Infinity Ward caught the attention of the news media weeks before Modern Warfare 2 was scheduled to release, and it was not because footage from their upcoming blockbuster had leaked out. It was what the scene depicted that made people question whether wartime scenarios had finally been taken too far.
But more than anyone, individuals within the games industry have spoken up about the consequences of the Airport Scene in MW2. EA’s very own Matt Turner, the Producer of Army of Two: The 40th Day, had this to say regarding Infinity’s Ward decision to create that level.
“We wouldn’t have done it, we didn’t do it. For me personally I think the alarm bells went off in a big way on that one because it was out of context. When the footage got leaked thousands upon thousands of people saw it on a clip not knowing what it was.
I’m not saying they were overreacting but people were generating these pretty outlandish opinions even though they didn’t know what the scene meant in the grand scheme of the game.”
And we have to agree with Turner. The scene was important as a plot point within the story, compelling Russia to finally invade the U.S., but it also drew unnecessary negative attention to the industry as a whole. Still, there’s still room for refinement and experimentation by other developers in terms of shocking their audiences. Turner continued on about pushing the limits of storytelling and immersion, as well as the possible ramifications for doing so.
“I say maybe they pushed it too far but in a way that’s a good thing because the media of videogames is very young. We have to start pushing limits, making statements and seeing what kind of social and cultural relevance that we can have which hasn’t really been nailed yet.
I think [Infinity Ward] were pushing towards that direction and trying to make people experience something truly terrible. Whether they were successful or not I’ll leave up to the players to decide, but I liked the fact that they were trying something new that people haven’t done before. I think that’s really gutsy and my hat’s off to Infinity Ward for trying at least.”