Call of Duty: Mobile has been banned in Iran, with Activision blocking millions of players from accessing the super-popular handheld title.
The Iran gaming community was left shocked on April 12 as Activision banned CoD Mobile in the region. Despite having access to the game up until this point, players are now being met with a new message upon opening the app.
“Unfortunately, we are not yet ready to release the game in your area,” an in-game announcement reads. This notice blocks players from entering the game and playing as they normally would.
This monumental region lock has impacted roughly 32 million gamers, according to the latest report from the Iran Computer and Video Games Foundation.
From today, Iranian gamers who live in Iran, will not be able to play 'Call of Duty Mobile' pic.twitter.com/ApGmF1PP3G
There are seemingly multiple factors that led to this sudden ban. With increasing tensions between the United States and Iranian governments, additional sanctions have imposed further difficulties on the local gaming market.
Development tools and new game releases are extremely difficult to come by. They are “either banned by our government or banned by international sanctions and it’s getting worse now because of the political situation,” Iranian game producer Taha Rasouli told The Washington Post in 2020.
As a direct result, there has been a surge in account sharing throughout the region. This reportedly played a key role in CoD Mobile’s ban.
“Due to the repeated efforts of Iranian users to deport and hack consoles and user accounts, all user services will be cut off for ten years,” a spokesman for the International Alliance of Consular and Non-Consular Games said.
Anyone attempting to bypass CoD Mobile’s region lock has also been met with severe consequences. 10-year account bans are in store for players still trying to access CoD Mobile through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
- Read more: Activision shuts down SBMM Warzone site
“I can’t believe it’s actually gone,” one Iranian player said on Reddit. “This is absolutely not fair. We genuinely had some talent in this game and people have built their job in this game.”
- Read More: PUBG Mobile banned in India
There’s currently no telling if or when CoD Mobile might be reinstated. Dexerto has reached out to Activision for a statement on the Iran ban.