Electronic Arts has removed references to the Taliban in first-person shooter Medal of Honor.
The company said the decision was made out of respect for serving soldiers and their families, as the company would never "wilfully disrespect, intentionally or otherwise, your memory and service."
The game attracted criticism from MPs in the UK for depicting the Taliban, which EA defended by stating: "If someone's the cop, someone's gotta be the robber, someone's gotta be the pirate and someone's gotta be the alien. In Medal of Honor multi-player, someone's gotta be the Taliban."
Earlier in the week EA said the game was the most pre-ordered title in the history of the franchise.
The full statement from executive producer Greg Goodrich follows:
"In the past few months, we have received feedback from all over the world regarding the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor. We've received notes from gamers, active military, and friends and family of servicemen and women currently deployed overseas. The majority of this feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. For this, the Medal of Honor team is deeply appreciative. However, we have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion of our game. This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team. This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force.
While this change should not directly affect gamers, as it does not fundamentally alter the gameplay, we are making this change for the men and women serving in the military and for the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice - this franchise will never willfully disrespect, intentionally or otherwise, your memory and service. To all who serve - we appreciate you, we thank you, and we do not take you for granted. And to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines currently serving overseas, stay safe and come home soon."