By Nathan Grayson on February 12th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.
EA’s officially dishonorably discharged the Medal of Honor franchise. That’s unfortunate for a number of reasons, but mainly because it made John sad. As he put it, “It needs new direction, not shelving until the next inevitable reboot in five years time, once Battlefield has run entirely aground.” So, now it’s time for another episode of Good News, Bad News, Picture of an Ostrich. First, the good: Medal of Honor’s definitely not dead. Heck, it might not even be out of action for all that long. But now, the bad: based on comments to RPS by EA chief creative director Rich Hilleman, John might have hit the nail on the head. For now, Battlefield‘s the focus, meaning that it inherits the full weight of EA’s Call-of-Duty-dethroning expectations. Here is a picture of an ostrich. More details (about Medal of Honor, not ostriches) after the break.
Refreshingly, Hilleman admitted that EA was fully at fault for Medal of Honor and Medal of Honor: Warfighter’s rather dismal performances.
“We don’t think its a genre problem,” he said during a brief interview at last week’s DICE conference. “It’s an execution problem. We don’t think Medal of Honor’s performance speaks to any particular bias in that space against modern settings or World War II or any of that. It’s much more that we had some things we should’ve done better.”
“What we think right now is that, for the next couple years, we can just have one great thing in that space. So we’re choosing for it to be Battlefield.”
It remains to be seen, of course, whether or not that’s the best outcome for the large-scale shooter series, but Hilleman believes a brief break is far preferable to more Medal of Honor games developed under less-than-ideal conditions.
“I think a key part of this is having the right amount of high-quality production talent,” he explained. “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.”
So for now, EA plans to watch and wait. Medal of Honor’s return, somewhat unsurprisingly, is a matter of when, not if. And while Hilleman implied it’d probably happen sooner rather than later, he provided an example that, um, didn’t quite instill confidence.
“There’s always someone at EA who’s sticking up for any number of the properties we have,” he concluded. “You know, I had somebody the other day say, ‘Come on, Mutant League Football. We gotta bring back Mutant League Football.’ So, to my mind, there’s always somebody at EA who loves a property. That property will come back when it’s time is right and there’s someone to carry it.”
Mutant League Football was last seen in 1993. So, er, right then.