After the media shitstorm about the game featuring playable Taliban characters skins, EA has removed the term “Taliban” from the games online multiplayer under pressure from friends and family of killed soldiers. The Taliban will now be known as the “Opposing Force”.
Here is a statement from Greg Goodrich, Executive Producer of Medal of Honor:
“In the past few months, we have received feedback from all over the world regarding the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor. 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.
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.
To all who serve – we appreciate you, we thank you, and we do not take you for granted. And to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines currently serving overseas, stay safe and come home soon.
I am honestly quite surprised EA did this. They had support from pretty much the majority of gamers along with people serving in the armed forces, and yet they still buckled under pressure from the minority. It doesn’t change much though, the game will still be the same, the skins will still be the same and I’m sure gamers will still refer to the Opposing Force as Taliban or Insurgents. I didn’t care in the first place that they were named Taliban or not, but after putting up such a fight to defend their decision of including the Taliban, it’s a bit disappointing for EA to give in 11 days (14 days in the U.K) before the game releases.
Lets just hope this doesn’t start a worrying trend where anti-gaming groups think they can bully publishers/developers into giving into their demands. Maybe now the people protesting the game can actually get back to protesting something worthwhile, how about, ummm, getting the actual soldiers out of Afghanistan? Nice to see all that “Freedom” they’re over there fighting for is being preserved at home eh.