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EA caves to Taliban pressureBy Johan Keyter 4 October 2010 | Categories: news
According to Kotaku, EA has decided to drop a last minute name change into its upcoming first person shooter, Medal of Honor, renaming the 'Taliban' faction to simply 'Opposing Force'.
The change was made public this morning by lead producer Greg Goodrich. He stated that they changed their mind due to, “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.”
Controversy arose a few months ago when it was announced that players would be able to play as the Taliban fighting against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Many US servicemen and other 'concerned citizens' spoke out against gamers killing virtual US marines in the game.
Of course, most other first person shooter titles, such as Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield Bad Company 2, also feature the ability to play as the enemy in multiplayer matches, the difference being that these enemies fight under imaginary banners, or they're Russians.
Now, under increasing pressure and with the games' release imminent, EA has decided to rename the 'Taliban' faction to just 'Opposing Force'. They'll still look and act the same, they'll still be killing virtual US troops, but they just have a different name.
Although EA may have alleviated pressure on one side (the US army decided to not sell the game on their bases thanks to the inclusion), there have also been an outcry from some in the gaming community, accusing EA of giving in to mainstream objections.
EA is set to prove to gamers that nothing in the game has changed though, stressing that it's only a naming issue. In lieu of this the company has decided to release a multiplayer-only demo on the PlayStation Store so players can see for themselves that the DICE multiplayer experience is still in tact.
The strange thing is that players will still be doing battle against the Taliban in the single player campaign. So we guess that if a computer is doing the shooting any name is fine, but if it's other humans, they better not be called Taliban.
Medal of Honor will be releasing on the 12th of October for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. No final release date is available on when the PSN demo will be available, but it should be online later in the week.
How do you feel about gaming companies caving to mainstream pressure? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments box below.
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