The Call of Duty series has been no stranger to controversy over the years, but it looks like this week's Modern Warfare was a little too much for PlayStation Russia. According to the official Russian Twitter account for Call of Duty, the latest entry in the series will not be released digitally on PS4 as Sony Interactive Entertainment Russia is refusing to release the game. There must be some incredibly shocking or graphic scenes in the game since past Call of Duty titles have released unopposed despite the Russians being central antagonists.
As Twitter's translation reads, "At the heart of Modern Warfare is a fully fictional story, carefully crafted to please all players. SIE decided not to sell the game in the Russian PS Store. We look forward to the release of the game in digital form for PC and Xbox on October 25th."
As of writing, neither Sony nor Activision have commented on why Modern Warfare is being denied for digital release. We're also not sure if a physical release has been canceled in the region or not. The PC and Xbox One versions are still getting a digital release in the region, so it's likely not an issue with the Russian government or censorship laws. This is probably a decision from Sony executives.
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
With Modern Warfare looking to tackle war in a more realistic manner, Sony may be worried about kids grabbing hold of the game digitally in Russia. This could be a case of the company taking precautions to prevent parental backlash. That doesn't really hold up, though, it's only PlayStation Russia has an issue and not Microsoft. It doesn't make sense for one platform holder to ban a release and another to allow it.
With the shooter mere days away from release, this had to have been a last-minute decision on Sony's part. Fans are already voicing their disdain on Twitter, so we're bound to get an explanation sooner or later. If you happen to be in Russia and intended to grab Modern Warfare digitally on PS4, you'll have to look elsewhere for your military fix.