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.