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Analyst Predicts Warfighter Disaster

| 22 Oct 2012 19:10

Industry analyst Doug Creutz says EA's Medal of Honor: Warfighter might "struggle" to sell two million units worldwide.

Here are just a few of the problems facing Medal of Honor: Warfighter. It launches just weeks ahead of the guaranteed mega-hits Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Halo 4 and Assassin's Creed 3. (I like to think that Far Cry 3 will have the sand to cause it some headaches too.) It's marketing campaign is once again relying heavily on ridiculous Linkin Park videos. And its predecessor, the 2010 Medal of Honor reboot, was pretty much terrible.

All that has led Cowen and Co. analyst Doug Creutz to state that the game "appears likely to be a major disappointment." The firm believes that sales expectations have "moderated significantly" to just three to four million units, but even that figure may be too high. "Based on our read of pre-release tracking data, we think the game might struggle to sell through two million units worldwide," he said.

Those concerns are bolstered by EA's decision to hold back review copies of Warfighter until the game launches. "With only a week before a murderer's row of AAA titles begins to come out (Assassin's Creed III on October 30; Halo 4 on November 6; Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on November 13), we think Medal of Honor: Warfighter has a very short window to capture sales, and a dearth of reviews is unlikely to help," Creutz said. "The decision to make early review copies unavailable does not suggest to us that the company has a high degree of confidence in the quality of the game."

And as Medal of Honor goes, so too goes Electronic Arts. EA Sports releases are apparently doing very well but not well enough to offset underperformance by Warfighter, especially since Creutz believes that Star Wars: The Old Republic has also performed well below EA's guidance. And with the final quarter of the fiscal year headlined by just Crysis 3, Dead Space 3, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel and the new Fuse, Creutz said, "We continue to believe that EA management will have to lower guidance meaningfully for FY13 at some point."

"Lower guidance," for those unfamiliar with financial parlance, means admitting that you're going to make a whole lot less money than you said you would at the start of the year.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter comes out on October 23 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC.

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