A real life hotel is potentially considering legal action due to it appearing in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
The Conservatorium Hotel, based in Amsterdam, is unhappy with its apparent appearance in the most recent Call of Duty. The in-game version of the hotel is called Breenbergh, presumably to avoid copyright over the name, though looking at the real world building and the in-game version makes it clear the two are the same.
“We have taken note of the fact that the Conservatorium Hotel is undesirably the scene of the new Call of Duty,” Roy Tomassen, the hotel manager, told de Volksrant (translations via PCGamer). “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.”
PCGamer notes that de Volksrant reported that the hotel is still considering what it intends to do next, though the phrasing seems to imply that the hotel hasn’t ruled out legal action. Architecture is actually copyrightable under both European and American law, so a lawsuit would potentially have some legs to stand on if the five-star hotel does decide to proceed.
Activision also did not approach the hotel for permission to have it appear in the game, where it’s used in both the campaign and as a multiplayer map. The building is also destroyed in a shootout, which overall builds up to a negative picture.
The Amsterdam level actually went a bit viral online due to how realistically it depicts real life in such a surprisingly quaint way, something we rarely see in video games. Though this is obviously contrasted by the amount of violence featured in the game, so that quaintness only lasts so long.
Despite the controversy, the latest CoD is doing quite well for itself, with the latest title being the biggest ever Steam launch.