One of the hot button topics for the industry these days is whether or not politics have a place in video games. Infinity Ward, the folks behind the latest entries in the Call of Duty series, were naturally asked if their latest shooter will touch modern partisan politics.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (it’s a reboot) campaign gameplay director Jacob Minkoff and studio narrative director Taylor Kurosaki said they don’t think the new game is political.
“I don’t think it’s a political game,” Minkoff said in an interview with Game Informer.
“Do we touch topics that bear a resemblance to the geopolitics of the world we live in today? Hell yeah, because that is the subject matter of Modern Warfare,” Minkoff said. “Are we telling a story that has anything to do with the specific governments of any countries that we are portraying? No. So if you’re asking, like, is Trump in the video game, no, he isn’t.”
“These are the types of questions that have been asked for the last 50 years,” Kurosaki added. “We do talk about concepts like colonialism, and occupation, and independence, and freedom. We don’t maybe say those words specifically, but that’s the realm that we are in. But you could have a game that takes place in revolutionary America talk about those exact same concepts.”
“You could set this in Afghanistan in the 1980s and you’d have the same story,” Minkoff said. “Is it political?”
“In a world where superpowers vie for influence around the world, and where those superpowers butt up, they don’t directly fight each other. They utilize proxy allies on the ground to sort of do their bidding,” Kurosaki said. “That’s a real thing that happens, and that’s happened for the last 50 years. But what happens when those allies, who are funded and armed and supported by the superpower, what happens when that support is abandoned or withdrawn? What happens to those local people then?”
“We want to present the different perspectives, we don’t want to say that one of them is correct,” Minkoff said. “What we want you to do – we want you to understand – this is how these people feel, this is why they fight, this is the outcome.”
The interview ended with the two creators talking up what they hope players will get out of the game and its themes.
“What we want you to come away with at the end is an understanding of why all these different groups fight, or groups like them, and to have empathy for I think all of them,” Minkoff said.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is launching across Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One worldwide on October 25th.