Industry Analysts Criticise Medal of Honor Decision… and Miss the Point

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A couple months ago EA announced that it would allow gamers to play as the Taliban in the multi-player modes of its upcoming Medal of Honor game.  The response to this decision was vocal and negative, and came to the same conclusion for a variety of reasons.  This week, EA rescinded the whole thing… sort of.

Players will still be able to play as insurgents in the new MoH, its just that the game will call them “Opposing Force” instead of “Taliban.” No aspects of the gameplay will be changed other than the name.

But even this purely cosmetic change is too much for some industry analysts.

According to Eurogamer, Michael Pachter (Wedbush Securities) and Colin Sebastian (Lazard Capital Markets) both see the decision as EA unnecessarily caving to bad publicity.  However, Sebastian thinks that the move was part of a New-Coke-like stunt on EA’s part to get the game known well in advance of its release.  Pachter, on the other hand, delivers this immortal quote:

For the record, I’m not a fan of the Taliban, and wouldn’t mind seeing them fight the Nazis in a game, so that no matter who wins, one of them always loses – sort of like Alien vs. Predator.

Belittling real history to sci-fi conflict comparisons aside… For the record, if you find yourself having to go on the record as not being a fan of the Taliban, you might want to take a second look at your argument.

Jesse Divnich (EEDAR) best expressed my personal feelings on the matter:

What is most absurd about all of this is simply a name, a seven letter word. They are not changing how the game looks, plays, or feels, they are simply doing a ‘Find All: Taliban, Replace With: OpFor’.

In other words: regardless of why EA backed down, or whether or not they should have, the change that they made is still almost meaningless.

(via Eurogamer.)


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