Medal of Honor Executive Producer Greg Goodrich says the game needs to sell at least three million copies or you can forget about a sequel.
Medal of Honor is a big-budget game and it’s getting a big-budget promotional push from EA. But it’s also leaping into a crowded battlefield that’s long been dominated by the Call of Duty franchise, which is releasing a new iteration of its own just a month after MOH hits. In other words, it’s no sure thing. Greg Goodrich, the executive producer on the game, said in a far-reaching interview with the New York Times that if it doesn’t ring up at least three million copies, “I’m not going to be able to do another one.”
EA is setting its sights high in order to achieve that goal. It used over 100 microphones to record weapons fire at Fort Irwin in California, attached microphones to Apache helicopters to record takeoff and landing sounds and even recorded the sound of incoming fire by putting mics on targets that the helicopters destroyed. The company also hired special operations soldiers to consult on the game, who actually advised the developers to step back a bit from the real deal.
The original plan for the game was to recreate the 2002 operation Anaconda, including a battle in which Neil Roberts, a Navy SEAL, fell out of a helicopter and was dragged away and killed by Al Qaeda fighters. The game at that stage “resembled very closely events overseas that involved friends of ours that had been killed,” explained one consultant, who went by the name of Coop. “We thought it hit a little too close to home” and would “put a sour taste in our brothers’ mouths.”
“They’re selling authenticity and realism. We wanted to help bring that to the table,” he added. “But we also wanted to make sure it didn’t go too far.” As a result, Medal of Honor is now “authentic and plausible,” Goodrich said, rather than “accurate and realistic.”
Medal of Honor comes out on October 12 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.