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Infinity Ward pulls latest Modern Warfare 2 promo

Viewers offended by spoof video, as bad press increases for developer ahead of release

Activision and Infinity Ward faced another backlash over the weekend, as the latest video promotion for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 caused offence almost immediately after being aired.

The video featured spoof interested group the Fight Against Grenade Spam – or FAGS – punning on one of many offensive slurs regularly thrown around during online play.

"I think the core gag is great, the end is a bit too far from the intent of the joke and can appreciate the concerns. Pulled," wrote Infinity Ward's Rob Bowling on Twitter after removing the video.

Phillip Kollar of US site Game Informer was offended by the tone and language of the video, in which Call of Duty fan and Philadelphia Phillies player Cole Hamels describes the tactic of throwing random grenades in the game as "for pussies".

"I'm not organising a mass boycott or even saying I won't buy the game. I'm just pointing out that their decision to become complicit in one of their communities most oppressive slurs in a not-terribly-fun ad campaign is stupid and makes me reconsider my purchase more than any other controversy surrounding the game thus far," wrote Kollar.

Bowling responded that, "I think it was more of a social commentary joke of that stereotype than it was a fist-bump of acceptance to it".

Infinity Ward seems to be struggling with the tone of Modern Warfare 2 – only last week it received criticism for a scene in the game in which innocent people are murdered, which Activision said "is designed to evoke the atrocities of terrorism."

The switch from realism to college humour is doing nothing to endear it to fans of the game or outside commentators, and is just one of the latest controversies that are tarnishing the game before release.

PC gamers are still in uproar over a lack of dedicated servers for Modern Warfare 2, while the price hike on the console version of the game is still a huge sticking point for many consumers.

"While a lot of us would not be offended by it, there are plenty that would and I don't see how this wasn't considered prior to posting given that they are already losing pre-orders on lack of dedicated servers and a controversial airport sequence," wrote one commentator on Game Informer.

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Matt Martin avatar

Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.