think right now is that, for the next couple years, we can just have one great thing in that space. So we’re choosing for it to be Battlefield.”

As resources became diluted, so did the talent pool. And Medal of Honor never acquired the right leadership to deliver on its full potential:

“I think a key part of this is having the right amount of high-quality production talent., and we didn’t have the quality of leadership we needed to make [Medal of Honor] great. We just have to get the leadership aligned. We’re blessed to have more titles than we can do well today. That’s a good problem, frankly. In the long term, we have to make sure we don’t kill those products by trying to do them when we can’t do them well.”

Rock, Paper Shotgun proceeded to state that Hilleman is certain Medal of Honor will return — only he’s not sure when the time will be right. Removed from the release rotation of Battlefield — call it an EA vacuum where production time, available talent and resources are, indeed, copious commodities — there’s no question of the potential, not to mention prestige, that MoH brings to the table. Imagining a world where Electronic Arts isn’t devoutly committed its Call of Duty (attempted) killer, however, is a greater stretch. With Battlefield 3’s End Game DLC keeping the game relevant well beyond its October 2011 release (Warfighter, by comparison, has already been written off) and Battlefield 4 anticipated for this Fall, possibly as the series’s next-gen entry point, we’re guessing it’s a long winter before Medal of Honor is done hibernating.

Ranters, do you see an extant future for the Medal of Honor franchise? Is there anywhere EA can take a reboot (Version 3!) that doesn’t interfere with the bigger and better Battlefield?

Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Rock, Paper Shotgun

TAGS: Danger Close Games, Electronic Arts, Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor 2

  • YourColourTelevision

    Sounds more like damage control after they said “the game was solid, gamers just didnt dig the whole authenticity thing”

    Then they realised they’re out of relevant, asisde from battlefield, first-person shooter franchises and came back with this.

    • Dovahkiin

      Ok, IMO its less of a problem with gamers, and more of a combo of bad marketing and a bad bias from reviewers. Im not bashing GR or any other review group, just that you didn’t look at MOH and MOHW as what they were, essentaily a documentary. They should have called it something along those lines and advertised it as that, not as a COD killer, it isn’t, it should apply to people looking for a campaign oriented game that attempted to be as realistic as possible (I.E the 2 extremely hard campaign settings that make it feel incredibly real using the great graphics and eliminating all UI except for breach clearing). I feel it also got some reviews trying to compare it to COD or BF when it really should be compared with something completely different. There were some inexcusable bugs espescially with coms mentioned in handsomereaper’s post below me…

  • http://www.facebook.com/DownloadableConflict TaboriHK

    They’ve now officially spent more time apologizing for bad Medal of Honor games than making Medal of Honor games that aren’t bad.

  • handsomereaper

    In my opinion the concept was solid. The problem was strictly technical. The campaign felt dated and like a Modern Warfare game running on Frosbite. The multiplayer, on paper, seemed solid except for all the bugs it had. And let’s not forget the issue with coms. There’s just know excuse for that.

  • Justin Loomis

    *unenthused* Yay…more Medal Of Honor: Modern Warfare- I mean that’s it after Medal Of Honor. What other military shooter would I buy?

  • Something I Miss

    How about they take it to it’s roots. Let BF and CoD battle it out for “Modern” and take MoH back to WW2 or even WW1.

    It used to be nothing but WW2 shooters. Now it’s nothing but “Modern” shooters.

    I for one would like to see a new WW2 based game with current graphics. I LOVED the old MoH games. In fact, I remember MoH being the fps to beat and CoD being the franchise that lacked and struggled.

    So I think the problem IS the genre. These companies need to branch out for gods sake. Specially is one company creates 2 games under the same sub genre.

    • Shalkowski

      I conquer.

  • http://gamerant.com Jack

    Its still a much better than and COD game. I don’t understand how people buy a new COD and FIFA game every year as they are the exact same year in year out thats why MOH is good, its different. Its not COD.

  • Branden

    My honest opinion and I am going to stick with is this. Medal of Honor was the reason for a lot of the games you see out on the shelves now a days, it was pinnacle to take games like this into a different direction. The very first MOH that was ever released was on the Playstation 1 and it was a fantastic title. Infinity Ward came around later and try to improve on the WWII time frame with Call of Duty. The one thing that set the two games apart the fact that COD was more of a run and gun as opposed to it’s tactical competitor MOH. Call of Duty was great until they started releasing COD games that were promised to be “brand new” The reason why I started losing interest, was because each COD title all used the same engine and no real Gameplay improvments I felt lied to in all honesty.

    When and “if” they bring Medal of Honor back, why not travel way back and work on the historical time frame of the Civil War? I would love to see something like that. All in all I think Medal of Honor was a great franchise and I hope they do something different with it if it’s ever touched again. Who would agree with me on the Civil War time frame?

    • gaygamer22

      no to the civil war time frame. maybe ww1 but not civil war.

  • gaygamer22

    i said it once and ill say it fuc*ing again: STOP WORRYING ABOUT TRYING TO KILL GODD@MN cOd AND STOP WORRYING ABOUT MULTIPLAYER. MoH never was about multiplayer and tho Allied Assault had exceptional multiplayer i truly believe it was a fluke that MoH will never experience again. make a GOOD singelplayer game take 4 or so years to do it FU*K battlefield and get your $hit straight.

    • http://www.facebook.com/DownloadableConflict TaboriHK

      They’ll stop worrying about multiplayer when it stops making Activision millions upon millions of dollars. EA doesn’t do “single player only.”