Sony has decided not to sell Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on the PlayStation Store in Russia, Activision has said.
A tweet from the Sony Russia account broke the news, and a statement from Activision issued to Eurogamer then confirmed it. In the statement, Activision revealed it was Sony that made the decision, confirmed Infinity Ward's shooter will be sold digitally in Russia on PC and Xbox, and stressed Modern Warfare "is a fictional game".
В основе Modern Warfare - полностью вымышленная история, тщательно созданная, чтобы доставить удовольствие всем игрокам. SIE решили не продавать игру в российском PS Store. Мы с нетерпением ждем выхода игры в цифровом варианте для ПК и Xbox 25 октября.— Call of Duty Russia (@CallofDutyRU) October 22, 2019
Here's the statement in full:
"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a fictional game that has been thoughtfully created to entertain fans and tell a compelling narrative. Sony Interactive Entertainment has decided not to sell Modern Warfare on the PlayStation Store in Russia at this time. We look forward to launching Modern Warfare digitally in Russia on 25 October on PC via Battle.net and on console via Xbox."
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a soft reboot of the famous first-person shooter franchise, and, according to marketing material, promises to tell a gritty, authentic story. It revolves around a terrorist organisation that gets its hands on chemical weapons, and the subsequent effort to prevent an attack. During the game's child level, you play a young girl called Farah who's caught in the middle of a Russian bombing campaign on her Middle Eastern city. A Russian soldier ends up murdering her father. In turn, you as the young girl kill the Russian soldier. For more on that, check out Emma's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare preview.
In the story, Farah goes on to become the founding member and commander of the Urzikstan Liberation Force, battling Russian occupation. From Activison's blog: "Labeled a terrorist organisation by the Russian government for their long-standing resistance, Russian soldiers are ordered to make no distinction between the terror group Al-Qatala and the liberation fighters under Farah's command."
Call of Duty is no stranger to a Russian villain, of course. In fact, the main antagonist of the original Modern Warfare was a Russian ex-arms dealer turned ultranationalist party leader. So why prevent this new Modern Warfare from going on sale on the PlayStation Store in Russia now? And why has this happened on just one platform?
We've asked Sony for comment.