Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer map, Favela, has been temporarily removed from the game’s playlists.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and 3 players have found themselves temporarily one venue short, as Activision has pulled one of the game’s maps following complaints from Muslim gamers.
The map in question, Favela, depicts a shanty town in Rio de Janiro. One of the bathrooms in the map contains two paintings, the frames of which are decorated with an ornate quote attributed to the prophet, Muhammad: “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty.”
As was pointed out in this video released back in October, the sight of holy teachings written on or in a bathroom can be offensive to some followers of Islam. It’s a minor error, and one easily attributed to ignorance rather than malice, but Activision has elected to remove the map from rotation until it can be edited via a title update. The publisher has since apologized for the slight.
As an Activision rep told Kotaku:
“We apologize to anyone who found this image offensive. Please be assured we were unaware of this issue and that there was no intent to offend. We are working as quickly as possible to remove this image and any other similar ones we may find from our various game libraries.”
We are urgently working to release a Title Update to remove the texture from Modern Warfare 3. We are also working to remove the texture from Modern Warfare 2 through a separate Title Update. Until the TU is ready, we have removed the Favela multiplayer map from online rotation.
Activision and our development studios are respectful of diverse cultures and religious beliefs, and sensitive to concerns raised by its loyal game players. We thank our fans for bringing this to our attention.”
The video that originally pointed out the issue has had its comments section closed, I couldn’t possibly speculate as to why.
This isn’t the first time Muslims have taken issue with unintentional slights in videogames. Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet was famously delayed when it became apparent one of the musical tracks from the game contained lines from the Koran. More recently, Hindus took offense when Hi-Rez Studios’ announced that their upcoming fighter title, Smite, would feature characters from the Hindu pantheon.