Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Lack of Political Stance Divides Gamers

Infinity Ward and Activision have been marketing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for PS4, Xbox One, and PC as a realistic, dark, gritty, and sometimes gruesome take on modern warfare. Like, it's really been leaning into this, and apparently its appropriate marketing, because according to one report, the game makes the infamous "'No Russian' level look like a Pixar movie." That said, despite all of this, neither Activision or Infinity Ward are pitching the game as a political one. There's political themes -- it's a war game -- but to members of the development team that doesn't make it a political game.

Now, as you may know, politics in games is a hot-button topic. Some people rage war against politics -- or at least what they perceive as being political -- being in games. Meanwhile, others are increasingly frustrated by developers shying away from the term "political" because of the possible PR ramifications.

Recently, on two separate occasions, leads at Infinity Ward insisted the game isn't political. During a recent interview with Game Informer, studio art director Joel Emslie said "No, we're just making a game," when asked if the title is a political game. Emslie then added that "it seems insane to get political." Meanwhile, campaign gameplay director Jacob Minkoff explained to Game Informer that while the game has political themes and is about modern warfare, it's not making a political statement in reference to the current political landscape.

As you can see, to Minkoff, asking if a game is political doesn't actually mean anything, because "political" is a very broad framing that means something different to everybody. And that's perhaps why it lends itself to so much controversy. Indefinite definitions tend to lead to a wide range of interuptations, which perhaps explains why something as simple as whether Infinity Ward frames Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as a "political" game is so controversial.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is set to launch later this year on October 25 via the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For more news, media, and information on the upcoming shooter, click here.