It's fair to say we were surprised when one of the first multiplayer maps revealed for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was Marina Grand Prix, a Formula 1-style circuit inspired by the real-world Singapore track.
Footage released last month showed gun battles erupting in the paddock area filled with burning cars while Formula 1 cars race around the street circuit in the background.
Marina Grand Prix was set to be included in the Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer beta. That beta is now live for all PlayStation players, but the Marina Grand Prix is mysteriously missing.
Formula 1 Singapore map mysteriously removed from Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
As reported by Comicbook, the Marina Grand Prix is not only absent in the multiplayer beta, but all mentions of the Formula 1 circuit have been removed from official Call of Duty social media channels.
Curiously, the original Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Marina Bay reveal trailer has also been removed. Activision has not said why all traces of the Marina Grand Prix map have vanished after it generated so much excitement from fans - it’s all very mysterious.
Are licensing issues to blame?
One possible explanation is licensing issues. Although there is no official Formula 1 branding anywhere, the map is clearly inspired by the Singapore Grand Prix circuit. Even the fictional race cars were clearly inspired by real F1 cars, with liveries resembling Red Bull and McLaren.
It would be understandable, then, if the FIA isn’t happy seeing the iconic circuit turned into a battleground and requested the map to be removed, but its disappearance is unexplained.
It’s still possible, however, that any licensing issues will be resolved and the circuit will appear in the final game when Call of Duty Modern Warfare II releases on 28 October, but let’s hope Activision and Infinity Ward clarify the situation before then.