Medal of Honor multiplayer de-Taliban-ized

Following controversy, EA changes name of force opposing US soldiers in Afghanistan-set game's multiplayer mode to "Opposing Force."

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Following Konami's dropping of Six Days in Fallujah, games set during modern-day conflicts have come under extra scrutiny. One game in particular has been put under the microscope--Electronic Arts' Medal of Honor reboot, which is set during the early days of the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Following protestations of families who have lost members during the Afghan conflict, EA has now decided to no longer let players assume the role of the Taliban in the game's multiplayer mode. Instead, the forces opposing US soldiers in the mode will sport the far more generic moniker of "Opposing Force."

Oppose this!

"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," said executive producer Greg Goodrich in a statement on the game's official Web site.

Goodrich also said that the multiplayer aspect of the game, designed by Battlefield: Bad Company 2 developer EA DICE, would otherwise remain unchanged. Players will also still fight the Taliban in the single-player campaign.

In development at EALA's Danger Close studio, Medal of Honor is due out on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 12. It will initially be offered only in a limited-edition format, one that carries a standard-edition price tag of $60 across all three platforms.

Belying its price tag, the Medal of Honor Limited Edition includes many of the customary premium perks, including early access to EA DICE's Battlefield 3 multiplayer beta, two in-game shotguns, and an exclusive weapon. PS3 gamers will also find a free copy of the PS2 classic Medal of Honor: Frontline packed into the Limited Edition.

The first installment in the series not to be set during World War II, Medal of Honor will follow a group of elite commandos called Tier 1 Operators during operations behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. It will be set during the early stages of the war, when the US-backed Northern Alliance was pushing toward victory over the now-resurgent Taliban and their Al-Qaeda allies.

Though the Xbox 360 and PS3 multiplayer betas have come and gone, PC gamers still have a chance to participate in an open testing period beginning October 4. The online multiplayer beta download client will be available through Medal of Honor's official Web site beginning today, and the testing phase will close on October 7 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

For more on EA's Medal of Honor reboot, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Discussion

837 comments
drummerdickens
drummerdickens

@fluerxx 1. Watchu talking about dude? Whites killing blacks? Eh? 2. I'm British

THRILLHOE
THRILLHOE

Funny how the taliban are terrorists, when America's blackwater has killed just as many Iraqi civilians. I'm not on any side, but the world shouldn't hide away what is real. You might as well cancell every other game that involves killing people, BECAUSE PEOPLE DIE EVERYDAY, YOU MORONS. (That goes to the politicians).

lithus
lithus

It should be enough that you fight and kill the Taliban in the single player. It should be implicit knowlege that the multiplayer "swapping sides" isn't taken literally and played in jest. Most people don't even realize what faction they're using during a game. The fact that the "War" is still going is bull. You want offensive current events...use your energy on the NYC Ground Zero Mosque situation.

augiedoggied
augiedoggied

@fluerxx the only problem that i have with that comment is, Americans did not start the war against the Nazi's. Hitler did. He invaded land, and the people down there were failing, so we came to there aid, and won. Keep in mind that Hitler started it, after being a low ranking infantry soldier in WW1.

lithus
lithus

This is like calling a terrorist attack a "man-made disaster" rather than just what it is...a terrorist attack. Which has been done in the media...sad.

killman_23
killman_23

Guys i do here every ones side i dont think EA should have changed it to Opposing Force that was kind of stupid.BallisstiXXX ur right it was just politions attacking EA and they should'nt have caved in but real people are dieing out there by the Taliban but i still dont believe they should of changed it.

BallisstiXXX
BallisstiXXX

@julle23 Actually most Americans are pissed about this too. We were fine with the idea of real terrorists in the game. It's just the Polititians and whorey EA's fault for caving into the pressure.

augiedoggied
augiedoggied

Well, i can see where both sides of this are coming from, because no one should desire to be the Taliban, i mean seriously, they are terrorists, i mean, they have hung little kids and said they did it because they suspected they were "spies", that is just plain demented. most people who know what they have done would be pleasured to send a bombing order for their camps. but i do understand that it is just a game. and it would not be the worst thing to happen in a video game. And the games "Manhunt" and "Manhunt 2" are perfect examples, in those games you basically assume the role of a psychopathic serial killer. Why the heck did they not get this much attention!? I think that is freaking stupid.

Gammet25
Gammet25

@Nayhem1 What are you on about? Im just saying Video games during World War 2 didnt get the media controversy as this game did. Im just wondering why its happening to this game when it could've happened before and didn't. I still like modern shooter games jeez.

julle23
julle23

omg oversensitive americans

fluerxx
fluerxx

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Nayhem1
Nayhem1

@gammet25 How many power lines do you live under? Video games during WWII? Are you kidding me?

brok
brok

@seraifas That is just so frikken true. Simply by NOT doing that they're being hypocritical. Excellent point.

Gammet25
Gammet25

Why didnt this happen when we were playing the World 2 era. Wasnt there families and casualties from that war as well? What about that. Is the media just too tired to scrutinize the past but conveniently just goes for the present. In the end, its still just a game. If a terrorist was awakened because of this game then we'll talk.

lfebaggins
lfebaggins

I respect those families thoughts but they are overreacting over a minor detail. I was playing the open beta and the only time people would even notice "Taliban" is the score screen. Even in the class selection screen you're way too busy selecting class and customizations before you're next respawn that you don't even notice your faction name. I don't like the change, it lowers the authenticity feel to the game, but like I said, its a minor detail and you hardly notice the change. I like the improvements they made in the open beta and I look forward to the release of this game.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

@Nemesis4747 I think your conclusion is the real underlying one. Spot on dude.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

"Mercenaries would have been better" You mean naming the US force mercenaries? Because that's the only force of the two who deserves the name actually lol I think Opfor vs Invfor (invading force) would be cool hahahah

CASwim1111
CASwim1111

It's funny how the conservatives generally say not to appeal to emotion and accuse the "liberals" of appealing to emotion over logic, yet the logical conclusion one would draw is that if this conflict is occurring in Afghanistan in the present day, it should be the Taliban that plays the "Opposing Force." Who gives a crap, really? It's not doing anything to support or glorify the d-bags that populate the Taliban.

LondonGamer986
LondonGamer986

So is it just US vs Opossing force? Or Do they have the British forces in there too?

jrb71
jrb71

The only time someone would be on the taliban is online and nobody ever pays attention to that, or atleast I don't. And about the limited edition, do you have to pre-order it?

brok
brok

If EA told me to get the Taliban out of my Afghanistan game, I'd rename them the 'Balitan' and reskin them as US soldiers with top hats on and ask "Is this better now, EA? Is this what you wanted? ...I mean really?"

zcake22
zcake22

Look on the bright side; 60 years from now it will be taboo to put Martians as playable characters in a video game (since we'll be in the process of repelling yet another one of their invasion forces) and the Taliban/Al-Qaeda/War in the Middle East will have become yesterday's news.

zcake22
zcake22

Like the airport scene in MW2, this was most likely a publicity stunt by EA. I very seriously doubt they believed they would be able to release the game with the option to play as Taliban fighters. What's more likely is they knew it would never fly but that the controversy would generate some much needed publicity for MoH. This is the first Medal Of Honor game set around a modern day conflict, and it's already been established that the CoD franchise is the one to beat when it comes to melees in the Middle East. EA probably realized that something like this would be the best possible form of marketing they could hope for (again, look at how much attention "Remember, No Russian" brought to MW2) and it would vastly increase their chances of reaching sales numbers like that of the two previous CoD games. Though I still agree with others who have said some people are way too sensitive to this type of thing. It could be argued that the Nazis were a much more terrifying enemy than the Taliban, but everybody's cool with them being playable characters in hundreds, if not thousands of video games. Like heznave said, it may be due to the fact our soldiers are fighting the Taliban right here and now and WW2 ended over 60 years ago. It's just too fresh and there are too many conflicting viewpoints.

jamesward299
jamesward299

How would mercenaries have been better?! they aren't mercenaries do you even know what that means? insolent pig

wooooode
wooooode

Mercenaries would have been better.

cossidae
cossidae

What is the difference in killing talibans and americans? This frustrates me.

triple_punse
triple_punse

personally it doesnt bother me too much. I mean a name is a name the game will stay the same.

WickedWeavile
WickedWeavile

Political correctness: Civilisational poison. If you have to run something by people's feelings everytime you want to discuss or make something, maybe it's not worth doing it at all.

JaxxRaxor
JaxxRaxor

I think this type of censorship is harmful. I mean playing as the Taliban in Deathmatch or capture the flag? Come on. Now if EA had a campaign mode in which you play as the Taliban killing American soldiers and Afghan civilians then yes that would be highly offensive. But online competitive multilayer is far removed from the reality of what is happening in Afghanistan now. A bad decision in the gaming world.

GordonFrohman11
GordonFrohman11

Don't care what they're called as long as the gameplay differentiates itself from Call of Duty and Battlefield.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

For me this is stupid. The news or media need something they can use . If people do not like it they don't buy it and it is pretty simple like that really, I've heard many lots of school kids vocalizing or acting out what they see or hear from a movie not video game but personally i do not think graphics of the game are realistic enough to come under fire as they are yet.. So what is the future gonna be- Not only does it take the public's freedom but also the developers and etc. How much more blood can they get or want.

jakass13
jakass13

what? people in ww2 n the cold war didnt have families!? nonsense.

organbank
organbank

Fox News was all over this. Also, lol @ the "serious infraction" I got from Gamespot for surggesting that they should of called them baby killers instead of the Taliban. You can not silence the TRUTH!

iceragon
iceragon

this doesn't make sense, they just gave everyone a loaded pistol and a clear shot to the head with this. i don't even see this as offensive. will people start complaining zombies are to racially inclined and should be changed to "the walking dead"? is left 4 dead getting shut down too?

herodotus2006
herodotus2006

The banning of sale of the game in US military PX's has more to do with it I'd say.

gunner967
gunner967

So we can play as the Nazis in the old ones, who killed millions, but we can't play as the Taliban in this one, who've not even gotten close to that much. Apparently, it's only this generation that matters.

tequilasunriser
tequilasunriser

Every time we have to change our way of life, including the labels of the enemy we fight in a videogame, due to sensitivities and the actions of the people we fight, the Taliban/'terrorists' gain a victory. EA has done nothing by changing the names of the enemies except rolling into a ball on the floor and allowing their selves to get kicked in the ribs. Chip away enough of these little niceties that we enjoy and freedom is left with a gaping hole, a testament that 'terror' won us over. It seems we have already forgotten about, "Don't tread on me." One of our nation's first mottos.

Nemesis4747
Nemesis4747

are they afraid of offending the taliban? i suppose they will declare jihad on EA(not necessarily a bad thing)

p2250
p2250

Call them what they are, "terrorists"

swamptick
swamptick

@ ChiefFreeman This whole mentality started by not being able to use certain racial phrases. Now you can't offend anyone. I agree with you. People have gotten so soft and so sensitive. People need to suck it up and get over it.

deviant9
deviant9

People will do anything for money. Americans especially would do ANYTHING for money. I just got fifa 11 and you have to pay to play it online, does anyone know if this game will be like that too?

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

So, it's okay to play as an Afghan rebel as long as you aren't named the Taliban? I don't get it. It's a name, and the game is still fiction (albeit based on reality). It's getting to the point where we won't be able to mention the World Trade Center in this country, and I'm sick of it. I feel almost ashamed to be an American at times.

Arif_Sohaib
Arif_Sohaib

I like the headline. Our (Pakistan's) old President Pervez Musharrraff was trying to do this for years I didn't know all he needed to do was change their name. (To those who don't get the joke, this is actually the word Pakistani politicians use). Still it is strange that you don't think it is offensive to your grandfather, who served in the war, to play as the Germans in multiplayer. Company of Heroes Opposing Force even has a German campaign as an insult to you grandfather. Even my great grandfather was an honorary member of the British army during world war 2 (this was before Pakistani independence).

swamptick
swamptick

@E-i-N-e Agreed. The people moaning about the name change are missing the point. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's still the Taliban. It doesn't matter what you call it. Either way, it doesn't bother me. I'm playing Halo Reach and will be for a while.

E-i-N-e
E-i-N-e

Games based on wars, especially current conflcits will always face some form of controversy which we all saw with the 'No Russian' mission on Modern Warfare 2. This is Medal of Honor's controversy. In reality its only a simple name change and it shouldn't be something to get annoyed about. Honestly, I'd rather a simple name change rather than game content being altered.

heznave
heznave

It is very simple, obviously it is "too soon" for the Taliban to be featured in a game while we are engaging them in real life. If EA would have named them Opposing Force from the beginning then no one would be complaining about this. This is simply a trivial PR issue that has nothing to do with gameplay. You aren't ACTUALLY fighting the taliban anyway, its a freaking video game.

swamptick
swamptick

I'm still waiting to hear from all the Mothers of the UNSC forces who were mercilessly slaughtered by the Covenant.

Murder422
Murder422

It is always is Humans vs. Human Stupidity Fights between this group of humans verses that group of humans delays our growth as a species. Humans vs. The problem that we can't travel at light speed yet. If a smarter group of people made a moon base or mars colony...with Xbox and Playstation 9000's and endless food, clean air, clean energy, light speed, holo decks, and advanced medicine, etc. then no one would stay on this dying decaying world with the backward thinking group. Do we have this advanced society living on the moon or mars...no instead we have a trillion dollar deficit, while our leaders get rich pretending we need to still teach another group a a lesson.

seraifas
seraifas

With all respect people lost relatives in both sides, by the same logic, they should call the US milittary the "Invading force".