Medal of Honor: What Happened To This Iconic Franchise?

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EA Should Still Consider Reviving Medal of Honor!

Story Highlights
  • Before Call of Duty and Battlefield, the Medal of Honor series was a major part of first-person shooters.
  • The franchise peaked in the early 2000s, but sales and popularity declined quickly.
  • The latest releases killed the franchise, ending all hope and reason for it to continue, implying EA is done with it.

While Call of Duty and Battlefield dominate the first-person shooter market today as the leading faces, the FPS genre was once much broader with more options. Medal of Honor, for instance, pioneered the way for the latest FPS games we play today.

What once began as one of the best World War 2 shooters that would prevail alongside Halo and even Call of Duty is nowhere to be found today despite being a key inspiration for the latter.

Even the latest release wasn’t enough for EA to go ahead and continue the franchise.

Why it matters: For a franchise this big, it is a surprise how it died so quickly and isn’t even regarded in the current generation by both gamers and its publisher.

Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor Warfighter Performed Much Worse Than EA Expected

History Of Medal Of Honor Games

Inspired by Goldeneye 007 and Saving Private Ryan, the franchise debuted as a World War 2 shooter in 1999, almost four years before Call of Duty. Steven Spielberg, the creative filmmaker behind Saving Private Ryan, was also responsible for the game’s story and concept as a whole.

These titles were held so high because of their historical accuracy in depicting World War II. They delivered an entertaining yet educational experience for millions. The game was developed by Danger Close Studio, formerly Dreamworks Interactive. At the time, the studio was under Microsoft.

However, Dreamworks and Microsoft had little interest in continuing the series, so EA took the opportunity to acquire their Los Angeles studio and started working on the next installments.

Battlefield 5
Battlefield 5 Was EA’s Latest Take On World War 2

Soon after, Call of Duty and Battlefield debuted, putting a little twist on the World War 2 shooter formula. Call of Duty was a fast-paced shooter, whereas Battlefield gave fans a larger map that featured tens of players and provided a chaotic war-like experience.

On the other hand, Medal of Honor stayed hellbent on using its existing formula, innovating a little but eventually becoming too realistic and boring for gamers, ultimately leading to lower review scores and sales.

EA tried rebooting the franchise and even going with a modern-day setting. However, it was evident that they didn’t put much effort into it and focused more on Battlefield, a franchise that was already popular. 

The last two releases, Medal of Honor 2010 and Warfighter, were enough to kill the franchise. Buggy and incomplete releases, a poor storyline, and more were enough reasons for EA to pull the plug on the franchise and focus on Battlefield, which was technically a rival to the franchise.

Years later, their re-attempt to revitalize the IP came with a VR release, which, to no one’s surprise, also failed. Who asked EA for a VR Medal of Honor? I guess we’ll never know.

Future Of The Franchise

medal of honor above and beyond
Medal Of Honor Strived To Deliver Authentic World War 2 Experiences

The franchise was destined to die after what EA did to Medal of Honor in the 2000s. Changing release platforms, bringing in zero innovation, and capitalizing off its already-established name put the franchise 6 feet below the ground.

EA is now repeating the cycle with Battlefield. However, that is another topic of discussion. Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond eliminated any chance of the series’ attempt at resurrection just because of the release as a VR-only title.

VR gaming doesn’t have a large player base, and EA repeated its mistake of locking the game behind a small platform again. Following this decision, the Medal of Honor games might be dead forever.

I still think EA should try its hand at Medal of Honor again with some serious motivation, especially considering how Battlefield is doing right now, and Call of Duty is ahead of the competition.

Today, I can only wonder how the franchise would’ve ended up if Microsoft retained its ownership and we had a solid Xbox exclusive. Seeing the IP’s downfall is sad, and I still want to see it returning.

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