Warfighter headed to “murderer’s row” of AAA competition – analyst

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 00:53 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Medal of Honor: Warfighter will keep EA from meeting its financial forecasts, one analyst has opined, as it faces down some fierce holiday season competition.

Doug Creutz of Cowen and Company told GamesIndustry that his company doesn’t expect EA to reach its FY13 guidance because Medal of Honor: Warfighter is “likely to be a major disappointment”.

“Based on our read of pre-release tracking data, we think the game might struggle to sell through 2MM units worldwide,” he said.

“With only a week before a murderer’s row of AAA titles begins to come out (Assassin’s Creed III on October 30; Halo 4 on November 6; Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on November 13), we think Medal of Honor: Warfighter has a very short window to capture sales.”

Creutz also commented on a rumour that EA chose not to supply review copies ahead of launch to major outlets; IGN has confirmed it did not receive review code till quite recently, although other outlets and magazines haven’t reported an unusual pattern.

“A dearth of reviews is unlikely to help. The decision to make early review copies unavailable does not suggest to us that the company has a high degree of confidence in the quality of the game,” the analyst noted.

In conclusion, Creutz said he didn’t expect strong performance from EA Sports’ recent titles to offset disappointing Warfighter sales, or a suspected dip in Star Wars: The Old Republic’s performance, and poured scorn on a the publisher’s “modestly successful” Q4 FY13 lineup of Crysis 3, Dead Space 3, Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, and Fuse. EA reports its Q3 earnings on October 30, just a few days after Warfighter’s launch this week; its financial year ends in March.