Did not see this one coming, but via Kotaku (thanks Cheater87!), Electronic Arts has folded like a cheap suit and announced that it is renaming the Taliban forces in its upcoming Medal of Honor game to the more benign “Opposing Force.”
To be fair, Medal of Honor Greg Goodrich, in a statement on the game’s website, indicated that the renaming was done in response to “reverence for American and Allied soldiers.”
More from Goodrich:
… 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.
The change “should not directly affect gamers,” wrote Goodrich, who added that “this franchise will never willfully disrespect, intentionally or otherwise, your memory and service.”
Quite an about-face from August, when EA Games President Frank Gibeau said that the company would not give in to critics seeking to “compromise our creative vision and what we want to do.”
The inclusion and ability to play as the Taliban in Medal of Honor’s multiplayer mode drew fire from the UK’s Defense Secretary, and the Defense Ministers of Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands. It also resulted in the game being banned from GameStop stores located on U.S. military bases.