COD, WoW removed from sale in Norway after killings

Retailer Coop Norway temporarily takes 51 games and toys off shelves

Norwegian retailer Coop Norway has temporarily taken 51 gaming and toy brands off its shelves in response to the murders committed by Anders Behring Breivik last month.

Breivik referred to Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and World Of Warcraft in his manifesto.

"The decision to remove the games was made around the time we realised the scope of the attack," Geir Inge Stokke, director of Coop Norway Retail told the Norwegian press.

"Others are better suited than us, to point to the negative effects of games like these. At the moment it's [appropriate] for us to take them down. I wouldn't be surprised if others do the same. We have to think very carefully about when to bring these goods back. The economy involved is of no importance."

Some of the titles that have been removed along with Modern Warfare 2 and World Of Warcraft include COD: Black Ops, COD: World at War, COD 4: Modern Warfare, Homefront, Sniper Ghost Warrior, and Counter-Strike Source. Toy guns have also been taken off sale.

Breivik murdered 77 people in terror attacks on July 22. In his 15,000 page manifesto "2083: A European Declaration of Independence," he talked about using World Of Warcraft as a cover for being out of contact, and saw Modern Warfare 2 as a teaching aid.

"I see MW2 more as a part of my training-simulation than anything else," said Brevik.

Activision Blizzard has yet to comment on the situation.

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Latest comments (15)

Andy Ross Game Designer, Monumental Games9 years ago
What happened in Norway was a tragedy beyond what I could do justice to with the few words allowed me by this comment system. However, whilst I sympathise with the attitude of wanting to do anything seemingly useful to prevent such events from occurring again, this isn't the right way to go about it.

What caused Brevik to ultimately do what he did was not influenced by the games that he played. Millions of people play and have played WoW and CoD (amongst others) without committing violent acts. The problem lies with the man himself and with other unstable individuals that end up in a similar state, not with the soft-target of the games he abused as part of his insanity.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Causality, logic and correlation. Too many people fail to grasp these concepts.
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Edmundo Harbin QA Manager, Travian Games GmbH9 years ago
Why dont they take away the guns from Norway instead of the games?
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Show all comments (15)
West Clendinning Senior/Lead Artist, Rovio Entertainment9 years ago
Many mass murderers, tyrants, genocidal dictators and other wrong doers aparently cited their interest in reading books. I think the connection here is clear. We best head down to the local library and start burning all that filth.

WOW players now number over 12 million, thats almost 3 times the population of Norway.
They really need to consider the motives and intentions of the killer, focusing on what game he might have been playing will not prevent this from happening again. And will definitley not solve the cultral clash problems Breivik has stated as his insentive.
Besides aren't all these games available to buy via download?

More to the point, I assume Breivik bought all his guns legally, and practiced shooting his real guns with real bullets on his farm. Isn't this a bit more of an obvious red flag than what game he was playing?
Do they intened to do anything at all about real firearms, or just focus on the pretend ones?

Although this is a gaming forum, we are preaching to the choir. Perhaps over at the guns an ammo forum, and national rifle club, they are staunch supporters of the " Blame Games " position.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by West Clendinning on 1st August 2011 10:49am

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Jeff Wilson9 years ago
In the UK in the 19th Century, after the Jack the Ripper murders, the play 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson was withdrawn from the London Theatres temporarily. This shows that some members of the general public don't want to be reminded of violence in the aftermath of carnage and this was ages before consoles were even invented. In Norway, gamers can still buy on the internet and I am sure the games will be back in the shops soon. This isn't a time for logic - it's a time for empathy.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 9 years ago
I agree with Martin's comment; while this feels like a bit of a shutting-the-gate-after-the-horse-has-bolted situation, I think this is a sensible decision by the retailer on a very sensitive topic at the moment, and some time granted for a little empathy is a good decision.

In the longer term I think the government or authorities will need to make rational decisions as to censorship (as mentioned above, firearms and peoples' beliefs are the real issue), but for the moment I don't think taking things like No Russian off the shelf is a bad thing for a grieving nation.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 1st August 2011 11:42am

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Bostjan Troha CEO, Zootfly9 years ago
"The Norwegian response to violence is more democracy, more openness and greater political participation."

-- Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
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Laura Greenfield Studying Biomedical Science, Middlesex University9 years ago
Yes, I agree. After playing mario karts I also throw shells out of windows of the car. Maybe they should ban this too?
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Peter Ohlmann Technical Director 9 years ago
Nobody can surely know that this guy hasn't been influenced by the airport (massacre) level from MW2. The game industry should start to think about a violence censorship by choice.
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Laura Greenfield Studying Biomedical Science, Middlesex University9 years ago
Hah! Can't the internet take something small and make it big
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Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member 9 years ago
Look guys... The brain can only conceive what it has been exposed to. He clearly was exposed to a lot of Call of Duty. Throwing blame on toys and games is the lame part, nothing should be spared. But I really do believe that, while they won't make you go unstable on their own, video games can help. Just like any medium can
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany9 years ago
Norway has just completely disappointed me; their reaction of answering that tragedy with "more freedom, more democracy" now makes a turn to the most superficial ignorance.

Shame on you Norwegian government, shame on you...
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany9 years ago

Do that, and you are giving up to every single madman in the planet.
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Barbara Landgraf TAM, Microsoft9 years ago
Good job Coop Norway. What a clever PR move to get some free publicity.
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From my understanding of this, this hasn't been a decision by the Norwegian government. Merely the reaction of one retailer as a gesture of sympathy (?) to the tragic events that occurred in Norway.
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