Activision has had to alter a scene which implies a serious sexual assault is about to take place in Call of Duty: WWII. This controversial scene was edited in the Australian version of the game after a suggestion from the Classification Board. Activision is yet to confirm whether this change will apply to the game in other regions, or only Australia.
Earlier today, Kotaku Australia reported that, Activision had resubmitted the game for reclassification after COD: WWII initially received an R18+ classification with consumer advice regarding the game’s inclusion of the ‘threat of sexual violence’.
According to the Classification Board, the original version of Call of Duty: WWII that was submitted contained a ‘reference to sexual violence that is justified by context,’ but that this was not shown, nor would it be presented as an incentive to the player.
If you wish to avoid spoilers, do not read on.
According to the Classification Board, in one section of the game the player is in control of a female spy called Rosseau, and she witnesses a screaming woman being dragged by a Nazi soldier into a closet against her will. Rosseau tries to open the door, and the soldier says, ‘Leave. This is none of your business.’ The player is then given the option to kill the soldier or leave.
If the player chooses to leave, Rosseau closes the door, and the soldier is heard unzipping his fly as he advances on the woman. She screams, ‘Ah! Get away from me!’ as Rosseau leaves. It’s implied in this scene that the soldier is going to sexually assault the woman.
This is why the game received a warning for ‘threat of sexual violence’. The Classification Board said that Activision’s altered version of the game has changed some elements. In this updated version, the woman is now seen wearing trousers and a top, which is different to before when she wore a skirt and top. It’s also removed the sound of the Nazi soldier unzipping his fly.
The Australian Classification Board subsequently pulled the threat of sexual violence warning, but it maintained that the game would keep the R18+ rating.
Activision is yet to comment.