Jumping into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare this Friday? Not if you're a PlayStation owner in Russia, you won't.
Despite being sold digitally on PC and Xbox, Sony has decided not to list this year's blockbuster on the PlayStation Store in Russia. Call of Duty's Russian twitter account confirmed the surprising news yesterday.
Yes, it's in Russian.
В основе Modern Warfare - полностью вымышленная история, тщательно созданная, чтобы доставить удовольствие всем игрокам. SIE решили не продавать игру в российском PS Store. Мы с нетерпением ждем выхода игры в цифровом варианте для ПК и Xbox 25 октября.
— Call of Duty Russia (@CallofDutyRU) October 22, 2019
As translated (via Eurogamer) it reads:
"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a fictional game that has been thoughtfully created to entertain fans and tell a compelling narrative. Sony Interactive Entertainment has decided not to sell Modern Warfare on the PlayStation Store in Russia at this time. We look forward to launching Modern Warfare digitally in Russia on 25 October on PC via Battle.net and on console via Xbox."
Since then, Activision has sent a statement to Eurogamer confirming that it was Sony Interactive Entertainment's decision to remove Modern Warfare from the sale. Digital pre-orders are also being cancelled. Presumably, physical copies will still release as planned.
Sony hasn't given its own reasoning at time of writing. Of course, there's reasonable cause for anyone to be iffy about selling Modern Warfare in Russia. This year's release harkens back to older entries, painting them as cold-war era baddies with suitably soviet moustaches to twirl.
The Activision blog describes a Russian army ordered to make "no distinction" between a terrorist cell and the freedom fighters under leading lady Farah's command. At one point you play as a child tasked with brutally stabbing a Russian soldier who plans to murder you and your family.
Fair enough. But it doesn't quite explain why Sony has cold feet over a Russian release where Xbox and Activision do not. PlayStation has a particularly close relationship with the series, retaining a year-long exclusivity on things like Spec Ops' Survival mode.
For Sony to cancel one of this year's biggest releases is quite strange indeed.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launches on PS4, Xbox One and PC this Friday, October 25.