During the development of Medal of Honor
, the task of keeping the game respectful and not exploitative of the situation in Afghanistan caused executive producer Greg Goodrich serious concern, he says -- even before today's decision
concerning Taliban in the game's multiplayer mode came to light.
"I do think about it a lot. I do lose sleep," Goodrich tells Gamasutra in a new feature interview
on the development of the game -- particularly its single-player campaign, which was developed at EA Los Angeles. Medal of Honor
's multiplayer is under the purview of Battlefield
house EA DICE, although it was Goodrich who announced today the decision to change the word "Taliban" to "Opposing Force".
"I truly believe that our intent is to honor that community, to honor those individuals [soldiers]," Goodrich tells us. "Truly, I think if people play our game, if they play it from beginning to end and they see what we've done, the character arc and what goes on and how they're dealing with it to the very end, I think people will get it and understand and say, 'Oh, yeah. Okay. I see now."
"We've spent a heck of a lot of time making sure we don't do anything stupid, and that we do it with the right tone."
"Medal of Honor
has always been rooted in authenticity and respect for the soldier, but it's also always been devoid of politics or political discussion or debate," says Goodrich, sidestepping the issue of its setting. Similar statements have been made by developers at EA and other studios in recent years, as games featuring a contemporary combat setting have become increasingly popular -- and controversial.
Although today's name change decision might represent an avoidance of precisely that kind of debate, ultimately. Goodrich believes the game's narrative should center on the soldiers, not on the conflict. It's a perspective shaped through a crucial consultancy involving conversations with elite Tier 1 Operators.
The full interview, which goes into greater depth on the creative decisions made by the team and Goodrich's own personal observations about the game and its development, is live now on Gamasutra