Medal of Honor Warfighter hasn’t gotten off to the Call of Duty killing start EA hoped for. In fact, the crictical reception is the worst of any major title this season, with a metacritic average score of 54 across all systems. Could the negative reviews, along with the launch falling “below exectations,” according to yesterday’s Q2 report from EA, mean the end of the long running franchise?
According to industry guru Michael Pachter, yes.
The outspoken Wedbush Securities analyst notes the decline from the previous installment, 2010′s Medal of Honor, which was meant to reboot the series but only garnered an average Metacritic score of 75. The company vowed this one would fare better, but instead it has declined to the series’ lowest point yet.
“These missteps should not be taken lightly,” Pachter said in an interview with GamesIndustry. ”A few years ago, EA management set forth a strategy to displace Activision as king of the first-person shooter heap, and said it intended the duo of Medal of Honor and Battlefield to alternate releases and slowly take share from Activision.”
While Battlefield II is certainly holding up its share of the bargain, both the last and current iterations of Medal of Honor have fallen short. “Warfighter’s review scores may have destroyed chances for sequels in the all-important first-person shooter segment of the market,” Pachter said. “We think that low review scores will impair EA’s (and the Medal of Honor brand’s) reputation with those who pre-ordered the game or bought it as soon as it was released (likely some of EA’s most dedicated customers), and believe EA alienated at least a small portion of these gamers.”
While it’s too early to tell for sure (the game just released last week) it’s unlikely EA will give up its quest for first-person shooter dominance. Next year will see the release of Battlefield 3, and while it has not been announced that game is likely to appear on the next gen systems expected to launch in time for the 2013 holiday season. And while we might not see another Medal of Honor game the following year, we’re betting the gaming giant will find something to fill in the gap.