Electronic Arts admits that Medal of Honor: Warfighter was "an obvious miss" but says reviewers saddled the game with scores that were "lower than it deserved."
In November of last year, analyst Michael Pachter warned that the poor performance of Medal of Honor: Warfighter could be "fatal" to the resurrected franchise. Today, EA proved him right as it told investors that it would not be developing another game in the franchise.
But the problem, according to Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore, was not with the game, but with players and reviewers who just didn't get it.
"We struggled with two challenges: the slowdown that impacted the entire sector and poor critical and commercial reception for Medal of Honor: Warfighter," he said. "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," he added.
Moore's remark echos those of EA Labels President Frank Gibeau, who insisted last year that Warfighter was better than the critical reception it received. I haven't actually played it so I can't speak from first-hand experience, but the game has a woeful Metacritic score of just under 55 and was actually bad enough to inspire a new Zero Punctuation term for modern military shooters that I can't repeat here. Our own review scored it a 2.5/5; in light of all that, I can't help but think that "authenticity" might not actually be the problem.
Whatever the reason, EA has stuck a fork in it. "This one is behind us now," Moore said. "We are taking Medal of Honor out of the rotation, and have a plan to bring year-over-year continuity to our shooter offerings." It's a good bet that plan will lean rather heavily on EA's far more successful Battlefield franchise.