Medal of Honor Studio Was "Hurt" by Controversy

Medal of Honor Studio Was "Hurt" by Controversy

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Medal of Honor Executive Producer Greg Goorich knew the inclusion of the Taliban as a playable faction might be controversial but says the actual extent of the outcry took a real toll on the morale of the development team.

Sometimes it's not enough to see trouble coming. Every now and then, the harmless-looking snowball arcing toward your face has a hard, heavy core of ice and gravel packed inside it. And when it smacks home, it hurts. That's what happened to the Medal of Honor team at Danger Close, according to Goodrich, who said the team saw the snowball coming but had no idea what was actually inside.

"I don't understand why [the Taliban controversy] came when it did but it came and it hurt. It was a morale hit and everything," he told CVG.

"Our intentions have never been anything but honorable and this Medal of Honor game is no different than any Medal of Honor game that has come before it, in that regard, in our intent and our tone. But because, on a character selection screen, three of those characters were called Taliban, that caused a problem and that's what everyone focus on," he continued. "Everything else that we'd done kind of went away and everything else that we'd talked about and they weren't looking at the entire piece and the entire message."

Part of the surprise may have resulted from the timing of the uproar, which Goodrich said was "odd" because it came so long after the presence of the Taliban had been made public knowledge. "We had the beta out, the game was out. I mean we talked about the story, the modes and we talked about who the enemy was and this and that," he said. "And then the beta came out and people played it and then the beta ended and it just erupted. It was odd."

Goodrich's comments aren't too far removed from those of Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello, who said earlier this month that the controversy "kind of caught me by surprise." I'm not sure where all this shock and anguish is coming from since I can't think of too many things more instantly controversial than turning murderous Taliban scumbags into the Blue Team, but Goodrich still believes that the true intent of the game will be clear when it's released. "I'm really confident that when it does come out and if [critics] are paying attention and if they care to understand truly what our game is about they'll realize what we've done is the same thing we've always done and that's pay tribute to the soldier," he said.

Medal of Honor comes out on October 12 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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Controversy sells newspapers and heightens the profiles of unknown politicians. As soon as one of the two catches wind of anything remotely controversal, it'll be exaggerated in an attempt to cash in on people's shock and anger.

The strange timing of the negative outcry was due to some unknown MP in England suddenly knowing about the game.

*Looks through Deck of blame-cards*

fox news, fox news, fox news, Ah, here it is. *slaps card w/ fox news on it on table* I blame Fox News for this outcry.

(I don't blame you if this was confusing)

The fact that they are using taliban soldiers in this game isn't worse than the fact that they are using nazis in the older games.

What worries me is how the taliban are used as cartoon villains (this worries me with nazis aswell), adversity can only be solved by clarifying diffenrences, not by making the counterpart look like demons.

Im surprised that the ww2 games dont get any of it for having you playing germans in the multi

Whoa, first of all, the Taliban are definitely on the Red team, as Red team are a buncha dicks.

Seriously though, how they didn't see any controversy coming is beyond me. And the fact that they even thought that video game haters would let something like this slide when viewed in the big picture is ridiculous.

If only they stuck to Generic-Middle Eastern terrorists! Then none of this would've happened.

Wounded, even?

If you want to cause controversy you better be prepared to deal with it.

Anstrup:

What worries me is how the taliban are used as cartoon villains (this worries me with nazis aswell), adversity can only be solved by clarifying diffenrences, not by making the counterpart look like demons.

Very true.

Im sure these sort of things dont come as a surprise, but it really must hurt when the object of your life is being scorned before its even been made public

Dioxide20:
Seriously though, how they didn't see any controversy coming is beyond me. And the fact that they even thought that video game haters would let something like this slide when viewed in the big picture is ridiculous.

Andy Chalk:
Sometimes it's not enough to see trouble coming. Every now and then, the harmless-looking snowball arcing toward your face has a hard, heavy core of ice and gravel packed inside it. And when it smacks home, it hurts. That's what happened to the Medal of Honor team at Danger Close, according to Goodrich, who said the team saw the snowball coming but had no idea what was actually inside.

The article says they did see it coming, just not really the extent of the controversy. And I can kind of see why it would kind of suck to put all this work into a game and then have a ton of people ignore everything else to go HABLAGARBLEGARFLE THIS GAME IS EVIL because of one little detail.

Terramax:

The strange timing of the negative outcry was due to some unknown MP in England suddenly knowing about the game.

By "unknown MP" you mean "Secretary of Defense", right? That's hardly an unknown position.

Dioxide20:
Whoa, first of all, the Taliban are definitely on the Red team, as Red team are a buncha dicks.

Seriously though, how they didn't see any controversy coming is beyond me. And the fact that they even thought that video game haters would let something like this slide when viewed in the big picture is ridiculous.

What with the precedent cases such close-minded, pontificating media hounds have set, they should not act like they were completely blindsided.

A part of me wonders what the outcome would have been if the multiplayer simply coined the mulitplayer "Taliban" as just "Insurgents," "Terrorists," or something of the likes. Considering the lack of depth/story in online gameplay, it wouldn't even affect the game while pacifying the crying nay-sayers. I am also curious as to how the game will "pay tribute to the soldiers," and how that is even possible in the online portion.

Absolute crap, this controversy. C&C Generals allowed you to play the US, China, and the GLA, with the GLA being the equivalent of INSERT TERRORIST GROUP HERE. I don't recall any major objections then.

If the controversy isn't coming from gamers, ignore it.

I can imagine, after all there wrk to be look down on by certain people would be quite hurtful...but, I hope they still push forward with awesomeness

Credge:
Absolute crap, this controversy. C&C Generals allowed you to play the US, China, and the GLA, with the GLA being the equivalent of INSERT TERRORIST GROUP HERE. I don't recall any major objections then.

*looks in the direction of the Modern Warfare series*
Exactly the same thing, you play as terrorists in multiplayer. The ONLY difference here is that the "terrorist group who shall not be named" is replaced with an actual terrorist faction.

not that I'll be spending that much time in multiplayer when I rent the game anyway
but hey, the development team should keep their heads up. don't let the crazy peoples' opinions get to ya
it'll help a lot now and down later in life...

Yeah were's the outcry for be able to play as German soldiers in WW2 games.
Were was the outcry for being able to play as Imperial Japanese Soldiers.
Both killed/tortured plenty people.
People have too much time on their hands if they can get in a tissy over this.

American Media. But actually, New Zealands defence minister wants to ban it. (fuck our country, always follow the leader).

If gaming is going to go anywhere, it's going to start with shoving some big controversy down the virgin throat of the global media so they actually choke on it instead of spitting it out all over the sensitive people who would react to it. (i.e Families who have lost children/parents/spouses to a Terror attack).

9/11 was a tragedy, but that's no fair leverage to use against a video game which is merely a simulation at the most.

Boo-Fucking-Hoo.

Were they asleep during the MW2 launch or something? Did they manage to somehow miss the idiotically absurd controversy surrounding "No Russian" because you CAN participate in a slaughter, a situation only replicated in pretty much every other game ever made?

People are idiots. Controversy creates cash. Man up, ride it out, and make a fortune out of it.

sex, violance, and controversy are the top 3 advertising techniques. When used all at the same time, (GTAIV) for example, created big sales. Same goes with the MW2 No russian "controversy" but that didn't stop it selling millions.

Can't wait for the game, looks very authentic, multiplayer will be a flop though.

Sheol:
If the controversy isn't coming from gamers, ignore it.

Exactly. None of the sources of this outcry are, as far as I can see, people who would buy this game anyway - they're largely the same people who tell you that games corrupt our children etc. I highly doubt this controversy will hurt sales. If anything the extra publicity will help, but to be honest I'm not sure this game is interesting enough to warrant a release-day purchase anyway. I imagine a number of people will feel the same, given that CoD is released soon after.

Caradinist:
If only they stuck to Generic-Middle Eastern terrorists! Then none of this would've happened.

Truly. Then the media wouldn't have been able to breach their shroud of sheer mindlessness and see what the faceless stand-ins are standing in for. But give them a name and Oh Shit Just Got Real.

Do not worry, Medal of Honor team. I already have your game on reserve at Target. I will buy it opening day.

Personally, I think the 'No Russian' level deserves more scorn than this (since the people the Taliban are fighting can fight back through the wonder of multiplayer), and since that game survived the fire, this will too.

metalhead467:
The article says they did see it coming, just not really the extent of the controversy. And I can kind of see why it would kind of suck to put all this work into a game and then have a ton of people ignore everything else to go HABLAGARBLEGARFLE THIS GAME IS EVIL because of one little detail.

Sigh

And you expect any different from a studio doing the same thing, but with a bigger budget and brand name franchise?

Surely, the people in charge are busy with the everyday responsibilities, but I'm sure at least ONE PERSON had to have known about Six Days in Fallujah and brought it up at sometime or another.

Catalyst6:

Caradinist:
If only they stuck to Generic-Middle Eastern terrorists! Then none of this would've happened.

Truly. Then the media wouldn't have been able to breach their shroud of sheer mindlessness and see what the faceless stand-ins are standing in for. But give them a name and Oh Shit Just Got Real.

T.A.L.I.B.A.N.
Terrorist
Afghan
Liberation
Insurgency
Battling
American
Nationalists

I mean, if they absolutely refused to just drop the name...

Anstrup:
The fact that they are using taliban soldiers in this game isn't worse than the fact that they are using nazis in the older games.

What worries me is how the taliban are used as cartoon villains (this worries me with nazis aswell), adversity can only be solved by clarifying diffenrences, not by making the counterpart look like demons.

I think there are major differences between letting people play as Nazis, Germans, Chinese, etc, and playing as the Taliban.

Nazi's, Germans, Chinese, none of these countries are actively killing our soldiers. We're not at war with any of them. And how big of a heel would you be if you actually knew a soldier wounded by the Taliban, & you pulled that game out for some MP? "You can be the soldier, & I'll play as the people who shot your leg off & killed your frien... Oh, my bad. I'm sorry."

When Billie's playing as the Taliban, even if he is well adjusted & doesn't end up joining them in real life, he's still rooting for the Taliban to win his match. What parent wants to hear his/her kid yell "Yes! The Taliban won!"? Rooting for the Taliban in any way, shape, or form just seems like it belongs solidly in the "bad things" category. I can understand parents worrying about little Billie associating himself with a specific group that accepts all kinds of people for the purposes of killing both US soldiers & innocent civilians.

To play as a Nazi, or German, or any other country's soldier, guess what? You have to be a citizen of that country. Playing as a Chinese/whatever country soldier killing US soldiers isn't considered a big deal because no one's worried about little Billie being influenced enough to defect, leave the US, & become a Chinese soldier. However, any fool can become a member of the Taliban and try to plot terrorist attacks & shoot Americans.

So there are 3 differences between playing as the Taliban and playing as a Nazi or Chinese soldier, etc.. Some may feel those differences don't matter, or shouldn't matter because "it's just a game," but I think this is what is causing the uproar.

(Edited my 2nd paragraph some. Added the "being a heel" part.)

"The

JeanLuc761:

Credge:
Absolute crap, this controversy. C&C Generals allowed you to play the US, China, and the GLA, with the GLA being the equivalent of INSERT TERRORIST GROUP HERE. I don't recall any major objections then.

*looks in the direction of the Modern Warfare series*
Exactly the same thing, you play as terrorists in multiplayer. The ONLY difference here is that the "terrorist group who shall not be named" is replaced with an actual terrorist faction.

Exactly, the GLA (as far as I know) isn't a real group, so who cares? and we won the war against Nazis so no one cares, but when you have an on going war with people still being killed today and you tell someone "hey, your kids can shoot guys who look like US soldiers for fun" and the person you told has a husband in the military, well, natural outcry is to be expected.

I like to think that the judgment to trust is that of the Spec Ops guys who provided consultation. They felt that the team were "extremely receptive" to the things they were saying, and seemed happy with their experience with the team. Their community now has a real face, from real operators in the field.

If the Spec Ops guys are fine with this game, the media and the politicians should grow a pair and shut the fuck up.

Caradinist:
If only they stuck to Generic-Middle Eastern terrorists! Then none of this would've happened.

Yea like the GLA =D (generic loonatics assocciation) or something like that hehe.

But ye the media bugs the crap out of with this shit, 'OMG THEY R PUTTING TALIBAN IN ZEE GAMEEE NOOOOO' I mean who cares. Its a game!!!!

hansari:

metalhead467:
The article says they did see it coming, just not really the extent of the controversy. And I can kind of see why it would kind of suck to put all this work into a game and then have a ton of people ignore everything else to go HABLAGARBLEGARFLE THIS GAME IS EVIL because of one little detail.

Sigh

And you expect any different from a studio doing the same thing, but with a bigger budget and brand name franchise?

Surely, the people in charge are busy with the everyday responsibilities, but I'm sure at least ONE PERSON had to have known about Six Days in Fallujah and brought it up at sometime or another.

Just because you know it's going to happen doesn't mean that it can't still make you feel a bit hurt when it inevitably does happen.

goldenheart323:

Anstrup:
The fact that they are using taliban soldiers in this game isn't worse than the fact that they are using nazis in the older games.

What worries me is how the taliban are used as cartoon villains (this worries me with nazis aswell), adversity can only be solved by clarifying diffenrences, not by making the counterpart look like demons.

I think there are major differences between letting people play as Nazis, Germans, Chinese, etc, and playing as the Taliban.

Nazi's, Germans, Chinese, none of these countries are actively killing our soldiers. We're not at war with any of them. And how big of a heel would you be if you actually knew a soldier wounded by the Taliban, & you pulled that game out for some MP? "You can be the soldier, & I'll play as the people who shot your leg off & killed your frien... Oh, my bad. I'm sorry."

When Billie's playing as the Taliban, even if he is well adjusted & doesn't end up joining them in real life, he's still rooting for the Taliban to win his match. What parent wants to hear his/her kid yell "Yes! The Taliban won!"? Rooting for the Taliban in any way, shape, or form just seems like it belongs solidly in the "bad things" category. I can understand parents worrying about little Billie associating himself with a specific group that accepts all kinds of people for the purposes of killing both US soldiers & innocent civilians.

To play as a Nazi, or German, or any other country's soldier, guess what? You have to be a citizen of that country. Playing as a Chinese/whatever country soldier killing US soldiers isn't considered a big deal because no one's worried about little Billie being influenced enough to defect, leave the US, & become a Chinese soldier. However, any fool can become a member of the Taliban and try to plot terrorist attacks & shoot Americans.

So there are 3 differences between playing as the Taliban and playing as a Nazi or Chinese soldier, etc.. Some may feel those differences don't matter, or shouldn't matter because "it's just a game," but I think this is what is causing the uproar.

(Edited my 2nd paragraph some. Added the "being a heel" part.)

1. Very true that USA aren't at war with with any of the countries that participated in WWII, but You could still be a "heel" towards WWII veterans who got wounded (regardless of nationality), theres no difference.

2. Parents shoudln't just mindlessly dissmiss it as him being a terrorist, concern is necessary when youe a parent, but just labeling a video game as bad because it has Talibans in it, is idiocy. And there is no excuse for idiocy! (for the record, im neither pro/anti USA or the taliban in this conflict, both sides acted wrong in my oppinion)

3. That thing with joining the taliban, i hadn't really thought about that one. But i mean one could in theory as well turn radical communist or radical nazi from playing as them in a video game (well as much as one could turn taliban)

Nazis don't bother Americans because they where never directly affected by them except for the men who served in the war. They Taliban's on the other hand seems to close to home...but it's still a game people.

Brotherofwill:
Wounded, even?

If you want to cause controversy you better be prepared to deal with it.

I think this is a case of "No wait! We're not done milking the controversy for publicity!"

I've become seriously suspicious about their motives after they defended it so much, and then defended the change by saying things like, "It was just a change to some letters on the screen - that's all. No one should be upset that we changed it."

I kind of think the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Perhaps they even "leaked" the story to an interested media agency?

 

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