Taliban Removal From Medal of Honor Explained

October 13, 2010 Written by Zak Islam

When EA decided to change the name of the Taliban in Medal of Honor it sparked huge debate as to how they surrendered to universal criticism. The game’s publisher Electronic Arts already provided a detailed reason for the decision of renaming the Taliban to ‘Opposing Force’. However, what do the people working on the game, Danger Close, actually have to say on the matter?

Danger Close marketing director Craig Owens recently spoke to Joystiq. Owens spoke about why he believes the much-talked about name change occurred, how reactions have been and more. Upon speaking about Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s GameStop stores:

“The objection was, kind of from an older generation that doesn’t understand games, that the soundbyte was ‘Play as the Taliban and kill US soldiers. There still is, it seems, a group that’s still a little bit leery of a game taking place around an active conflict. Really the big thing was playing as a Taliban killing US troops. So we basically just changed it to ‘Opfor’ — which is a term they [the US Armed Forces] use, some of our competitors use — more out of respect.”

He continued to talk about how approximately 500,000 people played the game’s beta as the Taliban killing US troops and not one complaint came out. Owens urged gamers to give Medal of Honor a shot before judging the title; he left with this message regarding it:

“always been about the respect for the troops. It’s not about Afghanistan. It’s not about the enemy. It’s about the brother beside you.”

Finally, the marketing director stated that the change only affects Medal of Honor‘s multiplayer component. “We didn’t change any pixels in the game at all except for the name, and it only appeared a couple times in multiplayer.”

Medal of Honor hit retail stores today and will be arriving in Europe on Friday. Has your decision to buy the game been affected by the removal of the Taliban or do you just want to do what really matters in gaming: play the game? Voice your thoughts via the comment section below.