Danger Close Marketing Director Craig Owens doesn’t believe the Taliban was renamed in the upcoming Medal of Honor in order to get the game back into Army base stores but simply in response to “an older generation that doesn’t understand games.”
There’s been a lot of noise from people on both sides of the Medal of Honor argument but the one group that hasn’t had much to say thus far is Danger Close, the studio that actually made the thing. But with the game coming out in North America tomorrow, Owens decided to speak out, saying the change had nothing to do with the ban in Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores and that in his eyes, it’s really not a big deal at all.
“The objection was, kind of from an older generation that doesn’t understand games, that the sound bite was, ‘Play as the Taliban and kill U.S. soldiers’,” he told Joystiq. “There still is, it seems, a group that’s still a little bit leery of a game taking place around an active conflict.”
There were “about 500,000 people playing it, playing as the Taliban, killing U.S. troops,” he added, and nobody said a word until “that sound bite kinda caught wind and got taken out of context, really.”
“It’s just a misunderstanding. I think eventually, as guys like us – I’m 42 years old, right? – so as I get older and stuff, we’re becoming a world of gamers that are gonna be at all levels and I think that’ll go away,” he said. “It’s just one of those transition points, where people who don’t play games still think they’re just for 12-year-olds and they’re just all fun and games and they could never really tell a story like a movie does.”
He also pointed out that despite the furor, the game itself is completely unchanged. “It’s not about Afghanistan. It’s not about the enemy. It’s about the brother beside you,” he said. “We didn’t change any pixels in the game at all except for the name, and it only appeared a couple times in multiplayer.”
In an interesting twist that comes back to the argument that the game is “disrespectful” to soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, IncGamers revealed that former Special Air Service operative, Gulf War veteran and novelist Chris Ryan, who wrote a Medal of Honor prequel novella as the HMV pre-order bonus and which will get a general release after the game launches, will be signing copies of the game at HMV London on October 15, the U.K. release date.