Greg Goodrich has told Eurogamer that the new Medal of Honor uses the Afghanistan war, Taliban insurgents and Al-Qaeda because that's where the game's stars, the Tier One Operators, were deployed.
"The story that we wanted to tell was about these guys in this initial fight, and the individuals that we hooked up with happened to be doing it there," the game's executive producer explained in an interview published today.
"It's an historical fiction inspired by these guys in an historical event, like Saving Private Ryan... That's where they were."
Speaking in light of the recent controversy surrounding MOH's playable Taliban soldiers, Goodrich said the game may be set in Afghanistan but the story it tells is designed to honour Coalition forces, not to exploit them.
"Games are the medium of our time. You and me - this is our medium and how we tell our stories.
"I think a large majority of the individuals who are currently talking about it [negatively] in that way don't understand that this is our best way of being able to honour a group of individuals, to tell a story, to shine a light on a community of warriors that need to be honoured," he explained.
"This game is not about the Taliban, it's not about Al-Qaeda, it's not about the Chechen or Uzebek fighters. It's not the Afghan war. It's about a group of individuals going through an event and us paying tribute to that."
Last night EA CEO John Riccitiello waded into the debate, blaming the media for the furore surrounding the game.
"The controversy... kind of caught me by surprise," he said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in California.
"No-one noticed" the option to play as a Taliban soldier in multiplayer "until a journalist decided to put the game box in front of a mom who'd lost her son in Afghanistan to create some controversy," he insisted.
"I think that says more about the newspapers than it does the game industry. Having said that we're incredibly sensitive to the challenges that a non-gamer who doesn't really understand what I've just described might imagine when a journalist who also doesn't understand a game describes it to her. It tends to excite a little bit of angst."
Check out the full interview with Greg Goodrich and our in-depth hands-on impressions of Medal of Honor's single-player campaign elsewhere on the site today.