Modern Warfare 2 not banned in Russia, according to Activision

Activision says rumors of a Russian crackdown on sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are unfounded. But the video game publisher confirmed that a controversial scene has been removed from the PC version of Modern Warfare 2.

Infinity Ward
A screenshot from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Yesterday we reported that Russia had banned console sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, a video game which has drawn a good deal of flak here and abroad. (Excuse the pun.) But on Tuesday, the publisher of Modern Warfare 2 issued a statement calling the purported ban "erroneous."

“Reports that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been banned in Russia are erroneous. Activision only released a PC version of the game in Russia which went on sale on Tuesday, Nov. 10," the company said. In other words, Modern Warfare 2 couldn't have been banned for the Xbox360 and the PlayStation 3, because a console version of Modern Warfare 2 hasn't yet been released in Russia.

OK. We stand corrected.

Still, Activision has confirmed that the Russian edition of Modern Warfare 2, which was developed by Infinity Ward, does not include a controversial scene that allowed the user to shoot at innocent civilians in a Moscow airport. “Other countries have formal ratings boards that we regularly work with. However, Russia does not have a formal ratings entity," Activision said. "As a result, we chose to block the scene after seeking the advice of local counsel.”

Earlier this year, after a minor dust-up over the shooting scene, Activision issued a statement explaining the scene’s importance to the plot:

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 any rate, all the fuss is more or less besides the point. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is off to a stellar start – according to some sources, 4.7 million copies of the game were sold in the first 24 hours of availability alone.

Have you had a chance to play the scene in question? Drop a line in the comments section, or find us on Twitter.

Related: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 review roundup.

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