Medal of Honor Pulled From US Military Base Stores Due to Taliban in Multiplayer

By Alice O'Connor, Sep 03, 2010 11:00am PDT

Stores on US Army and Air Force bases will no longer be allowed to sell Medal of Honor, Kotaku reports, due to the fact that its multiplayer features a playable Taliban faction.

Retailer GameStop, which has 49 stores located on military bases in the US, was asked by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service to remove the game from sale.

"GameStop has agreed out of respect for our past and present men and women in uniform we will not carry Medal of Honor in any of our AAFES based stores," an email to GameStop employees, obtained by Kotaku, explains. "As such, GameStop agreed to have all marketing material pulled by noon today and to stop taking reservations. Customers who enter our AAFES stores and wish to reserve Medal of Honor can and should be directed to the nearest GameStop location off base."

Though Medal of Honor surprisingly managed to avoid much controversy when it was revealed that one side plays as the Taliban in multiplayer, it seems to be catching up now. The British defence secretary Liam Fox, in his infinite wisdom, recently branded it a "tasteless product" and called upon retailers to ban the game from their shelves.

EA Games president Frank Gibeau has defended the decision as a "creative risk," saying that the uproar won't "compromise our creative vision and what we want to do."

With singleplayer developed by EA Los Angeles and multiplayer by DICE, Medal of Honor is headed to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 12 in North America.

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  • A couple of things here. First of all there are Gamestops on some US military bases. AAFES also sells games, and will not be carrying the game. Since I'm in Korea and the games downtown (unless you mod your system) can't be played on US consoles, I had to order the game online. A bit annoying but at least I have that option and I'll get it in 10 or so days after release vs. being able to walk into AAFES on Tuesday and walk out with it.

    I think this decision is a result of complete ignorance and thin skinned higher ups within the chain. Someone complained, made an issue of of nothing, and all of a sudden the game is yanked. If AAFES yanked everything from the shelves that offended someone we'd have nothing left. If they really wanted to pull something off the shelves that hurts troops, they wouldn't sell tobacco products. But they recognise that some people want it, and the people that don't respect the people that do's right.

    This is a game. It's not real. If the game glorified the Taliban and wished death to the infidels they may have a point. But it's multiplayer. I've played the "bad" guy in multiplayer before. I think the first was Japanese in WWII. It felt a little strange at first, but you quickly get into the us vs. them aspect, without the political aspect. It's not as if by playing I suddenly agree with Japanese Imperial ambitions of WWII.

    This has nothing to do with respect for us, and everything to do with censorship. Ironically, that's one of the reasons the Taliban are so hated. So in order to respect the people who fight the Taliban, we act like them? Really?