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Medal of Honor: Warfighter "likely to be a major disappointment"

Analyst Doug Creutz sees game struggling to hit 2m sales worldwide

Electronic Arts is set to ship Medal of Honor: Warfighter this week in the US, Europe and Australia (with a Japanese release slated for mid-November), but there's no denying that it'll be a tough shooter market to launch into with Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Halo 4 both looking for big sales. In fact, Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz said that the new Medal of Honor is "likely to be a major disappointment" and will "struggle" to reach 2 million sales across the globe.

"Since late July we have been cautious about EA's ability to reach management's FY13 guidance due to our view that Medal of Honor: Warfighter appears likely to be a major disappointment. On July 30 we cut our FY13 EPS estimate to $0.86, well below guidance of $1.05-$1.20, and we currently carry a $0.87 FY13 estimate, close to the Street low. While we believe Street expectations for MoH:W sales have moderated significantly, likely down to the 3-4MM unit range, we are concerned that those expectations may still be too high. Based on our read of pre-release tracking data, we think the game might struggle to sell through 2MM units worldwide," Creutz stated.

Interestingly, Creutz also noted that EA apparently declined to send review copies of Medal of Honor to critics ahead of the game's release, meaning that we probably won't see any reviews to coincide with the actual release.

Creutz added, "With only a week before a murderer's row of AAA titles begins to come out (Assassin's Creed III on October 30; Halo 4 on November 6; Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on November 13), we think MoH:W has a very short window to capture sales, and a dearth of reviews is unlikely to help. The decision to make early review copies unavailable does not suggest to us that the company has a high degree of confidence in the quality of the game."

Ultimately, looking at the lineup for EA, Creutz believes that the company will be forced to lower its guidance.

"On the whole, we do not think outperformance from EA's sports lineup will be enough to offset a probable disappointment from MoH:W (particularly since we believe Star Wars: The Old Republic has also performed well below the expectations EA embedded in their initial guidance). We also think it is unlikely that EA's Q4:F13 lineup can bail the company out, given what we expect to be a modestly successful AAA lineup (planned releases include the sequels Crysis 3, Dead Space 3, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel, and a new IP, Fuse). As a result, we continue to believe that EA management will have to lower guidance meaningfully for FY13 at some point," he noted.

EA will report its earnings on October 30.

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Latest comments (13)

Ben Strauss Consultant, Gun Media Holdings8 years ago
Love the franchise, really love the push for the 'authenticity' and everything else, but I just can't get past what felt like an incredibly clunky UI in the MP beta as well as the general lack of graphical difference between the various units.

I've got high hopes for this game, I really love what it's all about...but things like the SOG Tomahawk and using Linkin Park yet again just continue to have me worried from what's going on outside of Danger Close's control.

The team and studio has the best interests in mind for what this game needs to be. Cannot wait to play it tonight.
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Pier Castonguay Programmer 8 years ago
The "disappointment" in this article speak about it being released around other big titles so sales will be lower (never understood why publishers all rush the AAA releases on holidays, it's the worst time of the year for competition), but is the game itself a disappointment? I really liked the previous one.
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Damnit.. hook, line and sinker.
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Show all comments (13)
Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent8 years ago
Look, the first game was crushingly average. Every gamer on our forums and every bit of feedback we had about it said the same thing: "It's not terrible, but it's just so dull."

Which is why a mere two days after the launch of the last game, there were six rows of them, ten boxes thick down at our local trade-in emporium. A lot of poeple bought it and that's going to make a sequel seem like a lucrative proposition but how many of them liked it? How many would buy another one? It's our feeling that it's not a lot.
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Yep, it'll no doubt sell well again as the previous one did. I put that down to the fact that it looked a lot like BF3 and MW3.
However just before I left retail many of the customers were saying how they had lost faith in the realistic FPS genre... even some of my friends - long time CoD fanatics - swore that MW3 was the last CoD they'll ever buy as it's getting stale.
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent8 years ago
Yep, that too. A lot of people are bored of modern military shooters. Hardly surprising.
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Caleb Hale Journalist 8 years ago
It seems like EA was always treating Medal of Honor: Warfighter as filler between Battlefields 3 & 4, something to keep the pace with Activision's recent rotation of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Black Ops series. EA had enough of an uphill battle last year putting BF3 up against MW3.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 8 years ago
Vote of Confidence EA Style:
Long before release, announce that the game you are trying to sell this year will include beta access for that other game next year. Then advertise this fact as news to your BF3 community.
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Ian Brown IT Developer / IT Infrastructure 8 years ago
One of the things it had going for it, i think, was the multiplayer done by DICE and, i think, a beta access code for BF3
Well EA are not sucking me in with that pathetic excuse again. I did enjoy Medal of Honor (should be Honour..tsk) but I have to say that the BF3 Beta was a biting point for me and after the fact that EA allowed me to play the BF3 beta i think 48 hours before every other person on the planet i was a bit miffed to say the least. I know its only a beta and after playing the Alpha on the PC to death (I didn't even have to pay to join that!) getting 2 days access to a demo was a con. The multiplayer I actually enjoyed and would have played far more of if they actually gave you weapons as the multiplayer had about 6 for each team which in this day and age is pretty appalling. Overall like other said, not bad, not really amazing, more like an enjoyable but forgettable experience. I can't help but see this as more of the same, and in this age of endless brown/olive drab shooters I don't think another one is going to make an impact.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ian Brown on 23rd October 2012 9:54pm

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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
I know some people disagree with me, but my gut feeling is that when the mainstream bore of Call of Duty, it will be because the idea has become tiring. As such, it will be replaced by something different, not something almost the same, so perhaps EA are barking up the wrong tree.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
@Dan: Unrelated, but: I can remember two days after Halo 2 came out, popping into a GameStop to go through their clearance bins and seeing four stacks of Halo 2's behind the counter> I asked the manager if those were all pre-order copies people hadn't picked up yet and he said "Nope - all returns! 47 so far. People are just blowing through single player and bringing it back because they don't have a Xbox Live account yet."

Of course, that was just at that particular location, so I'd bet every FPS since had had a similar lack of longevity among those who don't or can't bring their game online. At least this new MoH is looking to be a lot longer than the first one, so people who don't want to run around shooting each other in the head will have a bit more to do. Personally, I liked what I got to play a lot and that one car chase map was pretty fun in a Need for Speed kind of way.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
While EA might have you believe otherwise, this franchise hasn't been a AAA series for quite some time. Even though it still has a bit of name recognition it's still been a very mediocre series in recent years and doesn't even come close to comparing with the online experiences of Halo, COD or Battlefield.
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Varun Tyagi AI Programmer 8 years ago
I highly oppose the article. I think the game would come out good and prove itself. COD has big name and fame no doubt but looking at MOH's gameplay, mechanics, graphics and other stuff I think it will survive the COD wave and will come out a good name in market
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