During a Stalingrad section of Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies mode, pages of the Quran are seen scattered across the floor, and in some cases, splattered with blood.
Treating the holy text in this way, considered the literal word of God by many Muslims, is regarded as a huge insult. Indeed, many players have pointed out that placing the Quran on the floor is disrespectful.
“Could we please just not put text from the Quran on the ground or on places people where people can walk on it,” said game developer Rami Ismail. “Even if you think religion is nonsense, there’s just no reason to be disrespectful towards two billion people’s culture and beliefs in a videogame for a throwaway asset.”
Call of Duty has pages of the Qur'an on the floor for people to step on.
I usually make excuses for people whenever they make a mistake, but this one feels intentional. I really hope that I'm wrong.
Either way, this has to be corrected. It's shameful and embarrassing. https://t.co/RimPRtSePI
— Osama Dorias (@osamadorias) November 10, 2021
Now, it looks as though Activision has heard the complaints and agrees that Call of Duty: Vanguard should not have included this asset after issuing an apology via Twitter.
“Call of Duty is made for everyone”, the tweet reads in Arabic. “There was content insensitive to Muslims included in the game, and it has been removed. It was not supposed to exist as it appeared in the game. We deeply apologise.”
“We are also taking all necessary measures at this moment within the company to determine and understand the situation and to avoid such errors in the future.”
— Call of Duty Middle East (@CallofDutyARA) November 11, 2021
After the statement was made, Ishmail welcomed the apology: “It’s good to see an apology for the absolutely unnecessary and needless inclusion of Quran texts that people can walk over.”
This isn’t the first time Call of Duty has been accused of cultural sensitivity. Following the release of Modern Warfare in 2019, a wave of negative reviews claimed the game was trying to rewrite history, using anti-Russian propaganda. Activision responded by assuring players that the game did not depict real-world events.
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