“Compromised Quality Conundrum” or “Conniving Quotes Controversy”
I have very fond memories of landing on the beaches of Normandy and being utterly stupefied at the D-Day realism portrayed by the original medal of Honor game. I finished the 2010 version recently. To put it mildly, it was less than stellar. To put it moderately, it sucked big bags of donkey balls. To be harsh, I would rather watch paint dry while gouging my eyeballs out with plastic sporks. The AI was horrendous, the scripted events were a nuisance that interfered with in-game mechanics, too often the control was wrenched away from you, the story hung on by a thread in its half-hearted attempt at cohesion and immersion, and practically every mission seemed to be ripped directly from Call of Duty. There were a few moments of (at times scripted) brilliance, that helped me trudge on, but all in all the title was a disappointment, and left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Yesterday I came across this interview on Eurogamer, and it made me a tad angrier. Here are two direct quotes for your perusal:
“What I can say is the game didn’t meet our quality expectations. In order to be successful in that space, we’re going to have to have a game that is really, really strong.”
– EA Games’ Patrick Soderlund to Eurogamer
“The game is better than today’s reviews are indicating.”
– EA Games’ Patrick Soderlund to Eurogamer (yes, the same interview)
Here’s a question: if you yourself know your game did not meet quality expectations, why release it?
Here’s another question: if you did release it, and it was met with less than stellar reviews, why continue to claim, in the same breath no less, that the game was better than the reviews it received? You know you screwed up, you even admit to it. Just don’t go backtracking to save some face. If you were challenging a singular review, you could blame it on a difference of opinion or perhaps reviewer bias. But thee overall experience has been quite disappointing, myself included, and considering that it didn’t meet your own internal quality standards, why on earth would it receive favorable reviews upon release?
Bear in mind, however, that this doesn’t mean the game did poorly. On the contrary, Medal of Honor sold two million copies in just two weeks post-launch.