Well, Looks Like That’s It For Medal Of Honor, Then

By Nathan Grayson on January 31st, 2013 at 8:17 am.

The sky weeps for you, generic soldier man.

Oh Medal of Honor. You’ve traveled around the world, through time, and between the hands of countless developers. You’ve seen some things, man. But in recent outings, you’ve lost your way trying to play rigid railroad conductor to ours, and Warfighter clung so tightly to the straight-and-narrow that it ended up careening right into the bargain bin. Also, there was that whole Linkin Park thing. If you want sales, it’s not generally a good idea to turn every living creature with ears against you. So then, what’s next for EA’s creaky, slightly racist World War II vet? Retirement, says EA. And possibly a long one.

EA COO Peter Moore explained the once-beloved series’ future/lack thereof during a recent company conference call (via Polygon):

“This one is behind us now. We are taking Medal of Honor out of the rotation, and have a plan to bring year-over-year continuity to our shooter offerings.”

“We struggled with two challenges: the slowdown that impacted the entire sector and poor critical and commercial reception for Medal of Honor Warfighter. Medal of Honor was an obvious miss. The game was solid, but the focus on combat authenticity did not resonate with consumers. Critics were polarized and gave the game scores which were, frankly, lower than it deserved.”

Which is blatant enough revisionist history to make me wonder if Moore’s ever actually played Medal of Honor, but I suppose the end result’s still the same. The series is now dishonorably discharged for the foreseeable future, and it sounds like something else of equally modern (though potentially less “authentic”) shootiness will take its place. My guess? Whatever Respawn Entertainment’s working on. Battlefield 4′s probably a lock for this year, but I imagine EA’s patchwork bride of InfinityWardStein will have plenty of electricity coursing through its veins by the end of 2014.

Will it actually be a new start, though? Here’s hoping. Now more than ever, I really hope EA understands that shamelessly aping Call of Duty just doesn’t work. Plus it’s, you know, kind of super played-out.

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94 Comments »

  1. KlaxXxon says:

    …and not a single damn was given that day.

    • RoAE says:

      AMEN!

    • lordcooper says:

      “the rotation”

      *shudders*

      • Askeladd says:

        ‘Rotation’ give us insight into the minds of the big publishers. It doesn’t even matter what they make. They don’t care, as long as they get their projected profit. If they surprisingly publish a game like Dead Space, they showed us how they ‘evolve’ such a series.
        You can feel the cold, profit oriented philosophy in such games.
        Medal of Honor got diluted so much that it’s rather surprising it was still being developed recurringly, or rather it’s surprising some poor souls bought it.

  2. phelix says:

    The focus on combat authenticy did not resonate with our customers

    As far as I can tell, dying because you walk 2 meters away from the beaten path isn’t exactly combat authenticy. Or any of the other thousand reasons that remark is utter bollocks.

    Critics were polarized

    And the marketing department isn’t? There’s a reason a lot of people hate Manshooty McCorridor and, frankly, Linkin Park.

    • f1x says:

      Meteora is still one of the best albums ever

      but yeah, I can see the paralellism in terms of quality and evolution :

      Medal of Honor: Allied Assault = Linkin Park’s Meteora
      Medal of Honor: Warfighter = Linkin Park’s A Thousand Suns

      • Premium User Badge PoulWrist says:

        Linkin Park is noise. And I say that as a person who listens to sludge metal…

        • lijenstina says:

          Hey don’t beat them up with a Crowbar.

        • f1x says:

          I understand that being an alternative super cool guy will paint Linkin Park as mainstream garbage, and they surely are nowadays,

          but still Meteora is one of the great albums in music history, along with others like Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime or Deep Purple’s Machine Head, etc

          • Spacewalk says:

            Queensrÿche actually would’ve been a better fit for Warfighter than Linkin Park because American Soldier was both an album about the current war and utterly abominable. As if Mindcrime II wasn’t bad enough.

          • f1x says:

            Mindcrime II should be renamed Earcrime….

            but Mindcrime 1 is still one of the greatest conceptual albums ever, and Empire is really good aswell, the rest…

          • MrPyro says:

            Now I’ve got bits of Mindcrime stuck in my head. Might have to listen to it when I get home…

          • Premium User Badge Mungrul says:

            First Mindcrime is one of my favouritest albums ever. And of course, when I was a wee teen, it was inextricably tied in to Shadowrun, thanks to various Mindcrime iconography finding its way into the first edition rulebook.
            But yeah, Mindcrime 2 is monkey-spoo.

          • Spacewalk says:

            Clearly there is only one band that should be used in war games and that one is Bolt Thrower.

        • Zabka says:

          Please don’t marginalize Noise bands. They deserve better than that.

        • destroy.all.monsters says:

          I like Noise. Linkin Park is merely shit.

          @ffx – both of those albums are examples of a band reaching a commercial, rather than artistic height. And Linkin Park is garbage, I’m sorry. No redeeming value whatsoever just like the majority of “metal” acts that came out of the same era.

          If Meteora is some sort of yardstick of quality surely Kittie’s Spit is the Mount Everest of its time (it wasn’t).

          • f1x says:

            I never judge an album for its comercial success, actually I prefer not to know much about it if possible

            Thats why I still think Meteora is a great album, thats why I praise Nirvana’s Nevermind, and I don’t care if its was a huge comercial hit

            Before someone thinks I’m a Linkin Park fan, Hybrid Theory was quite weak, Meteora was the great album and everything after is absolute crap

      • Eddard_Stark says:

        On a music sidenote.

        Actually, I think A Thousand Suns is a great album that gets bashed a lot, undeseverdly so. Yeah It’s quite different from what they’ve done before, not as easy to get into. I was abashed myself when i first heard it, but it grew on me a lot after I listened to it from start to end as a whole-hearted music experience. One of the few albums that seemed to do more than just be a compilation of tracks. Enjoyed it a lot despite some of the parts seeming horrendous at first sight.

        Still don’t like their last album and Minutes of Midnight much.

        Meteora was great, as was Hybrid Theory. Both are modern classics on their own merit. Teens stuff ofc, but good nonetheless.

        • f1x says:

          Teens stuff indeed, the lyrics are not so appealing now on my 30s thats for sure, but I still listen to them from time to time and its still great material
          The thing for Meteora is that the album works good if you listen it in order from beginning to end, thats what defines a great album for me, there are no tracks that shouldn’t be in there

          I couldn’t get to like A Thousand Suns, but might give it another listen

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      Better run and check to see if ArmA is still there, or if combat authenticity has eaten it.

      Yep, still there. Phew.

      • Simon Hawthorne says:

        ArmA: So authentic its creators spend time in gaol for espionage.

    • ddlima says:

      I will take linkin park over those annoying dubsteps any day!
      Don’t get me wrong, it is not the best band ever, but not only it is not that bad, it is also way better than that crap people use in every other trailler…

    • Premium User Badge Lambchops says:

      People of a certain age (around about 25 or so) will virtually all have bought Hybrid Theory. Several years later the majority of us wondered what the bloody hell we were thinking. Though the piano intro to “In the End” is still alright. But most of us will think back, hear the gnarled cry of “CRRAAAAWWWWLLIIIIIING IN MY SKEEEEEEE-IIIIIIIN” and ruefully shake our heads at our teenage scamp selves.

      As for Medal of Honour, Allied Assault is still a game I will remember fondly.

      • Askeladd says:

        I resisted. Thank god, I was intelligent enough to stop watching those music they played on TV. But it’s understandable that they don’t show you ‘good’ music there – they want to sell their crap.*

        *there are exceptions obviously

      • derbefrier says:

        Heh I was just out of high school and into college when linken park started getting popular. I never liked them but a lot of the guys a few years younger than me loved them. I always hated them. Thier music never clicked with me but I had to pretend to like them quite a bit cause women.

  3. BobbyDylan says:

    Lower than it deserved. Hahahahah.. no, it got exactly what it deserved. Pity COD didn’t though.
    And Realism to a point. There was no point in playing railway shooters with AI teammates. They do all the “work”, and you’re left with a sight-seeing tour.

    • Squirly says:

      To Peter Moore that just means you can finish the game without killing anybody. Just like Deus Ex!

  4. MOKKA says:

    This statement dooes look like someone’s lost their grasp of reality. Not a good thing to happen for the executive of a large company.

    • battles_atlas says:

      Who else was on this call? Was it a bunch of clueless MBA suits nodding sagely at this wisdom, or a bunch of people who have any connection to gaming culture, and thus spent the entire call rolling their eyes and making wanker gestures at the phone?

      Summed up, how many involved believe this shit, and how many are obliged to pretend they do?

    • Westcreek says:

      executives of large companies are normally not in touch with reality at all.

      • Askeladd says:

        Who’s the idiot that allows this?
        Thank god there’s no man in this world that can destroy it with the single press of a button.

        • Grygus says:

          Not that it matters; the beauty of the society we’ve built is that if there were a man with that kind of power, his life would be excellent and he’d see no reason to push it.

  5. Feldgrau says:

    And nothing of value was lost.

    In my opinion, Medal of Honor (at least the PC releases) should have ended with Pacific Assault. Airborne was a mess, and the more recent modern war iterations have been painfully generic and unfulfilling.

    Here’s hoping Respawn get a couple of decent games out the door before EA runs the whole train off the rails and over a cliff.

    • neonordnance says:

      hey, i thought airborne was solid! i liked the whole surreal gothic element, with all the Nazis in gasmasks and such. underrated game.

      • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

        Yeah, all the supernazi stuff crept up on me. For the first half I was like ” this is a decent WWII shooter with a nice gimmick” and then the game was like ARMOURED CHAINGUN TROOPERS.

    • BooleanBob says:

      “And nothing of value was lost.”

      Are you sure? See Moore’s comment on having “a plan to bring year-over-year continuity to our shooter offerings”, which seems to indicate to me that they’re about to throw Battlefield into the yearly release mill. Surely that wouldn’t be good for the health of that kinda-sorta-still-much-loved series.

  6. maximiZe says:

    Moore’s right, WARFIGHTER was way too realistic for me to handle. Same goes for Dead Space’s mind-numbing scariness.

  7. Screamer says:

    wonder if Moore’s ever actually played Medal of Honor

    Sure he did, or at least someone with a bit om say what goes on in EA. They knew it was shit. Reviews where held back till way after release at sites they have a bit of say at, ala IGN etc.

  8. Sisco says:

    Way to waste a chance to win back some comsumer trust.
    “Our game isnt shit, the market CAN`T HANDLE IT! Also journalists DIDN´T GET IT!”

    • Cross says:

      What, you expected him to tell investors that they made a boring pile of tripe? His job is to get stock upwards, so he won’t.

      • mouton says:

        If they still even need actual customers, then perhaps they should communicate with them as well. Or are investors the only thing they need now?

  9. Mathute87 says:

    Being MoH: Allied Assault the first belic FPS I ever played (and one of the better ones, too. I still can’t forget the sniping mission, so tense, and the dude I couldn’t find was at the top of that fucking church all the time), it is kind of sad news to see a franchise go down the drain for so long and no one being smart enough to revive it.

    With CoD and BF3 I think it would’ve been wise to wait. But, hey, it’s EA. If they see money they won’t wait, and THIS is what happens.

    It’s not a problem with marketing or critical reception. Make a GOOD, decent game and it’ll eventually pay off. It’s not like it’s a new IP or anything. Good game + once popular franchise = profit. EA fucked up Syndicate, and that wasn’t a good game at all (single player was KIND OF decent but too short, and the co-op interesting, but empty).

    I don’t know, I do give a fuck about the games I once loved, unlike some pseudo-cynical commenters do.

    • Chris D says:

      It’s always sad to see the slow decline of a loved one but sometimes, when you see them shambling towards you drooling and chanting “Brains!”, you have to accept that the kindest thing to do is whack them over the head and decapitate them with a shovel. Remember the good times you had and try to forget the lurching abomination they eventually became. It’s what they would have wanted really.

      • Simon Hawthorne says:

        I really hope this is a metaphor.

        • Chris D says:

          Definitely. We didn’t have a shovel to hand when Uncle Bob finally turned. Eventually we had to shove him into the machinery after a gruelling chase through a meat-processing plant. He ended up as a range of value burgers. A secret government agency had to cover it up by claiming it was horse meat.

          On the bright side it was still pretty much the way he wanted to go.

          • Desmolas says:

            This comment made my day Chris D. Thanks!

            On topic: WWII MoH’s were great, modern MoH’s have been shit. I don’t know if Moore is obliged to love every turd his company ships by the board or what, but you have to be pretty blinkered to claim that people just couldn’t see the greatness of the frankly, bad game.

            There have games that received a critical roasting that the consumer loved, and there have been games that commercially flopped that critics praised to the high heavens. But i dont think ever both at the same time.

  10. El_Emmental says:

    “We are taking Medal of Honor out of the rotation, and have a plan to bring year-over-year continuity to our shooter offerings”

    A Battlefield every 2 years, a whatever-Respawn-make every 2 years. And at least 5 DLCs per game.

    EA Games, Monetize Everything.

    • f1x says:

      Its funny how this guy talks exactly like Bobby Kotick back when Activision were “the bad guys”, and how EA is making exactly the same things that Activision did back then

      Besides, the cold, remorsless use of the word “yearly rotation” when refering to creating a videogame gives me chills

      • Premium User Badge Wisq says:

        I don’t know that Activision ever stopped being “the bad guys”. Certainly I’m still avoiding anything with the ActiBlizzard “Official Stamp of Exploitation” on it.

        • f1x says:

          Well, yes
          I mean they stopped fucking up in PR, so they seem “less evil” now that Bobby Kotick keeps a low profile

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      As someone who thought Battlefield 3′s campaign was awful, I look forward to more rubbish every year.

      • Premium User Badge PoulWrist says:

        You actually played the campaign? :O

      • Screamer says:

        I thought the campaign was OK, What was terrible was some of the mechanics. Why must every non shooty action be a QTE. Why the fuck must I press ‘E’ to cut a wire?

      • ankh says:

        Hahaha the campaign is a trap, you’re not suppose to actually play it!

        • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

          Our PCs can’t withstand badly implemented Generation Kill references of that magnitude!

      • yurusei says:

        I dunno, I thought the aircraft mission was kinda cool.

        Maybe because it wasn’t another of those boring narrow streets. Hmmm.

      • Askeladd says:

        Never played the campaign but I just remembered the terribad coop missions, you have to do over and over AGAIN to unlock some side-grades. Just silly like the whole unlock system in itself.

      • Brun says:

        I’m going to be honest. Even though the rest of BF3′s campaign was crap, I *loved* the F-18 level. Yes, the jet level. I know it was a stupid on-rails affair, but for someone who is a big fan of modern aviation it was a great spectacle.

  11. Mattressi says:

    Yep, it was its combat authenticity which made me not get it. The reason I chose Arma 2 instead was because it has such unauthentic combat. Certainly my choice had nothing to do with Warfighter’s terrible corridor, hold-my-hand gameplay, nor its generic CoD setting/story/gameplay/everything.

    From what I’ve seen (from moron friends), the only reason CoD sells so well is because it has hype and marketing. People buy it because they are complete morons who follow the huge crowd and don’t know about any other games. Certainly this is not all people who buy CoD, but I would hazard a guess that it describes the vast majority who buy CoD but don’t buy Warfight, despite them being similarly terrible, worn out games.

  12. lijenstina says:

    EA CEO makes a warface.

    “The game was soooooolllllliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid!!!”
    *PLOP*

    *FLUSH*
    *FLUSH*
    *FLUSH*

    “Finally, this one is behind us now!!!”

  13. Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

    I think people got confused that they didn’t call it Congressional Medal of Honor and assumed it was about a different, less prestigious Medal of Honor. The Kindergarten Medal of Honor for valor under naptime, maybe.

  14. gladius2metal says:

    “the focus on combat authenticity did not resonate with consumers” wow that is a really dumb, unfounded and bullshit statement or how could that happen:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOHyD49DaeA – go to 3:18 to go to the “combat authenticity” part

  15. Velko says:

    What a shame. Remember, back in the day MOHAA was a fucking great game. Yes, it basically started the whole cinematic man-shooter genre, but back then, that landing on Omaha beach was the most awesome thing I had ever witnessed on my computer screen.

    • judge_za says:

      And people shouldn’t forget the cod series was developed off the back of this epic game, I still play MOHAA at lans. Also Warfighter was not so much more inferior than call of dewty

  16. SkittleDiddler says:

    EA should go one step further and pull all remaining copies of Warfighter from the shelves as a mercy gesture to the consumer.

    Medal of Honor may have sucked over the last few years, but at least I got to experience the best positional audio I’ve ever heard in a game (MoH 2010). That shit was beastly good.

  17. Hoaxfish says:

    We have whipped this horse.
    We have whipped it real good.
    We thought it might have just been sleeping, so we whipped it more.
    We tried to sell it at Tesco mixed into their beefburgers.

  18. Premium User Badge DrAmateurScience says:

    Is there any desire from any sector (barring investors) that actually wants annual manshoot iterations? It was (barely) justifiable in the various sports series – new rosters etc – and even that’s less desirable when you’ve got DLC and post-release patches commonplace even on consoles now.

    • ankh says:

      A new battlefield game every 2 years sounds good to me.

      • f1x says:

        It may be good but its not necessary

        the problem is not a new Battlefield every 2 years but moving all resources towards making Battlefield games, I rather have Dice make something else from time to time, like for example a freaking Mirror’s Edge 2

        • mouton says:

          Do you really want Mirror’s Edge series to “enter the rotation”?

  19. Dowr says:

    “[Critics] gave the game scores which were, frankly, lower than it deserved.”

    No, this racist, disrespecting and war glorifying husk of a game got what it deserved.

  20. Vraptor117 says:

    It’s so great to see another once great franchise driven into a giant pile of shit by EA. Fuck you, EA.

  21. Cytrom says:

    A once respectable title was run into the ground by EA… slow news day huh?

  22. The Random One says:

    Ugh, for a moment there I actually thought they’d own up to the fact that they’d put out a bad game. But nooooo, they were all like “Our game was a failure with the critics and the public, BUT HISTORY SHALL DO US JUSTICE!”

  23. SuicideKing says:

    WHAR? NOFACE. NORHONO(U)R

  24. Beernut says:

    “The game was solid, but the focus on combat authenticity did not resonate with consumers”

    THAT’S what you took away from this whole disaster?! Honestly, you’ll find funguses on the edge of your shower-curtain with more intelligence than the average EA-executive! -.-

    EDIT: or maybe with more integrity. I’m pretty sure they know exactly that people hated their game, because they pushed the train-simulator-fps-concept one step too far this time. But admitting that they screwed up their game-design would’ve been to honest, better blame customers and critics for misunderstanding their game.

  25. DhulKarnain says:

    Let’s recap first 5 minutes of the game for those who didn’t play it:
    you kill some dudes, plant a charge on a truck, knock over not one but two enormous shipyard cranes and a bunch of shipping containters in a Michael Bay style explosion, and fight an armed helicopter from under a pier where someone conviniently left an RPG for you to use.

    And that’s the tutorial mission. Combat authenticity FTW.

  26. Jason Moyer says:

    I actually liked the first reboot, if only because it seemed like a Medal Of Honor game with the way it dropped you into a real conflict. Warfighter was awful…it’s bad when a 5 hour game can’t hold your interest long enough to get halfway through it.

  27. mLocke says:

    Looks like I’m going to live to see the death of modern military shooters after all.

    • Brun says:

      You thought you wouldn’t? The shooter market went through the exact same thing in the early 2000s with WWII shooters. People got sick of WWII with CoD and MoH (both of which were originally WWII-based). Modern Warfare came in and established the contemporary shooter as the standard.

      Eventually people are going to get sick of modern shooters as well. Someone will introduce a similar game with a different setting, and we’ll be stuck with that for 5 years. My guess is that within 2 years Call of Duty will have switched over to the near-future setting introduced in BLOPS2. Whether that can carry enough momentum to keep things going at the current level remains to be seen.

  28. malkav11 says:

    There’s nothing (well, not much) wrong with the CoD formula done well. Not every shooter has to be Stalker. Unfortunately, the recent Medal of Honor games were not an example of CoD done well.

    • Chorltonwheelie says:

      I agree. We should be careful not to paint ourselves into a corner. The result might have been seen in the recent preview of Metro LN where the reviewer seemed to be pulling back from saying he liked it because it was, after all, an ‘on rails’ shooter.

      “ACTION! RELOAD…ACTION DANGER RELOAD”

  29. Buemba says:

    If EA thinks Warfighter succeeded in offering the player combat authenticity I wonder if they consider Burnout a racing sim.

  30. Kyoss says:

    Quite frankly, I dont care. We dont need 10 man-shooters in the same setting with the same boring handling and zero innovation released every year.
    Even Bf3 is in a decline, but at least it got tanks! Bye Medal of Generic: Railshoot.

  31. Lev Astov says:

    I’m extremely concerned about his fallacious statement about “combat authenticity.” Are they going to run with that thought and make every shooter less realistic now? That would be horrible!

    Nathan, can you and other RPS guys try to get EA’s attention and correct them about how combat authenticity had nothing to do with why people hated their game? I’ll see if I can write to them about it, but they’ll just ignore a random customer.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      At this point I’m fairly convinced that either this is PR speak or the usual manager who has no idea what’s going on on the workfloor and has more to do with pacifying the shareholders and making sure people reach their targets.

  32. BlackAlpha says:

    “The game was solid, but the focus on combat authenticity did not resonate with consumers.”

    Sounds like someone is in denial. The game was not solid. If the game was solid, people would’ve eaten up the authenticity thing. People didn’t, though. Not because they didn’t enjoy the authenticity thing (hell, it’s probably the only good thing about the game, but that alone won’t safe a game), but because the gameplay sucked. Total Biscuits WTF Is explained it very well. It’s linear as hell. You get killed by god if you step a little bit too far right or left, you must walk forward along the designated path. You even don’t have any control over your death at many times, like when there’s a sniper shooting you and you have to call in artillery or he will kill you… Wel, no, you can step out and let him shoot you, but he can’t kill you because he can’t do enough damange, and you just call in artillery on him for the hell of it. *POOF* Now we’ve even lost immersion, among many other things. You could go on and on about that game. So many mistakes…

    I dread to think that now they might get rid of any sort of realism from all their future games.