Why? Publishers Activision and developers Infinity Ward took the map off rotation after receiving complaints from Muslim gamers, who had discovered offensive imagery contained within a room of the stage.
In a single room on the map, two paintings had been hung whose frames contained a decorative representation of a quote (pictured above), which reads “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty”. Those paintings were hung in a bathroom, one right above a toilet, and didn’t appear to be found anywhere else on the map.
You can see the paintings in this video, dated October 2.
It can be offensive to those of Islamic faith – like those in the aforementioned video – to see holy teachings written on or in a bathroom, and with the paintings having been brought to Activision and Infinity Ward’s attention, the map has been removed until it can be edited.
An Activision representative tells Kotaku:
We apologise to anyone who found this image offensive. Please be assured we were unaware of this issue and that there was no intent to offend. We are working as quickly as possible to remove this image and any other similar ones we may find from our various game libraries.
We are urgently working to release a Title Update to remove the texture from Modern Warfare 3. We are also working to remove the texture from Modern Warfare 2 through a separate Title Update. Until the TU is ready, we have removed the Favella multiplayer map from online rotation.
Activision and our development studios are respectful of diverse cultures and religious beliefs, and sensitive to concerns raised by its loyal game players. We thank our fans for bringing this to our attention.