Electronic Arts Turned Down The Man Who Shot Osama Bin Laden

Electronic Arts Turned Down The Man Who Shot Osama Bin Laden

Esquire’s fascinating profile of the SEAL Team Six member who killed Osama bin Laden, and his struggles to adapt to civilian life, churned up this intriguing detail: the shooter wanted to consult on Medal of Honor: Warfighter, but Electronic Arts turned him down.

Now, EA didn’t know the shooter (who is not named in the feature) was actually The Shooter, as writer Phil Bronstein dubs him. The Shooter’s uncle had approached Electronic Arts on his behalf, but could not mention that his nephew was actually the person who killed Bin Laden.

It was in April 2012, and at the time, Medal of Honor was “stacked with consultants,” an unnamed EA representative is said to have told the man’s uncle. Indeed, there were 30 on this title. Also, the report says the Shooter was retired. While Warfighter did have retired consultants aboard, the development team may also have preferred active duty SEALs. Indeed, seven of them still on active duty were reprimanded for sharing classified information in the course of their consultancy. One, the SEAL who wrote a book about the Bin Laden raid, consulted without permission.

So it’s not like having notorious military consultants on this game was no headache for Electronic Arts, especially as Medal of Honor: Warfighter released to reviews so poor the company put the series on hiatus. We’ve reached out to an EA representative for comment on the situation, and whether the company would have brought The Shooter aboard had it known of his distinguishing feat.

However, it would seem to place the publisher in a tricky position. Marketing the game as having an association with the man who shot Bin Laden could open up issues with the government over classified information, or at least be seen as really tacky (and Warfighter‘s marketing was thoroughly criticized up to release.) Of course, even if he has not named himself, the Shooter has broken his silence here. We’ll see if any repercussions follow.

Should Electronic Arts comment, it will be updated here.

The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden… Is Screwed [Esquire]


  • ^^ Exactly. Their game would have been terrible either way. They don’t exactly have a habit of making great games these days. It’s all about money and advertising rather than delivering a great experience for the gamer.

  • Having military consultants in on developing the game won’t ever mean it’ll lead to a richer, more enjoyable game. It might mean the difference between realistic gear, vehicles, technology, procedures, etc, rather than what you see with the later Calls of Duty with their weapons all based on AirSoft guns and wildly inaccurate cut scenes (MW3 lvl2 intro, ‘F-22s’ launching ‘JDAM’ bombs were in fact F-15s firing AIM-7 sparrow AAMs). You need dedicated writers and story tellers to tell a good tale, not great marketing, not great ads, but good writers. The movie Firebirds is the perfect example of this. Dale Dye is a renowned retired military serviceman and consultant and worked closely with the US Army on Firebirds but it’s such a bad storyline that it’s classified as torture in 17 countries. But the helicopters, technical gear and procedural stuff is spot on.

  • Well yeah exactly. I was in the military so I always cringe when I hear rubbish radio comms eg “repeat” or some really weird dialogue between ranks. Plus there’s a general belief out there in the civilian world that high ranking officers actually fight in battle, especially in Japanese games….

    But that’s where it ends, none of that crap has anything to do with the game. You change some of that stuff so it’s correct and Warfighter is still a flaming piece of shit

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