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EA: Medal of Honor sales are great, we're not giving up on first-person shooters despite reception

Big game buzz, especially the kind surrounding reboots like Medal of Honor, creates a field of skewed perception which complicates reviews and critiques. It's a big franchise seeking a big comeback, so it's naturally held to hard-to-reach standards, and anything less than heaps of glowing praise is considered a disappointment by the hive. It's unfortunate, because it is a very good game, if not the greatest.

But the current average critical response isn't wrong. Medal of Honor's campaign contains some great moments, but it runs short, and its gameplay fails to stand out. The DICE-developed multiplayer is solid, but, like the single-player, fails to be more than very competent, and doesn't stand out either. It's a hard sell against the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops, except in the unlikely event that Black Ops fails. But MoH is still a well-made game, even if not a revelation, so it seems odd that EA has already gotten defensive.

Without providing any figures, EA has assured us (and its shareholders) that Medal of Honor sold "great" on its first day.

"We anticipate Medal of Honor to be one of the biggest video game titles launched this year," said Bob McKenzie, EA's merchandising VP. "This underscores how video gaming has emerged as mainstream entertainment."

On another front, Visceral boss Nick Earl, who is in charge of EA's third-person action games, spoke in place of EA's first-person shooter head, Frank Gibeau, telling Gamasutra, "We are absolutely and positively not giving up on the first-person space. The reaction to Medal of Honor notwithstanding, we believe it's certainly going to be a commercial hit."

He continued, "And Battlefield is a very strong franchise in the first-person space. We're going to continue to pursue first-person - but I'm personally completely laser-focused on the third-person action-adventure space. It has nothing to do with our success or lack of [success] in the first-person space. My mission is to take this group and establish it as the top-quality action-adventure space."

It sounds to us like EA is saying, "Okay, so we didn't steal the FPS 'crown' away from Call of Duty, but we still have some great franchises and games and they'll still be successful!" And that's exactly what we were already thinking. Battlefield and Call of Duty are fantastic franchises, and in the third-person department, Dead Space is an office favorite (but what we really want is Mirror's Edge 2... please?). And EA has also scored a publishing deal with Respawn, the developer created by the Infinity Ward exodus. The team hasn't announced a game yet, but we're confident that it'll impress.

So buck up, EA! And remember, even though Medal of Honor may not have unseated Call of Duty, we still like you a lot more than Activision right now.

[Sources: GamasutraEA]

Oct 14, 2010

26 comments

  • theintellectual - November 13, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    @tacehtselrahc: but isnt that the kind of mood most shooters go for today? imagine something like that in the hands of infinity ward or treyarch! and yes a game about the Korean war would be amazing.
  • theintellectual - November 13, 2010 12:54 a.m.

    @elpurplemonkey: agreed however although trench warfare included great periods of doing nothing, so has most of the warfare across the 20th and 21st centuries. thats said im not saying i dont like modern shooters but WW1 was a massive war that made any recent conflict look like a domestic dispute.
  • ChuckB - October 20, 2010 3:20 a.m.

    @theintellectual I don't think sitting in trenches is what considered medal of honor material.
  • tacehtselrahc - October 16, 2010 7:03 a.m.

    @theintellectual, Nice sentiment, but Christ a WW1 game would be depressing; cowering in a trench under an artillery barrage, if you stick your head above ground it'll probably get popped by a sniper and then going 'over the top' in a futile charge into hail of machine gun fire and mustard gas. That doesn't sound like fun to me. Having said that, has there ever been a game set in the Korean war? It seems to have been almost completely forgotten.
  • AGENTJORRRG - October 16, 2010 3:03 a.m.

    Excuse me, did you just say this was the "greatest" game? I don't think so. TO DEVS: Please give up on FPS. Please everyone give up on FPS. Its tired and stale and I'm sick of it. That is all.
  • SAUGAPRIME - October 15, 2010 9:34 p.m.

    Dose anybody know how to mute people in this game, I am tired of listening to arab's talking in this game. ouck ouck me ouck lol. ZakanSparta I agree with you regarding Treyarch Nobody will beat MW2 till those two guys makes MW3 those guys are true artist's first then gamers second. As a professional artist I can see the work they put into it. to make that game into a master piece is not easy plus CoD4 modern warfare.
  • SAUGAPRIME - October 15, 2010 9:29 p.m.

    If CoD didn't exist then this would be the number 1 shooter just one thing i have to say about it, it needs a map pack to come out real soon.
  • papergoon - October 15, 2010 10:28 a.m.

    is it just me, or does the first picture, the top of the chopper, look phallic (i.e. like a dick and balls)?
  • elpurplemonkey - October 15, 2010 7:15 a.m.

    @theintellectual: While I don't doubt a good developer could try to do something neat with a WWI shooter- WWI was primarily about trench warfare. You've probably heard this before but- trench warfare = long periods of time doing nothing. WWI was a war of attrition, and that shit sounds extremely boring for a game. It's a shame then, that when some games try to be more original, like Darkest of Days (that game where you time travel through different wars,) they don't have enough resources/talent and fuck it all up. If EA or Infinity Ward decided to try something like that- it'd be amazing. All that being said, I actually like modern shooters. I mean, we've had both Modern Warfare's, we now have Medal of Honor and Black Ops later this year. That's four games in 3 years. Even if I'm forgetting a few others- we aren't anywhere near the level of WWII saturation we were at before COD 4.
  • ZakanSparta - October 15, 2010 6:10 a.m.

    I'm glad to see MoH doing well, even if I didnt' played it myself yet. IIt looks like a solid title, and its always good to have more than one AAA shooter franchise on market. While next CoD will surely sell alot, it will be mostly due to name of the brand. I dont believe Treyarch could create something new on their own, that could match the epicness and huge amount of talent invested in CoD's made by original Infinity Ward. And once ex-Infinity will finaly come out with their game, it will be amazing. The only problem that could possibly hold them is enough PR, but if someone can get their back with millions of PR dollars is EA, so I'm sure they will pump up the anticipation enough for the game to sell like mad. And --- YES, I WANT MIRRORS EDGE 2 TOO!!!!!!!!!!! Dead Space is great,
  • theintellectual - October 15, 2010 2:32 a.m.

    why is the default for shooter either WW2, modern, or sci fi? why not mix thigns up a little? like WW1. ive always wanted to see a good WW1 shooter.
  • crumbdunky - October 14, 2010 11:24 p.m.

    MoH has returned and, sure EA would have loved more fanfare but this WASN'T another BFBC but more of a grab for the middle ground between that EA franchise and COD's MOR/everyman shooter. I don't think BO is going to sell quite like MW2 did either, myself as the continued lack of dedicated servers for all platforms(the one thing which would immediately beat out COD4 and justify, for the first time, really, buying a new one since then), cost and corner cutting last time out and the realisation that COD4 is still the apex of COD gaming in EVERY respect and that the three subsequent games have all merely taken balance away and diluted the formula with OTT killstreaks and basically been the same game just watered down a little each year in a different box leave there fewer reasons than ever to buy yet another COD FPS. Sorry abbout the breathless sentence. My point is, re4ally, I fail to see any reason to buy a COD post COD4(not that I haven't-but I HAVE stopoed for now!)and given that COD hasn't nmoved forwards I fail to see just how far behind MoH really is. By not being a carbon copy they also allow themselves a shot at a slightly different market and will be ready when the COD bubble either bursts or deflates a little under the weight of Kotick's corner cutting, QA hating madness. Sure, MoH isn't great but since MW1 has COD been much better? At least, EA can say their shooter's on an upwards curve and I don't think COD can say that, not right now and not unless Treyarch suddenly become better than IW and they never looked like doing that before!! I also think that while MoH got honest reviews the post COD4 games in THAT series have got off VERY lightly at the hands of the critics-MW2 wasn't a 10/10 game and WaW CERTAINLY wasn't and I felt critics marked them more in terms of them adding modes to COD4 rather than what they actually did which was to dilutte the freshness and balance of a great, innovative shooter. They also gave the COD massive what they wanted to hear, to some extent and it slightly skewed the sciores imho. Right now the series is goiuing a little stale and will need a proper reboot soon as we WILL get bored of wondering what the new killstreaks will be and in my mind Nazi Zombies were lazy the FIRST sodding time. Is that really what passes for imagination these days? Chuck some undead at it? Really? In this environment I'm sure EA aren't that scared cos there's VERY little actually going on now despite the plethora of FPS games around to scare them and while the market leading shooter refuses to actually improve the games with dedicated servers and better QA and imagination they'll always feel they have a biog chance of catching COD despite the big fanbase. I say all this yet will still not be shocked when people are still buying COD4 in slightly altered form in five years time! Am I alone in feeling that we'd be just as well off, in gaming terms, had we just stuck with COD4 and demanded dedicateds and more maps now and then? Hell, I'd rather have funded dedicated servers than bought three more versions of the same damn game myself!!
  • keefster - October 14, 2010 10:42 p.m.

    I would of gotten it on launch but my damn xbox broke so I feel bad to not be able to contribute to those numbers. However its the first game im getting when I buy my computer!! can't wait.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - October 14, 2010 9:26 p.m.

    @db1331 My take is that it's a rebuilding game for the franchise. It hasn't been in a good place, this took it to a better one. I do actually look forward to seeing what EA does with it next. I think it could go places.
  • HumorTumor - October 14, 2010 9:19 p.m.

    I pre-ordered this game because of Dice, and I'm hoping it does well enough to see it thrive. Sure it isn't great, but neither was MW2. And honestly, it seems the genre hasn't moved beyond CoD4, so in terms of inovation, I don't think MoH is terribly far behind. I think it's more focused, and that is never a bad thing.
  • batmanboy11 - October 14, 2010 8:58 p.m.

    EA is beter than activision for sure.
  • xXxBLACKHALOxXx - October 14, 2010 8:48 p.m.

    I dont care what people say or what developers think im gonna buy the game anyway, played frontlines on my ps2 and loved it, it will look good sitting beside call of duty world at war, call of duty black ops, and both battlefield games. besides we could go back to getting shit games like "vampire rain" "the guys game" and "lesiure suit larry" lol
  • infernox - October 14, 2010 8:26 p.m.

    i dont like war fps games, except maybe counterstrike:source since it has mod support. they told me cod4 had a good single player but i didnt really care about it. bc2 was worse then cod4 in terms of single player but i saw signs it could have been great. im watching medal of honor commentary playthrough on youtube atm. the atmosphere looks good but its just not great. in comparison i thought half-life 2, deus ex, bioshock and uncharted 2 had amazing single player campaigns.
  • ventanger - October 14, 2010 8:08 p.m.

    I hope Mirrors Edge 2 is much longer... I went to a friends house and played it picking up from like the second level, and a few hours later I beat it. Everyone was like "Whoa... that's it?!" I felt strangely pretty guilty...
  • db1331 - October 14, 2010 8:06 p.m.

    The game is a failure. It might be "good", but good isn't good enough these days. Looking at the current stats on Steam, MoH peaked 14 players higher than Mount&Blade: Warbrand today. That says it all. Even EA's stock is down 6% due to its poor reception.

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