Making Medal of Honor multiplayer a sport, not a war

Multiplayer "turns into a sport really fast" says creative director Kristoffer Bergqvist, who tells Gamasutra that "we decided to take a page out of the FIFA and EA Sports book" when designing the way it works.
Medal of Honor came under fire in the past for its questionable representation of geopolitical realities -- in the prior iteration of the franchise, players could play as the Taliban, though the name was dropped from the final game amid controversy. Avoiding real-world geopolitical situations is one factor that has shaped how the latest game's multiplayer is presented and designed, multiplayer creative director and DICE veteran Kristoffer Bergqvist tells Gamasutra in a new feature interview. "It's more about the units, what they do, their training, their equipment, and them battling it out to see which is the stronger one," he tells Gamasutra. Bergqvist also thinks that trying to make it about the realities of battle is, in the end, futile. "Our take on the multiplayer is [that it] turns into a sport really fast. Immersion, in a big way, kinda goes away after an hour or so of multiplayer gaming." This time, the team drew inspiration from its military consultants, and their rivalries. "When we heard our Operators talk about [Special Forces], there was a lot sense of pride of them. They were very honored by being close to them; they did a great job. But every single Operator we talked about was assured that 'my unit is the best one.'" This gave the team an idea -- to run with the rivalry. "So we decided to take a page out of the FIFA and EA Sports book and let you represent your nation in a more red versus blue scenario. So I can have my Swedish clan and I can go out and compete with a Navy Seal clan to show who's best." The goal, he says, is to "stay out of the politics" and create a compelling mulitplayer experience. It is, at least, more intellectually honest than the company's last go-round.

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