Imagine if the white phosphore scene was removed from Spec Ops. No one "loved" the scene, but it was a part of what made the game so interesting.
So, if the torture scenes were part of the context of blacklist, than removing them would leave an empty space. The other option is that the scenes were there to be enjoyable, and since they aren't, removing them wouldn't effect the product.
Time will tell.
What did the white phosphorus scene have as intention though?
Discomfort, realization that you had done something terrible.
Now did it have that effect? Not really because it is a forced sequence and so you are basically absolved of the entire feeling of guilt because the game strong armed you into doing it. However the resulting feelings and the intent are the same. You are supposed to not feel good.
Now what is the intent of the torture scene? Suspense and thrill.
Not really the same thing right? They actually did have a torture scene in Spec Ops to. It was short but it wasn't offensive you know why? Because the depiction of that torture wasn't the same. It was a man wanting information and a man who had information whilst you stood by the sideline unable to interfere or change his faith.
It wasn't about the torture it was about the inability to save the man.
In Splinter Cell it is about sticking knives in brown people because they are the bad guys. Did Sam Fisher employ these methods when fucking Japan was planning a world invasion? No. He snuck in the shadows and got his information from hacking computers, use of an intensive network of intelligence and of course little snippets of conversation between guards.
So on the brink of a world war he didn't resort to torture, but now all of a sudden you are telling me he has to? He is unable to use spydrones, wiretapping, regular old infiltration, spies, tracking devices, regular old searching through documents, eavesdropping etc. Which are also all much more reliable methods than torture.
The first thing I expect from a terrorist leader who is zealously religious when tortured is False information and that is what he got! The entire torture was POINTLESS! It had no emotional weight and the entire thing was basically Sam getting off on his anger and venting it.
Now on Ubisoft retracting the scene though. Why? Because people whines about it? Fucking seriously? If you want to put that torture scene in there, put that fucking torture scene in there. It's nothing but cheap exploitation but it is YOUR cheap exploitation of violence. If you think that the story benefits from it then leave it in. Why did you put it there in the first place if it wasn't a part of the story or character arc?