Just following Electronic Arts' announcement that the new Medal of Honor
sold 1.5 million units in its first five days following an October 12 release, CEO John Riccitiello attached a dollar amount to the title's launch.
"Medal of Honor
, in its first five days, has already done $100 million at retail," Riccitiello told the Fox Business Channel
this week. "...When you've got a single game in five days sort of trumping Hollywood box office, it doesn't look so bad."
The military shooter's debut was marred by a mixed reviews from the gaming press, and those reviews coincided with a drop in EA share prices. Riccitiello defended the game's quality, saying that it garnered several strong reviews mixed with less-than-stellar reviews. (the game is currently garnering a score of 75 on Metacritic
Riccitiello attributed the polarizing reviews of Medal of Honor
to the game's modern Afghanistan War setting. "It's a tough subject for a lot of people," the executive said. The title, with a single-player campaign developed by EA-owned Danger Close, was met with criticism earlier this year when it was revealed the EA DICE-developed multiplayer mode would allow gamers to play as the Taliban against U.S. troops.
Prior to the game's release this month, EA decided to change the name
of the Taliban to the more generic "Opposing Force." Riccitiello argued in the Fox interview that there needs to be a bad guy in a multiplayer online shooter. "It's not really fun if everyone's a cowboy," he said.
As for future prospects for EA, he expressed optimism for both digital and the more traditional packaged games business. "The company is doing really, really well," he said. "We're seeing 30 percent growth in our digital business, we're seeing market share gains and profitable growth in our packaged goods business. I feel like EA is doing exceptionally, and doing really well in the marketplace."