When Makarov said "No Russian", I didn't think anyone would take it this literally. The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Russia version appears to have been removed right as the beta was launching on the PlayStation Store.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Banned in RussiaResetEra highlighted an article on the (somewhat unfortunately named) Russian website DTF. In the article, it was noted that the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Russia Edition had not yet popped up for sale on the PlayStation Store despite the game getting ever closer to its multiplayer beta.
Now that the multiplayer beta has arrived, Russia players appear to have been left out in the cold. A screenshot of an e-mail from a Sony representative reportedly states that Modern Warfare won't be sold on the PlayStation Store at all, including pre-orders.
While the game is still on sale for Xbox and PC via their respective stores, that situation may not last. According to DTF, Activision is making every effort in order to sort the situation out and get the game available to players in Russia. Reportedly, players with a Ukranian account are still able to access the game.
Why was the Modern Warfare Russia version banned?Why exactly was the Russian version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare banned from the PlayStation Store, and why hasn't it been banned elsewhere?
While no specific reason appears to have been mentioned, the game faced criticism from Russian media over perceived positive portrayal of the White Helmets, a non-governmental organization that renders aid in the Syrian Civil War. The White Helmets have been accused of providing material support to the rebels and even picking up arms in some cases.
As Syria is a Russian ally and the White Helmets primarily operate in rebel-held areas, the Russian government (and consequently, the pro-government media organizations) probably wouldn't take too kindly to any hint of a positive portrayal of the organization.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 — the game with the controversial "No Russian" level — also got the company in hot water in Russia, with rumors abound that it had been banned.
While the odds are good that the portrayal of the White Helmets is the reason behind the (hopefully temporary) ban, there hasn't yet been any official confirmation as far as I can tell. It remains unknown whether or not the game will launch in Russia through official channels at this time.
What do you think of Russia reportedly banning Call of Duty: Modern Warfare? Do you think this will have an impact on the game's popularity in that country? Let us know in the comments below!