Electronic Arts says the Medal of Honor franchise will return but not until it’s able to actually do a decent job with it.
It’s not often that a game tanks so badly that it effectively kills an entire franchise, but that’s exactly what happened with Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Electronic Arts Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore said the publisher is “taking Medal of Honor out of rotation,” but not before claiming that “the game was solid, but the focus on combat authenticity did not resonate with gamers.”
Chief Creative Director Rich Hilleman, however, has a different and somewhat blunter take on the situation, which is quite simply that EA blew it. “We don’t think its a genre problem. It’s an execution problem,” he told Rock, Paper, Shotgun. “We don’t think Medal of Honor’s performance speaks to any particular bias in that space against modern settings or World War 2 or any of that. It’s much more that we had some things we should’ve done better.”
“I think a key part of this is having the right amount of high-quality production talent,” he continued. “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.”
I can’t tell if that second remark is an admission of culpability or a pass-the-buck cheap shot at Danger Close, the EA studio responsible for both Medal of Honor and Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Danger Close is – or at least was – headed by industry veteran Greg Goodrich, who served as executive producer on both games, but his LinkedIn profile indicates that his tenure at the studio came to an end in December 2012.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that Medal of Honor will be back, but for now Hilleman confirmed that EA is putting its eggs in the far more successful Battlefield basket. “What we think right now is that, for the next couple years, we can just have one great thing in that space,” he said. “So we’re choosing for it to be Battlefield.”
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun