While in the midst of promoting the next and final DLC pack (End Game) for Battlefield 3, publisher Electronic Arts is also quietly benching the Medal of Honor franchise after rebooting it in 2010 and releasing a sequel (Medal of Honor: Warfighter) in October.
The Frostbite 2-powered sequel developed entirely by Danger Close Games didn’t sell well and critics panned it. Needless to say, we saw this coming before the game even came out and sadly, are not surprised the lowered sales estimates held true.
From the Q3 earnings call, Electronic Arts’ Peter Moore and Frank Gibeau explain the situation for the Medal of Honor series.
EA COO Peter Moore:
“The game was solid, but the focus on combat authenticity did not resonate with consumers. Critics were polarized and gave the game scores which were, frankly, lower than it deserved. This one is behind us now. We are taking Medal of Honor out of the rotation and have a plan to bring year-over-year continuity to our shooter offerings.”
EA Labels president Frank Gibeau:
“We’re in a hit-driven business where it’s about what you can build in a certain period of time and really deliver for the marketplace, and frankly we missed on Medal of Honor. And we take responsibility for that.”
To break it down simply, Medal of Honor: Warfighter was an inferior game to its counterpart, Battlefield 3. It used the same engine and the same modern era setting to offer a product with smaller-scale multiplayer features and a story that didn’t click with fans. It didn’t offer many of the things we hope to see in Medal of Honor 2 and as we said long before the game came out, EA should have instead used the resources to build more content for their flagship franchise, using Medal of Honor’s devs to expand Battlefield 3’s offerings. Medal of Honor’s sequel was never going to replace it or do better.
Now, Medal of Honor is done while one-year-older Battlefield 3 still lives on with more content coming in March and with the buzz shifting towards the still-to-be-revealed Battlefield 4. And it was all needless. It didn’t make sense for EA to compete against its own best-selling game (BF3) with an inferior product – one that somehow managed to get even worse reviews than its predecessor, even after EA admitted to releasing that title when it didn’t meet their quality standards.
With Dead Space 3‘s recent headlines dwelling on the negative thanks to microtransactions, the lackluster PC port, and concerns over the shift away from survival horror to co-op action, EA needs to hit a home run with their non-Battlefield shooters in the increasingly competitive market space. The same goes for Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, Crysis 3 and Fuse.
One thing could have prevented this: Dinosaurs.
Battlefield 3: End Game releases for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 in March 2013.
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