Research firm Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz says that Medal of Honor: Warfighter is "likely to be a major disappointment." Set for release in the US, Europe and Australia this week, the game is set to face a tough shooter market that includes heavyweights like Halo 4 and Call of Duty Black Ops II. With that in mind, Creutz think that Warfighter will be a disappointment in terms of its sales numbers.
"Since late July we have been cautious about EA's ability to reach management's FY13 guidance due to our view that Medal of Honor: Warfighter appears likely to be a major disappointment. On July 30 we cut our FY13 EPS estimate to $0.86, well below guidance of $1.05-$1.20, and we currently carry a $0.87 FY13 estimate, close to the Street low. While we believe Street expectations for MoH:W sales have moderated significantly, likely down to the 3-4MM unit range, we are concerned that those expectations may still be too high. Based on our read of pre-release tracking data, we think the game might struggle to sell through 2MM units worldwide," Creutz stated.
Creutz also pointed out that EA decided that it would not send out advance copies of the game prior to its release. This certainly didn't help the game generate any pre-launch buzz in his opinion.
"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 MoH:W has a very short window to capture sales, and a dearth of reviews is unlikely to help," Creutz added. "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."
He goes on to say that, judging by EA's line-up for the holiday season, he expects the company to lower its guidance for FY13 at "some point." EA will report its earnings on October 30.