Medal of Honor: Warfighter didn’t meet expectations. It was released in a peak period, amid much hype and many millions of dollars in marketing but generally poor critical reception (it’s got 53-55 on Metacritic) and a less than stellar reception at retail preceded a tepid response from fans (it’s got 5.2-5.8 on Metacritic’s user scores).
Well, EA seems to have realised that it might be best to keep the Medal of Honor brand on a shelf for a little while. During an investor call yesterday, EA’s COO – Peter Moore – said that the company was “taking Medal of Honor out of the rotation, and have a plan to bring year-over-year continuity to our shooter offerings.” So there’ll still be a CoD contender in that all-important Q4 sales period.
Moore continued by accepting the collective judgement on Danger Close’s shooter, saying that “Medal of Honor was an obvious miss. The game was solid, but the focus on combat authenticity did not resonate with consumers.”
While it is obvious that the game was a “miss,” it’s debatable whether that was because of the authenticity in the setting or any one of myriad problems pulled out during its review process. In fact, it was never the “authenticity” that seemed to be a sticking point in any review I read. Moore goes on to say that “critics were polarized and gave the game scores which were, frankly, lower than it deserved.”
It’s difficult to say that a game’s scores were polarised, given that Metacrtic’s PC listing for the game lists a single “positive” review (from a German website called “PC Games”). It lists six “negative” reviews (from sites like PC Gamer and IGN). There are 23 “mediocre” reviews. I’d say that’s fairly squarely in the “mediocre” range, skewing slightly towards “negative.”
Hopefully, it’s just in the public message that EA is endeavouring to avoid the real issues and privately, they’re having serious discussions about what the problems really were and how to fix them. Danger Close did manage to get some things very right with the series’ reboot and it would be a shame to just write it off completely.
Perhaps having a new title in their “rotation” will give EA an opportunity to allow something with a little more polish to be put out in the weeks before Activision’s all-conquering shooter distracts everyone again.