Published on October 2nd, 2010 | by Bryant Kazmerzak, Contributor
EA Changes Medal Of Honor’s Taliban to OpFor
In August I reported on Fox News giving the developers of the new Medal of Honor game some flak because of the inclusion of Taliban forces in single and multiplayer gameplay, despite other games depicting Nazis and space aliens and those damned dirty Alliance dogs.
I haven’t been on the ball as of late since PAX because I was recovering from a cold as well as moving from Seattle to Chicago. By the way, I am all better, and the move was a success. Thanks for asking. =P
I did try and get a comment from the EA representatives at PAX while I was there on the AAFES embargo on MOH on all military bases as well as on-base GameStop stores, but they were strictly instructed by their superiors to not comment on the matter. They may as well have been Tier One operators being water boarded; I tried, man. I tried, but to no avail.
Yesterday, Electronic Arts executive producer Greg Goodrich, the same executive producer for the Medal of Honor project, said that the decision has been made to remove the Taliban from MOH at the urging of friends and families of fallen soldiers. Please keep in mind that when he says “remove”, what he really means is “change the name of the Taliban to ‘Opposing Force’ or ‘OpFor’ while still keeping the existing gameplay and character models”. If you remember correctly, back in 2007 when Call of Duty 4 was released, the name of the Middle-Eastern opponents you were up against as the US Marines were “OpFor”, which in military jargon is a term used to describe an enemy force in a training scenario. I feel that Infinity Ward (What an ironic name) and Activision dodged a bullet there.
Here is Goodrich’s statement in full:
“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.
Medal of Honor”
Personally, I am a bit pissed at this, although I am the kind of person who likes to go against the grain a bit. As much as I hate Uwe Boll, I wasn’t as pissed that he satirized 9/11 in his failed Postal movie as much as the fact he made a Postal movie period. I wouldn’t have minded that I’d be playing as the Taliban in online multiplayer; Like I said in August, someone has to be the cop, and someone has to be the robber. We all know that those damn dirty Russians invaded our shores when they were able to copy our ACS module and that a**hole terrorist shot up that Russian airport full of civilians, but I didn’t complain when you got to play as Russians in Modern Warfare 2. And let’s not forget the horrific zombie epidemic that we recovered from recently that is constantly being portrayed in videogames these days, but do I complain when I play Left4Dead? No, and you think I would be pissed since Zoe looks like my ex, but I play that game like it’s candy when I get the chance.
But I get the point: We are in Afghanistan currently. We are currently engaged in a conflict with real-life Taliban forces. Our troops are still dying. This year alone we’ve seen more casualties than previous years. [http://www.icasualties.org/OEF/ByYear.aspx] Hell I have a friend out there who is like a brother (once or twice removed, the dude’s huge) to me that I was in boot camp with that says he and his buddies (who are Marines) don’t give two craps about playing as the Taliban. I asked him to send me some comments from his buddies but I haven’t gotten a reply; Being a Navy Corpsman and saving the lives of injured Marines is busy work, after all. You can’t really fault the guy for it.
But forgive me when I say that people need to stop being so friggin’ butthurt about a stupid videogame.
Thanks for reading guys, and look forward to more articles as I slowly pull my stuff together and come out of my slump.
Em: Shaddz [at] GAMINGtruth [dot] com