Yikes. A quick trip to Metacritic (a site I usually loathe, but it’s helpful right now) reveals that EA’s Medal of Honor is… just OK. It’s currently sitting at 76 out of 100. Not exactly what EA’s bigwigs were hoping, you have to assume. Wall Street isn’t happy, either, but what do those guys know, how to loose other people’s money? Exactly. One analyst said that the reviews are “a black eye for EA management given the amount of focus and hype they have placed on the game,” before adding, wryly, welcome to “Tier 2.” I see what you did there.
EA defended itself against the barrage of so-so reviews, telling the Los Angeles Times that the game “had the highest pre-orders in the 11-year history of the Medal of Honor franchise; this is an essentially big achievement considering Medal of Honor has been dormant for several years.”
Then EA broke out the clichés:
This is the first year in rebooting the franchise. Medal of Honor is part of a larger EA strategy to take share in the shooter category. This is a marathon not a sprint -– today’s Medal of Honor launch represents a step forward in that race.
EA’s share price dropped some 6 percent as the reviews trickled out (but the price had climbed some 15 percent in recent weeks, so whatever).
That quoted piece also seems to contradict what Medal of Honor executive producer Greg Goodrich told the New York Times last month, that the game needs to sell 3 million copies in order to get a sequel green-lit. It seems like EA has already committed to another game, right?
But I thought review scores didn’t matter? Didn’t Modern Warfare 2 sell a number of copies despite the utterly nonsensical campaign?
Or are gamers merely buying all of these military shooters in order to play multi-player? Clearly more people need to be exposed to proper multi-player shooters, like Team Fortress 2, Quake III Arena (or even its lite counterpart, Quake Live), or, gasp, Counter-Strike?
Maybe EA would have been better served, instead of merely re-booting the Medal of Honor series, by re-booting the entire shooter genre? The whole genre seems so stale to me.
Give them a rest for a few years, then come back with something different.