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Activision Responds To Controversial Modern Warfare 2 Footage

STORY SPOILERS AHEAD!!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

A few days ago, a reader sent us a link to leaked footage from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 single-player campaign. It was admittedly disturbing, as terrorists flood into an airport and begin gunning down civilians in cold blood but we wanted to stay away from the controversy...well, at least until the publisher had a chance to respond.

All footage we had seen up until that point had put the player in the shoes of the US or the British but in this video, we saw the action from the terrorist standpoint, which of course caused an uproar. The Associated Press soon picked up the story and Activision UK did confirm that the footage was accurate, although they did emphasize the fact that this sequence was optional and the game showed a warning to the player before moving forward. But that wasn't good enough, so Activision came forward with an official reply:

"The leaked footage was taken from a copy of game that was obtained illegally and is not representative of the overall gameplay experience in Modern Warfare 2. Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2 features a deep and gripping storyline in which players face off against a terrorist threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse. The game includes a plot involving a mission carried out by a Russian villain who wants to trigger a global war. In order to defeat him, the player infiltrates his inner circle. The scene is designed to evoke the atrocities of terrorism.

At the beginning of the game, players encounter a mandatory 'checkpoint' in which they are warned that an upcoming segment may contain disturbing elements, and they can choose not to engage in the gameplay that involves this scene."

Activision also reminds everyone that Modern Warfare 2 has a very prominent "M" rating on the box, which may seem trivial to gamers, but it's a good point to make as some people still think this is 1985. Once again, we see nothing that's half as disturbing as what we can find in the rated-R film world, but it still sparks a massive backlash. Granted, the terrorist angle is a sensitive one but if it was actually sensitive, we wouldn't have seen what we saw on TV on 9/11. We can always see the reality, but the fictional representations are taboo.

Well, anyway, just a final note: if the Comments section explodes into a political war, I'm gonna end things. Like, really fast.

Related Game(s): Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

10/29/2009 10:56:52 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (63 posts)

Gone
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:17:35 AM
Reply

It's just a game, just like GTA. People need to stop being so sensitive.

Agree with this comment 22 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Zorigo
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:47:53 PM

that's a bit too harsh, and i think people need to be more well informed about anything before they arse up their arguement. no matter what it is.
either way, i dont mind too much.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

fundando
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 6:30:45 PM

Exavtly. Just a game and an M-Rated one at that. I pay close attention to ratings. when I buy games. Whether it be for my kid or for myself. I don't let my son watch me play really violent fps's like this or games like GTA.
ESRB is there for a reason and they do a good job.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Random_Steve
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:18:57 AM
Reply

well in GTA u can just randomly shoot people on the streets, just because it's in an airport...

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

GuernicaReborn
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:15:23 PM

GTA did get a lot of heat when III was released on the PS2. It's old news now.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Random_Steve
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:16:17 PM

o yea i know it did, but nothing serious has come out of that, the controversy proved to be pointless

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Boger
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:20:07 AM
Reply

They are called Games for a reason.
It's not real. I'm 48 and have played games since
the VCS. And people say I need to grow up.
Get real.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:33:50 AM

wether its real or not isnt the problem its the way things are portrayed.

i remember when 9/11 happened, and there was a movie with our governor of Cali. Arnold and i think it was called collateral damage and the media pretty much made that movie dissapear for awhile due to its portrayal of terrorist activities.

your right they are just games, and people take things to literally. i agree with you 100%, but its about whats portrayed and people take heart to this stuff.

anyways ill back you up though because its entertainment, and games in my opinion are the best form of entertainment, wether im wasting my life away playing them as some would say, or actually learning something, im always enjoying the time spent, and people, the media in general apparently dont have anything to debate about so they use games as leverage to gain a story! do a story on something that pertains to real life please, there is alot going on in our world today!

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/29/2009 11:36:34 AM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:43:19 AM

not to mention its ussually the people who have never played it who take the most offense to it.

people who dont play vids are the only people who talk bad about the industry. I'd like to put Uncharted 2 in front of some of these reporters and see what they say then!

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

fluffer nutter
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:43:55 AM

Don't forget True Lies. Great film but yeah, this game discrimination has to stop. It's the ignorance of the media that keeps people thinking that games are harmful to our children. Wake up, people. Games are for everyone.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

maxpontiac
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:20:19 AM
Reply

I honestly believe the core of PSX fans will be able to discuss this reasonably, Ben.

Anyways..

I am on the fence with this. I have to see it/play it for myself first hand before I make any snap judgements.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:27:49 PM

Doesn't matter. I'm not going to risk a political war.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 9 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:01:17 PM

Maybe there should be a game about political wars :)

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Perry Katy
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:24:39 AM
Reply

What would Jack Thompson say about this? LOL...

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BTNwarrior
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:12:06 PM

RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sonic1899
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:27:27 AM
Reply

fox news is gonna get a kick out of this. they'll believe this game trains players into terrorists... T_T

Last edited by sonic1899 on 10/29/2009 11:29:55 AM

Agree with this comment 12 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

AshT
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:54:58 AM

ur right, media..when have they done any good for anyone?

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sonic1899
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:25:24 PM

it has begun...
http://rawstory.com/2009/10/game-lets-players-massacre-civilians/

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/outrage-as-terrorist-game-lets-players-massacre-civilians-20091029-hmey.html?autostart=1


Last edited by sonic1899 on 10/29/2009 12:26:34 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:02:35 PM

you called it dude. The folks at Faux Noise are gonna go buck wild.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Wage SLAVES
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 7:39:48 PM

People too often forget the world we live in. Most times reality is more stranger and often more diabolical than fiction. We live in a world where someone somewhere is being tortured or raped. It is a harsh REALITY that has existed since the dawn of man; created or evolved which ever your stance...

That being said I really do have a shame to live in a country where freedom is touted, though, you have people in high places trying to push their opinion to stifle the freedom of expression of another. I just want to experience a STORY. Jeeze.

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 10/29/2009 7:45:18 PM

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Snaaaake
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:28:29 AM
Reply

Those people are acting as if you kill someone in game that someone will die in real life.
I think they're just jealous they don't have the brain to play video games.
When will game bashing come to an end.....this is worse than fanboyism.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Karosso
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:32:44 AM
Reply

Not this stupid discrimination again...
Why can't we be afforded the same kind of respect as the movie industry? I mean, the gaming industry makes more money, puts out more quantity and quality material every year and we still get this kind of treatment :(
Let's hope they stick to their guns on this one. I live in NYC and was here on 9/11, Blackouts, subway strike and what not, and every single time the same media that will try and make a fuzz out of this, has been blatant in the little concern they show our sensibilities. They showed the same shocking images of 9/11 over and over and well... over, only worrying about their ratings and not the well being of the viewers.
The same ones that might try and turn this thing into a big moral issue, funny thing is they know very little about morals.
Peace.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Kowhoho
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:47:28 AM
Reply

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFFM-A3dC14

This portrays a terrorist. Did you laugh or did you wag your finger?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

RekeHavick
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:48:54 AM
Reply

I just cannot find the words ... my video game (based completely within a digital world supposedly for fun) has to warn me and give me the option of not playing?? First: the single player portion is short enough as it is (I'm looking directly at you Infinity Ward!), you're damn right I'm gonna play it, I'm not going to skip part of a $60 game because some fictional bad guys are acting... bad. Second: I'm a grown individual, as everyone else playing this game should be according to ESRB ratings as well as the fact that in a war game - good people get hurt,bad people are bad and get hurt and justice (usually) prevails.
It's a GAME! I guess I found some words - not well articulated however, since I'm still entirely taken aback by this whole issue.
Thanks for listening.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

NoMoreWar
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 11:57:42 AM
Reply

i actually think its kinda cool that they have the balls to create a level like that. i mean seriously, we always have to play games from the westernized point of view. why not experience a piece from the so called "evil" standpoint. to them, we are the evil ones. i'm not saying they are right or that i agree with them, but what exactly makes everything we do right? besides, we see this in almost every game. games like oblivion allow you to be "good" or "evil" and people didn't uproar over that. just because this game is suddenly dealing with a more realistic issue... come on people. get over yourselves

Agree with this comment 10 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

iPwn_3G
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:07:03 PM
Reply

Yep, we can all say that games are discriminated against and how it is just ridiculous when compared to movies, that's true.
The real underlying problems are the media and the misinformed people out there that have no idea about what is really going on and get all their biased facts from Fox,lol. The media takes advantage of the situation to gain money or prominence. I guess that's the kind off world we live in.
Fox alsways has a way of screwing things up but, I won't go any further because that is getting political.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Silent_J
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:10:29 PM
Reply

people really need to get over themselves.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

GuernicaReborn
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:10:45 PM
Reply

I think that the first game was worse, a nuclear weapon was detonated halfway through the game. That being said, it is a videogame. Fictional bad people will do fictionally bad things. If this game was released pre-9/11, nobody would care. However, this is the state of the world we're in. The media will try to shock the soccer moms by telling them that their kids are playing as a terrorist and gunning down civilians. the kids, on the other hand, just can't wait to take on their friends in multiplayer.

I think the real question here is wether activision leaked this on purpose because Uncharted 2 was stealing MW2's spotlight.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

AshT
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:49:48 PM

@GuernicaReborn, that was exactly i was thinking, imo activision released the video on purpose to get all the people talking about their game which is pretty much going to be same as MW1, now COD fans are gonna kill me :)

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:06:00 PM

There can be no doubt about it.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Gabriel013
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:24:47 PM
Reply

This shouldn't even be an issue and it is shameful that the tabloid journalists are jumping on something like this yet again. Must be a slow time for proper news.

To all the news teams who are kicking up a fuss over this:

It's fantasy. It isn't an instructional video, it isn't real life footage. Get yourselves a damn sense of perspective.

If people are horrified by this sort of cutscene then buy a different game. I'm sure something like Flower on the PSN won't hurt your delicate sensibilities.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LowKey
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:36:45 PM
Reply

Thank goodness you put up a spoiler warning. I almost read the article, I usually dont like to know anything about a game Im going to pick up... Story Wise

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

chucknasty
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 1:34:39 PM

then don't read this:
**spoiler**
you play as a soldier and kill people to save the world.
**\spoiler**

Agree with this comment 10 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

tlpn99
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 1:05:54 PM
Reply

You have to be carefull people outside of the gamning world which we all know and love can and does offend people if not handled correctly. Good on Activision for allowing this to be played or not it gives us the choice which we can make to play the section or not.
I for one will be playing all the sections. It is after all only a game. Playing it is not going to make me become a terrorist. :)

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:07:38 PM

i dunno man, maybe you will be "indoctrinated"

</sarcasm>

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Monkeysnarf
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 1:12:11 PM
Reply

This story looks like marketing to me. Activision leaked the video so they could then respond to it. Controversy = more sales. Fans are already going to pick up the game. All this story does is push some fence riders who are new to the franchise over the edge.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

elass0wyp0
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 1:51:12 PM

Your exactly right.

Now they just need to pay a kid to kill his parents because they ban him from playing and they can get some serious Halo style hype.



Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:08:11 PM

Reiteration: There can be no doubt about it.

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NoSmokingBandit
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 1:43:47 PM
Reply

Good for activision. Games are as much art as a book or movie and nobody should censor it. Not that it shouldnt be shielded from young eyes and minds, but a mature adult should be able to view whatever form of art and expression he/she wants to.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Imagi
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 1:52:31 PM
Reply

Why do people get mad about fictional things like this but are so complacent about real life atrocities, fecking hypocrites.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

www
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 2:26:57 PM
Reply

Lol @ Spoilers. Am I the only one who doesn't see anything us spoilers unless I SEE it in videos? Cause till I play it for myself, nothing I read spoils it for me.

Anyway, I don't know the big deal about that shooting at the airport stuff, just waiting on the game!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:09:10 PM

yeah that wasn't really a spoiler but some people are more sensitive than others.

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www
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:26:07 PM

Jeez!

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Sir Shak
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:04:45 PM
Reply

So ?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:14:41 PM
Reply

So I recalled when a Flight Sim was bashed because you could technically smash a plane into the twin towers (to no effect, the sim just ended)

And I guess the Columbine kids played Doom, (didn't everyone?)

People freaked out on the buses in DC were treated to a Fallout 3 ad that showed DC in a post nuclear exploded state

And on and on and on...

Basically people get into a hissy fit because instead of just reading it or watching it on a screen we are participating (and I use that word loosely) in the action because we are pressing buttons. Can immersion in violent media make a child more violent? Hell maybe it can. But that's why we have a ratings system. The idea that all games are for kids needs to die a horrible painful agonizing death. Just because it is a video game does not mean it is entertainment for children.

Now with that out of the way, this was a rather clever thing to leak just before release. Shameful, yes, but I'll give it to Activision for being shrewd. Now I know how Kotex planned to hit that 18 million mark.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 10/29/2009 3:15:26 PM

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

www
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:25:44 PM

"Now I know how Kotex planned to hit that 18 million mark."

LOL I see it also.

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Snaaaake
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 9:16:20 PM

I have a friend made a video of 20 plane slamming into the WTC but the WTC is still in one piece, though it's not like he ever posted the video online.

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dveisalive
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 3:22:31 PM
Reply

I would love a game called ESRB combat and have all of the ratings kill of each other to the death kind of similar to PIXAR's story by College Humor

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Deleted User
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 4:05:47 PM
Reply

Guys. To 98% of all gamers, this part of MW2 is no big deal because as OLDER GAMERS it means nothing but good entertainment because we know the difference between right and wrong, reality and fantasy.

But there are VERY IMPRESSIONABLE young teenagers with parental problems and no guidance who thinks they have a reason to blame everyone else for their problems and even younger children who might get ahold of this and not understand what they are playing and might be inspired by games like this. I mean does killing civilians like this not remind you of Columbine?

As an old foggie gamer I cant wait to play the game. But you must understand that killing civilians in that REALISTIC ENVIRONMENT is very offensive to some and they are going to fight it with everything they can.

Games have been made in the past with politcal agendas, say for instance one of my favorite games of all time Final Fantasy Tactics with it's anti religous story, and they will be even more so to reach the appropriote audiences the developers seek, JUST LIKE MOVIES. It will be the responsibility of the parents AND THE GAME REVIEWERS to keep tabs on these games and call them out.

End of Line.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SILVERAMMO
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 5:03:02 PM

true who ever complains is a close minded fuk

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Darwin1967
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 7:29:41 PM

Couldn't agree more. I wish more parents actually took the time to examine the games they are buying their kids. If anything, might make for a more enjoyable online gaming experience for the older crowd who can't stand listening to pre-pubescent blather.

Personally, I was disturbed by the video, but I do plan on maintaining my pre-order.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jian2069
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 4:11:21 PM
Reply

lol this is no worse than "VTech Massacre" or the game about the columbine

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SILVERAMMO
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 5:02:20 PM
Reply

omg teh dam conservatives cant let people live their lives how they want to leave the game alone

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ray taylor
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 5:28:37 PM
Reply

Is this really something to worry about. Your are killing people all through this game, doesn't bother me that some of them don't have guns.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 7:06:42 PM
Reply

I hope noone gets offended cause that sure is not my intention, but I think you americans has become a tad too hysterical about anything related to terrorism. I mean, sure, you guys got the 9/11 and we didn't, but heck, there's been bombs all over europe too, without us going totally mental.

And before you bombard me with your thumbs down, at least think about it:
If this game was about killing people in ANY other setting than under a terrorism parole, NONE would have reacted. Replace "terrorist" with "doctor psychopath", "corrupt cop kill at will", "space race eat your baby for lunch", "politician starve his citizens to death while licking a candybar" or whatever - no matter how sick, twisted, realistic or unrealistic it is, most go "bah it's just a game".

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

THEVERDIN
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 7:11:36 PM
Reply

Well if kids are getting the game then the parents and stores are at fault for getting and selling it . Maybe they should ask for I.D like for cig's and beer. If they sell to underage kids fine the SH%# out of them,and fine the parents.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Friday, October 30, 2009 @ 1:15:38 AM

i know for a fact gamestop cards at least the one in my town. my buddy and i both got carded today for dragon age, and MW2!

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Scarecrow
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 8:54:16 PM
Reply

lol@this game

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Banky A
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 10:42:44 PM
Reply

Saw the video yesterday and I must say it was pretty weird... I didn't know what to think, you watched injured civilians crawl around just to get shot down again.

GTAIV didn't have Niko killing heaps of innocent people as part of the story.

But I don't care either way ;)

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, October 30, 2009 @ 1:08:12 AM
Reply

and we have all this to thank George bush for.
thank you MR bush.
now the public is demanding the OFLC re looks at the game, and banns it.
I SWEAR TO GOD IF THIS GETS BANNED IM GOING ON A MURDERESS RAMPAGE!!!!!

Agree with this comment 1 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Friday, October 30, 2009 @ 1:17:11 AM

so you'd become product to the headlines!

best just lay low for awhile, and not say much more!

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___________
Friday, October 30, 2009 @ 1:20:04 AM

they have to find me first.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, October 30, 2009 @ 1:18:56 AM
Reply

just have to ask, why are people so fussy and sensitive over video games?
i mean how many documentary have been made about 911, hell there was even one i watched that showed the US GOV KNEW it was going to happen.
they had traced calls indicating what was going to happen.
they knew and let it happen.
why?
OIL!
they needed a excuse to rip those countries apart, now they got one.

i mean the hills have eyes is one fu**ing SICK! movie, that shows innocent civilians captured and tortured.
thats ok for a movie.
kidnapping people, tying them to a chair and melting there eyeballs with a turbo torch is ok for a movie.
but having a few people shot in a video game, o NO NO NO YOU CANT HAVE THAT!!!!!!!
WTF?
im sick of video games being the scapegoat.
everything bad in the world is caused by video games.
you know the crusades were caused by video games too ;)

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