Taliban removed from Medal Of Honor
In a surprising last-minute announcement, EA has revealed that the controversial Taliban will be removed from Medal Of Honor’s multiplayer mode…
It’s surely one of the biggest U-turns in videogame history. With first-person shooter Medal Of Honor due for release within a matter of days, EA has made the unexpected and decidedly last minute decision to remove the Taliban from the game’s controversial multiplayer mode.
It was only last week that EA announced that it was running an open beta to “clear up any misunderstanding about the patriotism and respect that are the foundation of this game.”
Medal Of Honor has come under considerable criticism for its depiction of the Taliban in its multiplayer mode, most notably from MP Liam Fox. Responding to the criticisms, EA recently said that “Medal Of Honor franchise has always shown extraordinary reverence for American and Allied soldiers,” and that “this game is no exception.”
But now, in what appears to be an eleventh hour about face for EA, the publisher has made the decision to remove the Taliban from the multiplayer mode altogether.
"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” executive producer Greg Goodrich wrote on the Medal Of Honor blog.
He continued: “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.”
To sidestep the contention, any instance of the word ‘Taliban’ is being hastily snipped from the game, replaced instead with a less offensive, though rather more ungainly monicker.
“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.”
It’s a surprising, perhaps unprecedented decision for the company, and proves just how powerful the weight of public opinion can be. And while it’ll perhaps silence the game’s handful of vocal critics, it’s a pity a better name than ‘Opposing Force’ couldn’t have been dreamed up.
It also shows just how different the videogame industry is treated compared to other media - can anyone imagine a film director removing every instance of a particular word from their movie, particularly a few days before its premiere?
Medal Of Honor is set for release in the UK on 15 October for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.