Last month, Sony picked up flack for not releasing the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Open Beta on the Russian PlayStation Store. News has emerged that the exclusion is also carrying over to the full launch of Activision’s hotly-anticipated shooter.
The game won’t be available on Sony’s flagship digital store come launch on Oct. 25.
In a tweet posted on Activision’s Russia handle, the publisher details the omission. Activision points, in no uncertain terms, to Sony Interactive Entertainment. Eurogamer was able to obtain a statement directly from Activision in English, mirroring the sentiment. It reads:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a fictional game that has been thoughtfully created to entertain fans and tell a compelling narrative. Sony Interactive Entertainment has decided not to sell Modern Warfare on the PlayStation Store in Russia at this time. We look forward to launching Modern Warfare digitally in Russia on 25 October on PC via Battle.net and on console via Xbox.
Sony has not explained the decision. Nevertheless, the hyper realistic subject matter of the game and, more specifically, the narrative shaping the single-player campaign may provide some answers.
The story tracks members of the fictional Urzikstan Liberation Force as they vie to put an end to Russian occupation. The Russian military murders lead character Farah’s father and orchestrates devastating bombing campaigns.
Going by a blog post exposing the narrative published by Activision, Russian soldiers make ‘no distinction’ between various factions involved in the conflict. Suffice to say Call of Duty: Modern Warfare doesn’t depict the Russian military in the best light.
The news may hint at involvement beyond the realm of the gaming industry. A forced ban from Russian authorities is possible. But, why only on Sony’s PlayStation remains a mystery. Both Activision and Microsoft appear all too happy to proceed with the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
It isn’t the first time the Call of Duty franchise has hit the headlines relating to Russia.
The Russian authorities initially banned Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in Russia due to a level involving the mass murder of civilians. In response, Activision removed the ‘No Russian’ level, and only released a PC version.