Amsterdam is one of the prettiest parts of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, and also home to the Breenbergh Hotel multiplayer map where players repeatedly shoot at each other in the main lobby. Now the real-life Dutch hotel the level is based on has caught wind of the imitation and criticized its use in such a violent game.
“We have taken note of the fact that the Conservatorium Hotel is undesirably the scene of the new Call of Duty,” Conservatorium Hotel manager Roy Tomassen told Dutch newspaper de Volksrant, per PC Gamer. “More generally, we don’t support games that seem to encourage the use of violence. The game in no way reflects our core values and we regret our apparent and unwanted involvement.”
Housed in a 19th-century bank building opposite the Stedelijk Museum, the Conservatorium Hotel maintains the grandeur of its original, historic architecture while sporting contemporary luxury and amenities, reports lifestyle site JustLuxe. Rooms run $1,000 a night. And now the reputation and brand is being sullied by Activision’s annual cash cow.
Instead of fighting in the actual Consortium, Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer matches take place in a close facsimile called the Breenbergh hotel. Despite the name change, the lineage is clear from the hotel’s facade and main lobby, which match pictures from the Consortium’s website fairly closely.
Jeff Negus, the game’s director of photography, told de Volkskrant that many locations in the game were recreated using photographs due to remote work during the pandemic. He apparently only saw the locations in-person during a promotional tour for the game last week. That’s seemingly when he posted a video of the canal whose in-game depiction made the rounds on social media shortly after the campaign’s early access release.
It’s not clear what the hotel means when it says Modern Warfare 2 “encourages violence” and does not reflect the hospitality company’s values. The Breenbergh hotel level is your standard postmodern militarist playground like any other Call of Duty map. There’s a long history of fear around games, especially shooters, being linked to real world violence, however.
Norway mass shooter Anders Behring Breivik mentioned buying the original 2009 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in his 1,500-page manifesto. He claimed that the game acted as a simulator, helping him to train for the act that ended up killing 77 people and injuring hundreds more. Millions more played the game and didn’t go on to become domestic terrorists.
The Consortium hotel did not say whether it might end up suing Activision to have its depiction removed from the newest game. Neither immediately responded to a request for comment.