Electronic Arts' long-running World War II shooter franchise Medal of Honor is taking a cue from current events, as the next entry, due in 2010, is set in modern day war-torn Afghanistan.
EA said Wednesday that the 10-year-old series would for the first time trade the WWII setting for a realistic modern day backdrop focused on elite U.S. military forces. EA is calling the game simply Medal of Honor.
EALA is developing a single-player campaign for the game under the watch of general manager Sean Decker, executive producer Greg Goodrich, and senior creative director Rich Farrelly. The story is inspired by real events.
There is also a multiplayer component planned for Medal of Honor, which EALA is handing off to EA's wholly-owned EA DICE, the arm behind the respected multiplayer-centric Battlefield series.
Medal of Honor's story will revolve around the "Tier 1 Operator: a relatively unknown entity directly under the National Command Authority who takes on missions no one else can handle." EA said its development team is working closely with Tier 1 Operators from the U.S. Special Operations Community to aid with the game's authenticity.
A press release said EA hopes the game will "re-set the franchise for a new generation. The original Medal of Honor debuted on the original PlayStation in 1999, and was created in conjunction with famed film director and producer Stephen Spielberg.
Activision's competing WWII franchise Call of Duty made the current event switch in 2007 when it released Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007. Modern Warfare 2 released last month to big sales.
"When we first set out to reinvent Medal of Honor, we wanted to stay true to its roots of authenticity and respect for the soldier but bring it into today's war," said executive producer Goodrich. "The Tier 1 Operator is the most disciplined, deliberate and prepared warrior on the battlefield. He is a living, breathing, precision instrument of war."
EALA general manager Decker added, "EA has always been an advocate for telling the soldiers' story. The new Medal of Honor follows that tradition."