Call of Duty: Vanguard, the latest entry in the long-running behemoth of a franchise that goes back to World War II once again, has found itself at the centre of controversy.
Players discovered that one of the game's Zombies mode maps contained pages of the Muslim holy text, the Qur'an, on the floor, covered in blood. Understandably, people were unhappy with the "unnecessary" and disrespectful use of the sacred text in this manner.
The official Middle Eastern Twitter page for the franchise posted an apology in Arabic, while an English version of the statement issued to outlets such as Polygon reads: "Call of Duty is made for everyone. There was insensitive content to the Muslim community mistakenly included last week, and has since been removed from the game.
"It should never have appeared as it did in-game. We deeply apologize. We are taking immediate steps internally to address the situation to prevent such occurrences in the future."
It's not the first time the series has removed a map for something like this. A Modern Warfare 2 map was removed after a quote from the Prophet Muhammad was found in a painting on one of the game's maps. Unlike Vanguard, this wasn't discovered/removed until three years after release.
It's also not the first game to remove words from the Qur'an upon discovery, as PlayStation 3 exclusive LittleBigPlanet delayed its release to change vocals featuring quotes from the book in a licensed song.
Call of Duty: Vanguard unsurprisingly topped the sales charts upon release, although it hasn't impressed critics as much this time around, currently standing at 75/76 review average on Metacritic.
Call of Duty: Vanguard is out now on PlayStation 5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, and PC.
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