The game that made the Russians angry: Why is Russia boycotting Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Author : News Agency

The new CoD caused a storm of outrage in Russia. It even came to boycotts. Here's why
13:54, 1 November 2019

112 Agency

The 16th part of the world-famous shooter Call of Duty was released on October 25. It was a re-launch of the Modern Warfare sub-series, dedicated to modern military conflicts. The sneak peeks said that there will be no those who are right and who are guilty in the game, just "as in the modern war". The users were going to get acquainted with "gray morality", where the boundaries of good and evil are blurred.

The only thing is that there's a country that didn't appreciate such a longing of the developers. Russia accused the creators of the game of russophobia (anti-Russian xenophobia), the Activision is now being criticized and boycotted, and even fell under DDoS attack, gamers are massively lowering CoD ratings.

And here is why.



"Having acquainted with game's plot and some moments from the new Call of Duty, I refuse to squabble about these pot washings. All the streamers that took the money from Activision and did were not able to refuse - dropped down in my eyes.”

These are the words of one of the most popular streamers in Russia, Ilya Maddyson, he said that on the eve of the advertising broadcasts of the new CoD in the Russian Federation as part of the CoD Challenge project.

Four months earlier, at the end of May, Activision released a trailer showing the representatives of the White Helmets Syrian volunteer organization. This organization was accused of creating staged videos and connections with terrorists in Russia. The trailer was criticized in Russia's media, some of the journalists called it a "blatant attack on Russia."

The game has also been criticized for the positive image of the aforementioned White Helmets. Well, of course, in Russia they were outraged by how the Russians were imaged in the game.



It's all about the game plot.

The game takes place in the fictitious country of Urzikstan (it seems, Syria seems to become a prototype). There's a civil war going on in Urzykstan for about 20 years, the war between resistance fighters and the army of Russian General Barkov.

The parties to the conflict (except for these two): American commandos, from whom the narrative comes, as well as the Al-Katala terrorist group.

Call od Duty. Screenshot
Open source


So, let's get back to the Russians

They are shown as really cruel sadists in the game. They kill children, torture and hang civilians for no reason, torture, spray gas and shoot unarmed people.

For example, according to the BBC, there's an option to play for a little girl in one of the missions, whose mother dies during the Russian bombardment, and the Russian paratrooper kills her father before her very eyes. The girl’s task is to quietly get to the military man and kill him, and if this does not work out, the soldier will kill the girl as well.

In one of the further episodes, the key “bad Russian” Barkov tortures the same girl. And torture is shown in full detail.

Call od Duty. Screenshot
Open source

There are other situations. For example, in one scene, people in Russian military uniforms use gas against civilians because they consider them to be allies of the rebels.

In addition, as it was already mentioned, the game shows "white helmets." These volunteers rescue civilians affected by hostilities.

Syria and Russia accuse them of working in the interests of the West.


Interestingly, that

The color of the helmets was changed from white to green in the Russian version.


The moral is

The creators of the game initially stated they want to tell a "deeper story than usually", abandoning the traditional division into "black and white". According to the gamers, in the game one really has to make difficult decisions.

For example: a woman, acting on behalf of a special forces soldier, is attacked by a woman with a fire weapon, whose child is crying with fear next to her. If you do not kill her, then she kills the hero.

So, Russians' key claim to the game is that Russia is shown in ABSOLUTELY BAD WAYS.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Screenshot

Some of the gamers in the Russian Federation generally believe that the Russian military has actually been equated with terrorists.

The only relatively positive character is an agent of the Russian special services named Nikolay, who helps Western special forces officers.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Screenshot


It seems that the game actually benefited from criticism for "Russophobia". In just a few days, it became the best-selling AAA project of the year and set several records. Among them: the best sales of digital copies of all the Activision releases, the best sales of digital copies in three days among all projects for PS4, the best start on PC in the history of the series.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Screenshot


Donetsk Downtown game location appeared in the new video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The division and naming of the teams differ from the existing formations, featuring 32 players.

Donetsk does not appear among the locations of the campaign mode, that is, there will be no pre-prepared scenes associated with the city.

It is noted that the map does not reproduce actual hostilities, but the stadium that resembles the Donbas Arena appears in the screenshots. However, there's no Donetsk airport seen on the screenshots.



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