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Analyst:  Medal Of Honor  Needs More Buzz To Defeat  Call Of Duty
Analyst: Medal Of Honor Needs More Buzz To Defeat Call Of Duty
September 28, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

September 28, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Activision and Electronic Arts may have just had an exchange of words in the press, but this fall, the two publishers' competing first-person shooters will square off at retail -- and one analyst believes that EA may be seriously challenged in its stated ambitions to seize the category from its rival.

"We are increasingly concerned about the prospects for Medal of Honor," says Kaufman Bros. analyst Todd Mitchell. "The game is not developing the level of buzz necessary to knock Call of Duty off its perch."

Medal of Honor launches October 12, while Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops is set to hit November 9. Both games have drawn attention with their share of controversy.

Earlier this year, the drama surrounding the departure of Modern Warfare house Infinity Ward's Jason West and Vince Zampella -- and the subsequent exodus of many of that studio's employees to the pair's new studio, Respawn Entertainment -- led many analysts to express concern about a trickle-down effect on the Call of Duty brand and Treyarch's upcoming installment.

As for Medal of Honor, its most recent headlines concerned the controversy about the option for players to assume the role of Taliban insurgents in the game's multiplayer modes.

But despite media attention, Mitchell says it's the launch timing that might damage Medal of Honor's prospects, calling it "ill-timed, sandwiched between the September 14 release of Microsoft's Halo: Reach, which recorded $200 million in first-day sales, and the November 9 release of Call of Duty: Black Ops."

The increasing lifespan of titles with strong multiplayer components may come to bear on the fall-holiday shooter sales battle; after almost a year as the most-played title on Xbox Live, Modern Warfare 2 was at last unseated by Halo: Reach.

And according to analysts, Black Ops preorders are outpacing those of Modern Warfare 2, which set new industry unit sales and revenue records at launch. Although few expect Black Ops, less pedigreed than the Modern Warfare brand, to top that performance, analysts say it could sell some 10 to 12 million units in its first year, an uncommonly good showing.

There is quite likely plenty of overlap in the audiences for Reach, Medal of Honor and Black Ops, and it's possible it could take some time before Reach wears off on gamers. "We really don't see a rationale for owning all three of these games," Mitchell says.

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Joseph Gonzalez
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I think Medal of Honor is going to have trouble competing. Like the article says, shooter fans are just coming off the Reach release and CoD has really been getting all the attention. If it werenít stuck in the middle of both launches Iím sure MoH would do great but I just donít think people are going to rush out to get it. With MoH releasing in just a few weeks, I havenít even seen a TV commercial for it. In the growing rivalry between Activision and EA, Iím thinking Activision is going to take this round.

Paul Lazenby
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Agreed that the marketing campaign in general for MOH, wherein they are trying to fully resurrect the brand, is pretty much a fail at this stage.

But even if the campaign was stellar, there is no way they could compete with the built-in audience that COD has coming off of both MW2 and WaW.

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EA has already stated that they don't expect to topple Reach or Black Ops.

Daniel Kinkaid
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How about getting around to BF3? Its a good game, but BF2 has been out what, 6 years now?

Some of us can't stand the COD style of play, which always breaks down into a snipefest and elite players dominating the entire server.

Ran Gat
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I agree.

I don't understand why EA rebooted the MOH series instead of doing a spin-off for the Bad Company or Battlefield franchise.

Chris Crawford
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Bad Company 2! I was playing MW2 for a while, and then the demo for BC2 came out.. which was better than MW2 as a whole. I've looked back for a few matches here and there with friends.. and MW2 feels so arcade and cheap and kiddy in comparison. It's sad that the game that does it really well is getting no attention in comparison to the Britney Spears for FPS games.

Hopefully Dice did a good job keeping the MW2 out of Medal of Honor's multiplayer. We'll see. I doubt it.

To me MW is like Quake with leveling up, and this really odd positive feedback loop that I still don't understand.

Aaron Casillas
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BC2 definetly has more definitive classes and roles.

Ran Gat
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@ Chris and @dan

I am big fan of BC2 and I played both games, too much :)

From my opinion MW2 multi-player has a great advantage. The psychological effect for achieving and collecting Emblems and Tags supported by numerous challenges can keep you playing for days.

Of course MW2 Multi-player is more arcade style (which is not a bad thing and has a lot of advantages) and has it flaws (for me it mainly campers!!!) but its a great game that is not dependent on your entire team.

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Arjen Meijer
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I hope MOH will flop... not to be mean to the dev's, but just the idea of copy pasting your game from another and expecting people to buy enough of it isn't something that should be rewarded.

Onward to the new shooters and hope this chapter will be closed really soon!