Dubai: Gamers in Dubai are wondering if the highly anticipated first-person shooter video game Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) will be banned in the UAE, following revelations that its final mission takes place in a Dubai hotel and involves a bloody shootout.
In recent times, the UAE's National Media Council (NMC) has banned several video game titles because of objectionable content. Understandably so, gamers fear that MW3 could also incur their wrath.
Sketchy details emerging from reports leaked on certain websites ahead of the game's November release show that its final mission occurs in Dubai where Yuri, Price and Sandman (characters in the game) launch a deadly assault on a heavily guarded Dubai hotel to kill ultranationalist Vladimir Makarov, who's holed up there.
If the leaks are anything to go by, Modern Warfare 3 appears to pick up right after MW2, with the US under siege by Russian forces and protagonists Soap McTavish and John Price wounded and on the run.
New York, London, Paris, Berlin are among several cities that figure in the game's plotline, but the decisive action takes place in Dubai. "I've been dying to get my hands on MW3. It will be unfortunate if they ban it. After all it's just a game," said Filipino game enthusiast Andre Torres, 28, who works as a graphic designer in Media City.
An Indian gamer said MW3 would go the way of soon-to-be released Spec Ops The Line, set in a ravaged version of Dubai after it has been hit by a series of cataclysmic sandstorms.
Last year, the NMC hinted it would ban the third-person shooter as it visualises a destroyed Dubai. The game's official website is blocked due to the controversial plot and subject matter.
Activision's Call of Duty series is the biggest gaming franchise in the world. According to a report in Time magazine, the quasi-realistic military FPS games boasts more concurrent users than Facebook and every instalment over the last few years has been met with the kind of rabid anticipation that few other entertainment events can match.
Earlier this week, the game's publisher unveiled a brief teaser showcasing the first-person shooter. A description on the video's YouTube page notes battles in New York.
"Wasn't planned, but you're clearly hyped, so here is the first of many Modern Warfare 3 videos coming in hot today," said Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling on his Twitter feed.
Any official information regarding Infinity Ward's games in the Call of Duty franchise is released through him.
Bowling responded to the leaked reports, saying some information was accurate, but some parts weren't. "To avoid spoiling the experience, I'd wait for the real reveal," he said on Twitter.