Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's narrative director has responded to suggestions that Infinity Ward have caved in to media pressure already, following reports that the developer was removing lines of dialogue from the campaign.
On June 11, Kotaku reported that, according to a developer at a private E3 showcase of Modern Warfare, a line which was deemed too "discomforting" would be removed from the final product.
The particular line is delivered by a Russian soldier, who apparently considers handing over a young girl he has captured to his commanding officer, because he "likes the young ones".
Kotaku were apparently told that this line would be cut from the game, as it already takes place in "a harrowing scene even without the implication of sexual pedophilic peril."
News that Infinity Ward were removing even a single line of dialogue did not sit well with fans, though, who feared that the developer may have been toning down the more adult themes to avoid criticism and controversy.
Narrative Director Taylor Kurosaki has dismissed this suggestion, however, stating plainly: "We never would (censor the game). Those are rumors. Not true."
We never would. Those are rumors. Not true.— Taylor Kurosaki (@taylorkurosaki) June 13, 2019
In another response, Kurosaki explained that although changes will be made between now and launch, these are not moves to appease critics or avoid controversy, but only to further their "vision" of the game, from a purely creative standpoint.
This isn’t a thing. Every medium- film, tv, games, art, iterates as they go, making the final product better. All we are doing is refining OUR vision.— Taylor Kurosaki (@taylorkurosaki) June 13, 2019
YouTubers and press who saw the game early at Infinity Ward's studios all said that the two missions they were shown were more violent and visceral than anything they'd seen in CoD before.
The game also draws inspiration from Modern Warfare 2's 'No Russian' mission, undoubtedly the most controversial level in the series' history, where the player is put in the shoes of a mass murderer, killing countless innocent civilians in a Moscow airport.
We will have to wait until October 25, when the new Modern Warfare releases, to see if this particular line of dialogue does in fact make the final cut, and if Infinity Ward have toned things down in other areas too.
For now, Kurosaki is defiant that these are nothing more than rumors, and false ones at that.