Medal of Honor Headquarters (MOHHQ), the official site for EA's Medal of Honor series and also the largest community site, have made up their minds to close their doors.
If you thought the backlash towards EA was a matter of little importance & consequence, think again...
This whole matter of Warfighter - and Medal of Honor as a whole - going down the drain because EA forces releases gained so much steam that it isn't going to bode well for future EA titles.
GD brought you a Community Moderator's letter that highlighted one individuals thoughts on EA's crude marketing practices, which in turn, seems to have come back to hurt them. Their forecasts seem bleak, with share prices having dropped from the $26.13, at the end of 2011, around the time BF3 was released, to a recent low of $11.91 at the end of Oct 2012. Although the EA share price is starting to creep back now it leaves the future of the Medal of Honor franchise somewhat in limbo as a result of these problems.
Not to forget the outcry of the fans and critics alike and EA pretty much knew they had blew it with this one. If they thought they'd seen all, this one is going to rock their Headquarters pretty hard. Their own community site, MOHHQ, has literally had enough of publisher and thought of giving up on a lost cause...
This time, the directors of MOHHQ posted this on their website and signaled their departure - all in the hope of opening EA's eyes. See what they have to say:
"Friends, fans, & devoted gamers,
While it's become difficult to make this decision, we feel it's perhaps the best. Medal of Honor was a fantastic franchise until the 'rushed cycled' was implemented into its development & marketing strategies. Let us take the time to explain why this is a terrible model for game development, and why we're shutting our doors. This notion may burn a few bridges, although that's not my goal, it may be what's necessary to get EA's attention. I have many friends inside EA and their respective studios, none of which enjoy the direction that Electronic Arts is heading with its company.
EA has admired the Call of Duty model for some time now, but they lack the loyal fan base to mock it. For those unfamiliar with the Call of Duty release model, there is a new title at the end of every year with two different development teams working on the rotating titles. To successfully implement this model, you need a fan base that will buy your game out of trust & loyalty that you've made a product that will no doubt be fun and a worthy investment. Medal of Honor 2010 was a reboot to the franchise & had one of the largest marketing campaigns to date. It utterly and completely failed consumers at launch and with post-launch support. Consumers, from that point on, were wary of EA's bad practices.
Warfighter was promised to be revamped with Frostbite 2, complete with Micro-Destruction, an amazing interface, and better maps and gameplay. None of which were actually true. Let's review.
- Micro-Destruction: A key factor in modern FPS games. It allows you 'chip away' the cover the enemy and provide a sense of realism upon a bullet hitting the surface of an object. In Warfighter, you can't even break a wooden pallet with your rounds.
- Interface: The overall look of the game's menu system and in-game HUD. The user interface/user experience in Warfighter reflects that of an amateur Photoshop user. Semi-transparent boxes with white text fill the screen & are not something that belongs "in a AAA title.
- Maps: I met the map designers at the Danger Close studios in Los Angeles earlier this year. Needless to say, they seemed absolutely clueless as to what their job was. When I mentioned why the maps were so tiny and bland, the look on their face was priceless. They legitimately thought they had created maps gamers would enjoy.
- Gameplay: Choosing your weapon and unlocks alone is a hassle to understand. There are the same weapons with different names, leaving only 1-3 actual weapons-per-class to choose from. The unlock system is amazingly ignorant as (Going back to the interface design) you are forced to use a scroll-based system to see what you've unlocked for a weapon, and even so, you can't tell what you've unlocked or not until you reach that specific item on the scroll system.
The product was rushed in a terrible manner. There were rumors, now confirmed, that the executive producer was quietly removed from Danger Close approximately two months before release. EA proceeded to assume complete control and release the game without any leadership. The sheer fact that the Battlefield 4 beta text was larger than the text for Medal of Honor was a hint at what was to come of this game. Perhaps it's time for the 'major publisher' model to cease, or a change in executive leadership.
Whatever EA's future may be, we wish them the best of luck and hope to see the proper changes made to their products. Maybe with the largest Medal of Honor community shutting its doors, it may spark interested to take new paths. I would like to extend my gratitude to the community managers for Medal of Honor, Daniel Chin (No longer with Electronic Arts), and Seeson Mahathavorn who have done an outstanding job. The problem lies "mostly" within the upper management of Electronic Arts, not within the hard working people that make and contribute to the game."
The big question you have to ask now is, will they rise above and beyond the call?
Our guess is as good as yours and at the very least, GD will cut EA some slack and hope we will see the return of the publsiher we has grown to love.
Do you agree with all the criticism? Want to have your say? Debate below!