While Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will address topics that are a part of today’s political discussions, it won’t make statements about any of the particular administrations or governments of the countries in the game. Instead, Infinity Ward’s approach to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare politics is to discuss themes that could be applied to many modern conflicts without taking a stance on which viewpoints are “correct.”
In an interview with Game Informer, campaign design director Jacob Minkoff and studio narrative director Taylor Kurosaki provided some insight into Modern Warfare’s relationship with politics. Minkoff said that, “Hell yeah,” Modern Warfare’s story touches on topics “that bear a resemblance” to issues in modern geopolitics, but nothing too specific.
“If you’re asking, like, ‘Is Trump in the video game?’” Minkoff said, “No, he isn’t.”
Kurosaki went into more detail about what the game will address: Modern Warfare’s story is about how global superpowers use “proxy allies” to fight wars for them on the ground rather than doing the fighting themselves, and it’s about what happens to local people when the support of those superpowers is withdrawn. He pointed out that these themes are relatively universal when it comes to modern war.
“That’s a question that you could have asked about Vietnam,” Kurosaki said, “or you could have asked about the war in Afghanistan, or you could have asked about colonial India, if you wanted to.”
In order for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to be considered actually political, Minkoff said, it would have to be about specific administrations and governments, and it would have to take sides.
“We are talking about thematic things,” Minkoff said. “We want to present the different perspectives. We don’t want to say that one of them is correct.”
A short clip in a previous Game Informer video showed Minkoff and Kurosaki disagreeing about whether or not there was a morality system in the game, but no further context was given. When asked in the same video if Modern Warfare was political, Infinity Ward studio art director Joel Emslie said, “No, we’re just making games.” Game Informer’s Ben Hanson said the idea that it was not political seemed insane, to which Emslie replied, “It seems insane to get political to me.”