COD audience wants more "realisitic" depictions of war, Infinity Ward argues

COD audience wants more "realisitic" depictions of war, Infinity Ward argues

The narrative director of Call of Duty Modern Warfare studio Infinity Ward Taylor Kurosaki has defended the game's depiction of real-world inspired events during its narrative.

Speaking to GameSpot, the developer was asked about a segment set in the 'Highway of Death', which shares its name with a real stretch of road where American troops attacked retreating Iraqi forces during the First Gulf War. In the game, it was the site of a Russian attack, which some have seen as disingenuous.

Kurosaki says that the playerbase wants more realistic depictions of conflict and situations which aren't always black and white. 

"So, you know that they're based on real-world events and yet you don't give the player-base the credit," Kurosaki said.

"You're sort of saying that the Call of Duty audience should be talked down to or things should be simplified or dumbed down. In fact, we have tons of research that the Call of Duty audience wants more accurate portrayals of conflict areas. They don't want a dumbed-down experience. They want an experience where characters aren't purely good or purely evil, where there is moral complexity involved. We've done a lot of research into this. So, for me, I like to speak up to my audience and I do believe that they are sophisticated enough to make the parallels.

"When you mentioned the Highway of Death, if you, if you go back, I encourage you to go back and play start from the beginning of that mission, where you get the mission briefing. Farah talks about this location as the Highway of Death before the mission takes place. So the Highway of Death is not what came out of that mission. It was already that. And then if you look at the environmental storytelling, there's already bombed out vehicles and all kinds of, you know, things that are relating to previous episodes and it's even mentioned in there."

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.