Riccitiello: MOH’s playable Taliban controversy “caught me by surprise”

Thursday, 16th September 2010 16:08 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has said Medal of Honor “deeply honors the effort of American troops fighting in Afghanistan” and the controversy surrounding the ability to play as the Taliban “caught him by surprise”.

Speaking during the 2010 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference yesterday, Riccitiello said EA is “incredibly proud” of the title and it “stays well within the boundaries of what’s good entertainment.”

“We’ve had deep involvement with the military from the beginning, including active military from Afghanistan,” he said. “They and we feel it’s a game that any player would be proud to play.”

Riccitiello goes on to state that playing as the opposition in multiplayer is a traditional part of first-person shooters noting: “There’s always the other side — the good guys and bad guys, the cops and robbers.”

He even blames the media a bit for the controversy, as the beta for the game had been around for quite sometime without igniting any negativity. That was until Karen Meredith told a Fox News reporter the game was “disrespectful” to her son and troops who died in Afghanistan.

Gamestop has said it will not stock Medal of Honor in stores on military bases, even.

“I think it says more about the newspaper industry than the game industry,” said Ricitiello, adding he’s sensitive to the imagery in the game, admitting non-gamers probably don’t understand whats trying to be conveyed, especially when put in the hands of journalists ignorant of the situation.

It tends to incite a bit of angst,” he said.

Medal of Honor is out October 12 in the US and October 15 in Europe for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Via Gamasutra.



  1. azmza

    Np with that yeah its a game enjoy lol.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. polygem

    us soldiers kill for a reason – taliban don´t – FASCISM

    #2 4 years ago
  3. DSB

    People are entitled to their oppinions. The fact that Ricitiello is actually arrogant enough to think he’s speaking for the soldiers is nauseating though.

    He cares about making money off a few paid ex-military hands, not paying tribute to the troops.

    And Fox, here’s a freebie; you can ONLY play as either the Soviets or the mujahedeen in Combat Mission: Afghanistan.

    Dun dun duuuuuun.

    That’s like twice the forced moral indignation for less than the same price!

    #3 4 years ago
  4. YoungZer0

    @3: “They and we feel it’s a game that any player would be proud to play.” So he isn’t arrogant enough, he just states what he experienced. My brother was also in Afghanistan and has no problem playing as or with the Taliban.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. DSB

    You’re smart enough not to use the feelings of your brother to generalize those of an entire military of more than a million. A few guys you pay to work for you, or know, do not represent the feelings of a united military.

    I’m pretty sure that most people don’t have a problem with it, but I have no idea who your brother is. I’ve met people who’ve been in combat, and I try to give as much as I can to wounded troops from my own country, and I know for a fact that a lot of them wouldn’t see the humor in being made into cheap entertainment.

    A lot of guys have their lower bodies shredded by an IED, or lose a buddy along the way. Those people are also military, and they’re being totally disregarded by Ricitiello in that statement.

    Probably because he lives in an office where his biggest problems are the destruction of the used game market and sustaining the flow of cappucino.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. YoungZer0

    “You’re smart enough not to use the feelings of your brother to generalize those of an entire military of more than a million. A few guys you pay to work for you, or know, do not represent the feelings of a united military.”

    I could say the same thing. For some it works, for some it doesn’t. I have met many combat soldiers. You know, those who have seen actual combat and most of them don’t care, don’t want to have anything to do with the war again. The other half would love to play games like these. You know why? Because it gives them the same rush but without the danger. Yes, there are soldiers who would love to never see the face of war again. But that’s not a game for them.

    I also fail to see how this discussion has anything to do giving your time away to help the troops. I thought their opinion on this is what’s important here? You think this game is supposed to be funny? Doesn’t look like it. It looks as close to actual war as possible without being too realistic. You know, kind of like war movies? But for some reason you’re okay with this type of media?

    The soldiers who are going to play this are going to recognize a few things they have seen there, which is one of the many reasons why they’d like to get their hands on these type of games.

    And EA has been working with Tier 01 Operators and actual troops. Both have seen combat. So don’t be disrespectful to their afford in making this game as close to reality as possible.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. CaptPierce


    My father is in Afghanistan right now. I showed this game to him and his buddies and they can’t wait to try this game out, Taliban or not. That must tell you something.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. DSB

    @6 My only point is the exact thing you start out saying.

    For some it works, for some it doesn’t. There’s no room for generalization.

    Disregarding the ones for whom it does not, in favor of some slimy PR, is a scumbag move, because those people are the only ones that the game will justifiably offend.

    I wasn’t flaunting any charity. I can’t even claim to give away any of my time, it’s purely monetary, and standing up for wounded soldiers in a discussion like this. The soldiers I know are friends, and friends of friends. I was just trying to qualify what I was saying. It’s not stuff I just pull out of a hat, so I can revel in being offended on behalf of someone else.

    @7 Again, I don’t know who your dad is, or what he’s been through. I can find fifty or fifty thousand people who want to play this game, including myself. None of them have been to combat, and none of them have been through hell in a warzone.


    American troops may be different from ours, mind you. Certainly there’s proof that American firefighters are a lot more gung ho than others around the world, and I admire that. I’m going on the cases I’ve seen, in Denmark, as an example.

    Basically, I just don’t think you should disregard the people for whom these wars are the biggest tragedies they’re likely to go through in their lives. The very least you can do is aknowledge their existence.

    Just for the record, I don’t mind the game being made, and I’m very likely to play it myself. I just don’t think people should forget about those who aren’t as lucky, as to have that sort of distance from this sort of thing.

    And I respond strongly to a fortunate son like Ricitiello exemplifying that ignorance.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. YoungZer0

    Seriously: Whatever. I just don’t think you have any reason to be so mad at the guy.

    “They and we feel it’s a game that any player would be proud to play.”

    He’s talking about the guys he’s been working with. That’s all he said. He never said “OMGZ all Military soldiers are going to love this!”

    #9 4 years ago
  10. DSB

    Actually he’s saying “This shit is awesome, soldiers worked on this, soldiers liked this. Our hands are clean. Anyone who sees a problem are sissies”. That’s what’s left once you translate the douche-speak.

    That controversy exists, but it doesn’t exist for a bunch of fat southern soccer moms who watch Fox to get their daily dose of self-righteous hatred, it exists for soldiers who’ve lived it and potentially aren’t thrilled that they did.

    I think an honorable person would aknowledge that, given the subjectmatter. Instead he calls everybody who sees a possible problem with the content hysterical. That ultimately also includes soldiers.

    Another point of view:

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Hellequin


    “bunch of fat southern soccer moms who watch Fox to get their daily dose of self-righteous hatred”

    No, u are not that important for people do it. I really dont care with those shit that you and your country decided to killing their own men or not, its not our problem.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. OlderGamer


    Well said. And believe your right.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    @10: But erm, you see the problem is that the people who are pissed about the game are in fact fat soccer moms.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    I just ran to the Mirror to be sure, and I am ok! I have still not turned into a fat soccer mom. I will be keeping my eyes open going forward tho!

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Hellequin

    “ohhh… im american, center of the universe… rest world are poor and ignorant people…”


    Cant wait for Medal of Honor.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. frostquake

    Just curious, is this not the first game like this, while actual combat is still going on? Or is there a past game that depicted Events that were still actually going on at the time the game was selling?

    #16 4 years ago
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    #18 4 years ago
  19. Robster1979

    The latest trailer (no.4) only add’s to the excitment.

    This is a day one buy for me and hopefully if the multiplayer is any good will be the new BFBC2 for me and my online buddies.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. wildpalms

    I think he means worked on this ;) Almost as good as play4free the new Battlefield online game.

    #20 4 years ago

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