EA shelves Medal of Honor franchise after weak sales, reviews

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Following weak critical and commercial reception, EA has decided to yank the Medal of Honor brand from its shooter rotation. Despite receiving generally mixed reviews among critics and consumers, the franchise's 2010 reboot still managed to sell more than five million copies, making it relatively easy to justify a follow-up.

Unfortunately for EA, that project -- last year's Medal of Honor: Warfighter -- didn't earn anywhere near as much as analysts expected, selling only 300,000 copies in its first week. Along with poor sales, the title was met with largely negative feedback, with many reviewers noting its buggy, uninspired gameplay and dull story.

EA admits that "Medal of Honor was an obvious miss," but the company insists that the game was "solid" and its focus on "combat authenticity" simply didn't resonate with players. "Critics were polarized and gave the game scores which were, frankly, lower than it deserved. This one is behind us now," EA COO Pete Moore said.

Of course, there's also the chance that Medal of Honor bombed because it's part of an oversaturated genre dominated (for better or worse) by Activision's established Call of Duty franchise, but you'll never hear that from EA. If (when?) the property is revived, we assume it won't be just another modern military shooting gallery.

In the meantime, it sounds like EA still plans to ship one major shooter each year. For 2013, it seems like that'll be the company's third-person co-op shooter Fuse (previously titled OverStrike), which is due in the second quarter, unless Battlefield 4 ships quickly after its expected beta later this year. It's also worth noting that the company has a mystery sci-fi shooter being developed by Respawn Entertainment, the studio founded by former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, which is probably on track for 2014 or 2015.

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