A Ban Too Far?

And it hasn’t even been released yet.

Sales of ‘Medal of Honor’ video game blocked on U.S. military bases

Small victory,” was all it said on the subject line of Karen Meredith’s e-mail.

But for the Silicon Valley military mom, who lost her son in the Iraq war, the decision this week by U.S. military base exchanges not to carry the controversial “Medal of Honor” video game was still great news.

“I’m thrilled,” said Meredith, whose son, Lt. Ken Ballard, perished in 2004. She has set off a storm of protest against Redwood City-based Electronic Arts and its “first-person shooter” game, which allows players to pretend they’re Taliban fighters killing American soldiers in Afghanistan. She applauded Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, commander of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, or AAFES, for the decision to keep the game out of its stores worldwide.

“I’ve heard from people all over the world, many of them upset about this game, so at least this has started a conversation,” she said. “And this country needs to have a conversation about the place of violent video games in our society, especially a game based on an ongoing war.”

Due out Oct. 12, “Medal of Honor” has drawn accolades from gamers and has been defended even by some U.S. soldiers. But it has unleashed howls of protest from families who have lost loved ones and even from Great Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox, who urged retailers to “ban this tasteless product.”

Electronic Arts spokesman Jeff Brown on Friday issued a statement that said in part: “The criticism of ‘Medal of Honor’ is disappointing because I can’t think of another interactive game that has gone to such lengths to convey respect for soldiers. From the very first day of development, the ‘Medal of Honor’ development team has been dedicated to creating an homage to the soldiers who fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

Saying EA feels “a deep sympathy and respect for the soldiers and people with family members killed or wounded in Afghanistan,” Brown wrote that “we don’t see a distinction between a film like ‘Hurt Locker’ and a game like ‘Medal of Honor.’ We don’t agree that it’s OK to depict the war in films and books, but not in games. We don’t see a moral difference.”

See also:
Taliban-Themed Multiplayer Gets EA’s “Medal of Honor” Banned on U.S. Military Bases
Military Exchanges Refuse to Stock New ‘Medal of Honor’ Video Game
Medal of Honor pulled from US military stores
Medal Of Honor Banned On US Military Bases
Medal of Honor not to be sold on US military bases
Medal Of Honor Pre-Orders Banned From Military Stores
Playing as the Enemy

I can understand the sensitivity but, in the end, it’s just a game. If you don’t like it, you don’t need to buy or play it.

/if you outlaw video games, only outlaws will have video games

Last One Out The Infinity Ward Door Set The Claymores

Hee, hee, what a shame.

‘Infinity Ward as you know is dead,’ insider says

In the middle of all the employee drama, an insider working at the Infinity Ward studio has revealed that “Infinity Ward as you know it is dead…and it will continue to crumble. There are a lot more veterans who are definitely going to leave.”

According to this anonymous source, all this happened because Activision recently fired Infinity Ward’s two most talented developers Jason West and Vince Zampella responsible for blockbuster ‘Modern Warfare 2.’

On the issue of departure of employees from the studio at an alarming rate, the insider on condition of anonymity said, “They never saw this coming. They can’t believe what’s going on. At first they gave us some bullshit about moving up payments of all the money they owe us to sooner increments.

That was when [designer] Todd [Alderman] and [engineer] Frank [Gigliotti] left. But with the announcement of Respawn and all the people leaving, they just got their heads in their hands.”

Reportedly, Activision Blizzard is busy roping in fresh new talent to fill the void left by the departure of many senior employees. However, some experts believe that even then it’s a difficult task to finish the Modern Warfare 3 on time.

See also:
The Studio Behind Modern Warfare Is “Dead,” Insider Says [UPDATE]
Infinity Ward is ‘dead,’ but may walk again
Last Modern Warfare 2 lead designers leave – Report
Infinity Ward Employee Calls Studio ‘Dead’
Activision: ‘We treat our developers extremely well’
1UP Community on Respawn, Infinity Ward, and Changing Studios
Activision Is Shaken by Departures
Infinity Ward Insider Says ‘The Studio Is Dead’
Q&A: Former Infinity Ward founders talk about ‘Respawn’ deal
Ousted Call of Duty Developers Respawn at Electronic Arts
Jason West and Vincent Zampella’s new call of duty
Sacked ‘Call of Duty’ Execs Form New Game Studio, Sign with EA

Payback is a bitch. That’ll teach ’em to wreck my favorite game franchise.

/ding dong, the greedy bastards are dead

Call Of Duty: Modern Lawfare

Back in March I wrote:

after what they did to the PC version of the Modern Warfare franchise, personally, I hope they sue each other into oblivion

Well, guess what?

Activision sues two fired developers

Activision Blizzard Inc. came out with guns blazing Friday in its legal battle with two former lead developers of Call of Duty, the video game publisher’s multibillion-dollar franchise.

In a lawsuit that read like a dramatic Hollywood script, Activision claimed it fired Jason West and Vincent Zampella in March because the two “morphed from valued, responsible executives into insubordinate and self-serving schemers who attempted to hijack Activision’s assets for their own personal gain.”

The Santa Monica firm accused West and Zampella of violating their employment contracts by meeting with a rival publisher — believed to be Electronic Arts Inc. — and using illicit means to recruit former colleagues to join them in forming a new independent game development studio.

An attorney for the pair called the claims “false and outrageous” and said that Activision itself proposed spinning off West and Zampella’s studio as part of a contract renegotiation last year.

Activision’s suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, counters a complaint that West and Zampella filed against their former employer March 3, two days after being fired as the heads of Infinity Ward, the Encino-based studio purchased by Activision in 2002. Infinity Ward has produced Call of Duty games since the inception of the franchise in 2003.

In their lawsuit, West and Zampella alleged that Activision fired them to avoid paying them royalties they earned from November’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which has generated an estimated $1.3 billion in worldwide revenue.

The lawsuit claims Activision owes the duo at least $36 million in royalties and damages.

Activision responded in its complaint that “West and Zampella’s misdeeds formed an unlawful pattern and practice of conduct that was designed to steal the [Infinity West] studio, which is one of Activision’s most valuable assets — at the expense of Activision and its shareholders and for their own personal financial gain.”

Activision did not specify a dollar amount it would seek but claimed the publisher was entitled to withhold all future payments to West and Zampella to recover past payments “during the period of their disloyalty” and cover compensatory damages.

See also:
UPDATE 1-Activision countersues former executives
Activision countersues ‘Modern Warfare’ execs
Update: Activision files countersuit in ‘Modern Warfare’ case
Activision countersues ex-Infinity Ward execs
Activision: West, Zampella wanted to steal Infinity Ward
Activision goes to court over staff poaching accusations
Activision Countersues West and Zampella, “Call of Duty” Developers
Activision Sues Two Fired Call of Duty Developers
Can We Have Our Dedicated Servers Back Now?

That’s right, sue each other into oblivion you greedy weasel bastards! Screw you the way you screwed PC gamers!

/I’m pretty sure the next party to file legal papers gets to call in helicopter air strikes