Activision's billion-dollar Call of Duty shooter brand is aiming to make players aware of the colossal impact terrorism has on citizens from the Middle-East in its latest instalment.
In an interview with The Telegraph (paywall), Infinity Ward campaign director Jacob Minkoff said that the team is aiming to make the game feel as genuine as possible in dealing with issues such as Islamic terror.
“If you’re talking about terrorism, as much as our pain is terrible, the people in the Middle-East take the brunt of all of it,” he said.
“For us to genuinely tell a story about the people fighting this war, fighting for what they believe in, the heroes throughout the conflict. We had to tell the story of the people fighting for their homes in the middle east as well as people fighting for their homes here.”
Narrative director Taylor Kurosaki added: “Watching the news and seeing a four-year-old boy in the hospital in Syria because their family home was caught in an airstrike, I watch that and can’t divorce myself from being a dad of a four-year-old. To bring awareness that for many people in this world that is the life they’re forced to live. To use the platform and the pulpit of Call of Duty to bring awareness to situations like that. To use what video games have; the ability to put yourself into those shoes and experience those moments first-hand in a first-person perspective I think is incredibly powerful and I hope it does bring awareness to people who maybe don’t watch the news.”
While the blockbuster shooter franchise has dealt with terror in the Middle East and beyond before, the Modern Warfare reboot - announced yesterday - seems to take things in a more morally grey and gritty direction. How the Call of Duty fanbase responds is another issue altogether.
It'll also be interesting to see how Infinity Ward manages the tonal shift between a campaign that will be showing us the real horrors of war and a multiplayer portion that will likely reward you getting a 20-player killstreak with the ability to drone strike your foes. Because that's potentially exceptionally jarring, isn't it?