Controversial Medal of Honor nixes Taliban

Medal of Honor will no longer feature the option for users to play as Taliban soldiers in its multiplayer mode. The Taliban has been renamed "Opposing Force."

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

After a long battle with critics, the embattled Medal of Honor game will not have Taliban fighters in its multiplayer mode, the game's executive producer announced in a blog post today.

Medal of Honor Executive Producer Greg Goodrich said that he and his team have been receiving "feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion" of Medal of Honor. He said that he and his team "care deeply about" those opinions.

"Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers," Goodrich said in a blog post, "we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force."

Goodrich's decision to remove the Taliban from the game couldn't have come at a later time. The title is scheduled to launch on October 12 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. However, Goodrich was quick to point out that the change will not "directly affect gamers," since it won't change the gameplay in any way. This is merely a name change.

Medal of Honor has been in the middle of controversy since the game's multiplayer mode was first discovered. U.K. Defense Secretary Liam Fox said earlier this year that he was shocked that "someone would think it acceptable to re-create the acts of the Taliban." Last month, the U.S. military said it would ban the sale of the game on bases.

Amid the controversy, EA, the game's publisher, stood by the game. Speaking to Develop Online in August, EA Games President Frank Gibeau supported the inclusion of the Taliban in the game's multiplayer mode.

"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," Gibeau told the publication. He went on to say that he wouldn't allow outcry to "compromise our creative vision and what we want to do."

But it seems that EA and the game's developers, Danger Close and DICE, had a change of heart.

"We are making this change for the families of those who have [made] the ultimate sacrifice," Goodrich said. "This franchise will never willfully disrespect--intentionally or otherwise--your memory and service."