Electronic Arts, facing criticism from some in the U.S. military, Friday morning said it will eliminate the ability for players of its upcoming Medal of Honor video game to assume the role of the Taliban.
Instead, players fighting opposite the U.S. military will simply be called opposing forces, or OpFor, for short, the Redwood City, Calif., game developer announced on its blog.
The decision comes after military bases last month banned the upcoming sale of the game from nealry 300 stores located on its bases because it would allow players to shoot U.S. troops as Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, where the war game is set. Critics said the ability to take on the role of the Taliban and kill U.S. and British troops was insensitive to the family of soldiers who had died in Afghanistan.
"It came down to our core value of honoring the soldier," said Greg Goodrich, executive producer of the game, which will be the 14th title in the 11-year-old Medal of Honor series. "We're making this change out of our deepest respect for the men and women serving in the military. The core tenet of the game has always been to honor the soldier."
Set in Afghanistan, the game follows a handful of elite soldiers through the opening months of the U.S. involvement towards the end of 2001 and into early 2002. Players in the single-player mode will get to play one of several U.S. soldiers, including an Army ranger, a Tier 1 elite special operations sniper and an Apache helicopter gunner.
Thanks be to God. It's great to see that our prayers actually heart confused hearts. It's also great to see that consumer pressure groups actually work.