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EA Gets Out Ahead Of Black Ops With October 12 Medal Of Honor Launch

Days after the announcement of Call of Duty: Black Ops, Electronic Arts officially throws down its gauntlet for the war shooter crown, announcing an October 12 launch for its modern-setting Medal of Honor.
With all eyes on major moves in the first-person shooter category, Electronic Arts has set an October 12, 2010 launch date for what it's described as a "rebooting" of its Medal of Honor franchise. EA made the announcement alongside a new trailer on the game's official site that makes it evident the company aims to challenge rival Activision's Call of Duty brand head-on. The publisher has blamed over-annualization and a lack of innovation for Medal of Honor's brand languishing over the years. The category has been shaken up in recent months over several key events: the soap opera surrounding Modern Warfare house Infinity Ward, a reorganization of the CoD brand at Activision, EA's publishing deal with Respawn Entertainment, and Activision's with former Halo house Bungie. Further, EA's claimed to have a "Halo-killer" in publishing Crytek's Crysis 2. Chronological setting has become a significant issue at the core of the shooter shakeup, as Infinity Ward's desire to be the sole Activision studio developing modern-day war games is believed to play a role in the dispute between the publisher and ousted studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella. The likely Cold War-era backdrop of Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops -- in no coincidence of timing, itself announced just days ago and dated for November 9 -- has been much-discussed in the press. With today's announcement EA takes care to stress the modern setting of Medal of Honor, which leaves World War II behind for the franchise's first time. "Medal of Honor is an authentic look into today’s war," says the game's EP, Greg Goodrich. "Inspired by real people and real events, the game puts players in the boots of today’s warrior -- from the infantry ground pounder to the Tier 1 Operator." EA Los Angeles is developing the game's single player campaign, and the publisher says the studio has been "working closely" with U.S. Special Operations Tier 1 operators on authenticity. Meanwhile, Battlefield house DICE will create the game's multiplayer. Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey updated his models for the publisher on the news: "In consideration of the new release date, we're moving $55 million in sales from fiscal Q2'11 to Q3'11," he says. "We had expected this game would likely be delayed, as a holiday release would seemingly boost its market potential."

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