Electronic Arts chief executive John Riccitiello said in a conference call with analysts today that Medal of Honor: Warfighter’s sales are coming in below expectations.
As a result, EA expects soft sales in the third fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31, and it will have weaker earnings for the full year. Riccitiello made the remarks during a call today describing the giant video game publisher’s financial state after its second fiscal quarter earnings. EA beat overall analyst expectations.
Riccitiello said, in a baseball analogy, that EA doesn’t win every game, but it does put “more runs on the scoreboard” overall. Medal of Honor has been panned by critics (with a 60 out of 100 from GamesBeat), with an average of 50 out of 100 on Metacritic, an aggregator of review scores.
EA has tried twice now (last time in 2010) to reboot this modern combat franchise. This year, EA has been uncharacteristically quiet about competing head-to-head in the first-person shooter modern combat genre against Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty series.
In our review, Eduardo Moutinho write, “Horribly rendered CG cutscenes try to weave a patronizing and sometimes confusing tale of country-first heroes sacrificing their personal lives in the name of righteousness. One of the protagonists deals with personal crises involving his need-to-know-basis mission and uncanny valley-dwelling wife and daughter. Again, mimicking the ‘real thing.'”
Frank Gibeau, the head of EA’s game studios and an executive vice president, said Medal of Honor: Warfighter had a disappointing response from critics. Still, Warfighter has topped the charts in the United Kingdom.
Gibeau also said EA canceled NBA Live again this year because it didn’t live up to quality expectations like Madden NFL 13 and FIFA 13.
“We’re not pleased with the situation on either of these titles,” Gibeau said. He said EA is committed to basketball. He said internal testing and mock reviews showed that the Medal of Honor game is better than the critics said.
“But there are people out there who just don’t like the game,” he said.
Compared to last year’s Battlefield 3, Warfighter is a big disappointment. Battlefield 3 has sold more than 17 million copies.