The gaming battlefield is heating up.

Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) is announcing healthy pre-orders for its Medal of Honor game, which comes out in two weeks. EA isn't divulging the actual number of titles that have been pre-sold of the military shoot-'em-up, but it is a franchise record.

This is encouraging, especially given that rival Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) is firing off the latest installment in its category-killer Call of Duty franchise in November.

Cash-strapped fans of military games -- played largely in multiplayer mode through the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Sony (NYSE: SNE) gaming network -- could have easily held off on EA's title, saving their $60 for Call of Duty: Black Ops a few weeks later.

This is one of the few gaming niches that are holding up well these days. Activision's Guitar Hero and Viacom's (NYSE: VIA) Rock Band franchises appear to have peaked, with folks setting aside their fake plastic guitar controllers. The simple nonviolent fare that put Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) on the map with its motion-based Wii also appears to have run its course. I was shocked this morning to find that not a single Nintendo-related title was on's list of its 15 best-sellers. It's no surprise to see Nintendo warn investors this week that it would fall far short of this year's expectations.

A shooter doesn't need to be on a military battlefield to succeed. Take-Two Interactive (Nasdaq: TTWO) has had success this year with BioShock 2, Red Dead Redemption, and Mafia 2.

My fear here is that developers will gang up on the niche and crank out so many flavors of the genre that gamers are either diluted or get tired of it. The gaming industry itself has been in a funk since the beginning of last year. The last thing it needs is for the developers to gut the one thing that is actually working.

How do you feel about the upcoming military simulations? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Take-Two Interactive Software is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and NINTENDO CO LTD are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended a synthetic long position on Activision Blizzard and a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, and Take-Two Interactive Software. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders why his son always kicks his axe when they have a Guitar Hero face-off. Rick does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy, and it could beat you in expert mode if it had to.