Modern Warfare 2 writer, Jesse Stern, has told GamePro that the airport level in the game was a “risk we had to take”.
“When we tested the level, it was interesting. Steve Mancuda, who ran a lot of the testing, said people would get angry or sad or disgusted and immediately wonder what the Hell was going on here. And then after a few moments of having that experience, they would remember that they were in a video game and they would let go.
“Every single person in testing opened fire on the crowd, which is human nature. It feels so real but at the same time it’s a video game and the response to it has been fascinating. I never really knew you could elicit such a deep feeling from a video game, but it has.
“I hope that people don’t just look at it as being this simplistic and brutal sequence. We’ve done our best to treat it with care and not to make it gratuitous. The effect of it is you absolutely hate this guy, and the war that takes place in the game is set in motion.
“I hope that game developers take the lesson that you’ve got to try things. You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes. This is a triple-A game and the top grosser of all time with this huge budget behind it, yet we’re still taking major chances wherever we can and the airport level was a risk we had to take.
“Sometimes you take huge risks and it really works. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. But if you don’t take the chance, you’re not going to make something new.”