Popular and established franchises shouldn't go on the decline after the first few installments, but many critics will argue that the once-esteemed Medal of Honor series is doing just that. And according to Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford, the long-running series is "in trouble." Gearbox is responsible for the competing WWII series, Brothers in Arms , and in speaking with CVG at a press event in London, he had this to say in regards to MoH-
"It's a great franchise, and a lot of people love it, but I think somebody really needs to get hold of that franchise who cares about the subject matter and understands what the real promise and the fantasy is."
We all remember when the original title made a big splash on the PlayStation, and follow-up titles on PC ( Medal of Honor: Allied Assault ) and PS2 ( Medal of Honor: Frontline ) were both excellent entries. However, starting with the next title in line, Medal of Honor: Rising Sun , the franchise began a downward spiral that EA hasn't been able to reverse since. The recently released Medal of Honor: Airborne is decent, but certainly not as good as those first few installments.
"I think they're confused right now", Pitchford continued. "They're partially speaking not as a dedicated World War II game, but just as a game. I think if you're just going to make a shooter, there's other subject matter you can pick that give them more flexibility to do the kinds of things that they've been wishing to do. Like upgrading weapons and things like that? That doesn't belong in an authentic war game."
Evidently, Pitchford wants EA to "focus on the fantasy," which is probably a good idea. The series had never been about realism, although most will remember the opening section of Frontline (the D-Day invasion) as being both intense and authentic. Perhaps a way to rejuvenate the franchise is to start from scratch, with someone who actually cares about the games…?
"…there's something just missing about what's in the heart of what the fantasy is of playing these kinds of games and I think somebody needs to get hold of that franchise that really cares and can do that."