Medal of Honor just hasn’t seemed to catch any traction since being rebooted by Danger Close back in 2010. Both games have garnered mediocre to poor reception, sales, and reviews. It’s most likely because of these factors that EA announced last week that the franchise is being shelved. No word on what this means for the team at Danger Close, but hopefully they’ll be moved on to a different project. With the January the industry just endured in terms of layoffs and studio closures, here’s hoping that we don’t have to hear about another one.
Here’s what EA’s COO, Peter Moore, had to say on the matter of the recently released Warfighter:
“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.”
While the new Medal of Honor games had good ideas, they came up short in a number of areas so I can see where EA is coming with this. What scares me though is this comment from 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.”
My fear from that statement comes from the phrase “hit driven business”. We all know that the games industry is dominated by sequels and recently the trend has been going further and further in that direction. Sadly, it seems like new IPs are slowly being pushed to indie developers and downloadable titles. Granted, I understand the monetary investment it takes to make big budget games is astronomical and the risk of failure scares some publishers who’d rather go for the easy hit. Still, new IPs are absolutely necessary to help grow and inspire the industry as a whole. With the comment above, I’m worried that EA will be more hesitant than normal to develop a new IP in favor of pumping out more sequels to already popular games. I think the last thing gamers want is a yearly iteration of Battlefield.
With the Medal of Honor franchise now out (at least for a while), it makes you wonder how EA will fill that shooter slot alongside Battlefield. With Battlefield 4 due out this year (more than likely), we’ll have to wait and see which franchise EA sticks into the 2014 fall shooter slot.