Electronic Arts has reversed course in their decision to include the Taliban as playable in Medal of Honor's multipayer. In spite of past statements that the company wouldn't bow to pressure to remove the content, EA cites " feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers."
Instead of "The Taliban," the multipayer team will be refered to as the much less ominous "Opposing Forces." Gameplay will remain the same.
In a blog post, the game's executive producer Greg Goodrich posted the following:
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. Greg Goodrich Executive Producer Medal of Honor.
Just for contrast sake, check out this statement from EA president Frank Gibeau, from back in August:
“There’s a lot of furor around games that take creative risks – like games that let you play terrorists in airports mowing down civilians... At EA we passionately believe games are an artform, and I don’t know why films and books set in Afghanistan don’t get flack, yet [games] do. Whether it’s Red Badge Of Courage or The Hurt Locker, the media of its time can be a platform for the people who wish to tell their stories. Games are becoming that platform."
This is what we call a flip-flop... but one that, to me, makes perfect sense. What do you guys think?