'Call of Duty' is Activision Blizzard's wildly successful first-person shooter series.
"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare"/Activision
  • Activision Blizzard's latest 'Call of Duty' game has generated controversy in the Russian media for its depiction of the country, as well as hundreds of negative reviews on the review website Metacritic.com.
  • Much of the controversy centers around the game's 'Highway of Death' mission. The mission sees players advance along a fictional Russian highway, which reviewers have claimed resembles a real-life road linking Iraq and Kuwait.
  • 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare' is the latest title in the company's wildly successful first-person shooter series.
  • Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. In a blog post last week, the firm reiterated that the game's storylines were fictional.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Activision's latest 'Call of Duty' game is facing a fierce backlash in the Russian media for its depiction of the Eurasian country.

Despite being praised by many Western video game publications since its release last week, the title has not gone down well in Russia, which features heavily in the game.

The game has received thousands of negative user reviews on the review aggregator Metacritic, with users - many of whom wrote in Russian variously accusing it of misrepresenting and even slandering the country.

On Metacritic, the average rating given by users to the PlayStation 4 version of the game stands at just 3.4 out of ten at the time of writing.

One user, writing in both English and Russian, demanded that Activision "return me my money," another accused it of "Russophobia," while a third accused Activision Blizzard of "demonizing Russia."

Russian media outlets have also reportedly criticized the game. According to the BBC, state TV channel Rossiya 24 released a four-minute report criticizing Call of Duty, while a prominent Russian blogger branded the game "too much" in a tweet on Tuesday and called for Russian gamers to "boycott it and show some respect for themselves."

The game has received positive reviews from professional critics in spite of the backlash.
"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare"/Activision

Most of the controversy seems to stem from the game's 'Highway of Death' mission, which sees players advance along a highway while sniping at Russian forces.

Users have claimed that the highway depicted in the mission resembles a real-life road called 'Highway 80,' which links the Iraqi city of Basra and the Kuwaiti town of Al Jahra. The road was dubbed 'Highway of Death' in the 1990s due to its prominent role in the Gulf War.

This isn't the only controversy Activision Blizzard has faced in recent weeks. The firm is receiving ongoing criticism of its decision to ban esports professional Chung 'Blitzchung' Ng Wai after he voiced pro-Hong Kong sentiments during a livestream.

Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the 'Call of Duty' backlash. In a blog post last week, the firm described the game as "a fictional story that does not represent real-world events."

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