NEWS - Friday, October 1, 2010

The Taliban Removed From Medal of Honor MP

The controversy surrounding the upcoming Medal of Honor for its inclusion of the Taliban as playable characters in multiplayer has finally resulted in a change. Electronic Arts has decided to remove the Taliban from multiplayer, renaming the team "Opposing Force."
The change comes less than two weeks prior to the release of the game in the U.S. Medal of Honor executive producer Greg Goodrich announced the move on the official Medal of Honor blog today, claiming that it comes as a result of concerns voiced by the families and friends of fallen soldiers.

"In the past few months, we have received feedback from all over the world regarding the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor, Goodrich wrote. "We’ve received notes from gamers, active military, and friends and family of servicemen and women currently deployed overseas. The majority of this feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. For this, the Medal of Honor team is deeply appreciative.

"However, we have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion of our game. This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team. This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force."

The change shouldn’t have any real impact on the game itself. Goodrich noted, "While this change should not directly affect gamers, as it does not fundamentally alter the gameplay, we are making this change for the men and women serving in the military and for the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice -- this franchise will never willfully disrespect, intentionally or otherwise, your memory and service."

However you may feel about the change, it does come as somewhat of a surprise after EA CEO John Riccitiello chastised the media for, in his mind, stirring up the controversy. "The controversy kind of caught me by surprise," he said last month. He pointed out the Taliban were playable in the beta and yet "no one noticed... until a journalist decided to put the game box in front of a mom who’d lost her son in Afghanistan to create some controversy. I think that says more about the newspapers than it does the game industry."

In early September, The Army and Air Force Exchange Services banned the game from being sold on Army and Air Force bases, including 49 GameStop stores. There’s no word on whether or not the exclusion of the Taliban will now lead to the game being unbanned from stores on those bases, but there are still 10 days before the game’s October 12 release date for things to be sorted out.



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