Codies: real world FPS are not "tasteful"

"There are British soldiers dying."

First person shooters based on real world conflicts are neither "tasteful" or "appropriate", so says a Codemasters developer.

Sion Lenton, creative director of forthcoming FPS Operation Flashpoint: Red River, told Edge, "I, personally, don't want to focus on live conflict. I don't think it's appropriate and I don't think it's tasteful.

"One of the girls who works here, her nephew was killed by an improvised explosive device [IED] a couple of months ago. So when I hear that, I don't want to be in a fucking meeting bigging up my IED tech."

Earlier this year, EA ran into trouble when a British MP called for a retail boycott of Medal of Honor. Liam Fox was left "disgusted and angry" by the developer's decision to allow players to control Taliban fighters in the game.

Media outrage also forced Konami to shelve its planned Iraq-based shooter Six Days in Fallujah last year. It was to be based on a brutal conflict in the titular city that resulted in the deaths of around 1,350 insurgent fighters and 95 US soldiers in 2004.

"We are deliberately setting out not to court that controversy, we don't want to go there and it's not a conversation we ever wanted to get into," Lenton went on to explain.

"At no point did we think that it would be cool to set the game in Helmand or Afghanistan, because there's a war going on there and there are British soldiers dying.

"We're still making a war game, and showing soldiers dying, but I guess [the fiction] is us playing safe. But I don't have a problem with playing safe when it comes to this kind of thing."

Operation Flashpoint: Red River, the follow up to the solid 2009 shooter Dragon Rising, is out next year on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It follows a fictional 2013 conflict in Tajikistan involving the US and China.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.


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