Activision recounts 'massive' Modern Warfare 3 leak

Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg calls situation "first real crisis on the job," explains how company "turned a crisis into an opportunity."

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In May, a hefty information dump revealed numerous marquee components and intelligence about Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The game went on to become a big hit, hauling in a billion dollars in 16 days, but that doesn't mean Activision was pleased with the leak happening in the first place.

Modern Warfare 3 was exposed earlier than Activision planned.

Activision publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has publicly recounted the events of the leak in a video at AdAge. During the talk, Hirshberg revealed several nuggets of information concerning the leak, including how it was his "first real crisis on the job." At the time of the leak, Hirshberg had been with Activision for only a little over a year.

Explaining the leak, Hirshberg said, "It wasn't on our timetable; we didn't instigate it. But it's out there, and we can't pull it back in. We weren't ready for this, but we had to deal with it."

Hirshberg called a meeting (which he said lasted for half a day) with those affected on the day of the leak. During this meeting, Hirshberg said he stressed one idea in particular:

"Our job today is to complete this sentence: 'If this leak had never happened, we would have never been able to do ______ .' And if we could complete that sentence, then we could go to bed tonight having turned a crisis into an opportunity," he said.

Hirshberg admitted that the leak exposed details about Modern Warfare 3 to only a "very small percentage of the population," calling those persons the "core-most, enthusiast fans."

Regardless, Hirshberg stressed that the "greatest value in this digital, connected world is the value of transparency." And for this reason, he said it was important to him to "be straight with people."

Managing the situation with this in mind, Hirshberg said he took the "fire of interest" that was created with the leak and "poured gasoline on it."

To do this, Hirshberg said he initiated a plan to release new assets for the game on the same day as the leak. The executive said these assets--videos and art distributed through the company's Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages--were supposed to be released four weeks later but were pushed up to embrace the situation instead of avoiding it.

For more on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, check out GameSpot's review.

Discussion

60 comments
insanitycheck23
insanitycheck23

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Darkflare_EX
Darkflare_EX

THEY were worried about the MW3 leaks? They're not Capcom who got SSF4, MvC3/UMvC3 and SFxT leaked by Lupinko.

x_hunter00
x_hunter00

@VilandasUK I don't understand why this bothers you so much. Why are you so emotionally invested in the fact that your friend is a big fan of call of duty? @The rest of you This may not contain earth shattering news but it does give a little insight into the mind of someone who had to deal with this leak. Any chance to express hate towards Activision is simply irresistible to some of you isn't?

djforlife84
djforlife84

what a stupid pointless article. honestly who really cares? lol another fine job by gamespot.

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

The thing that pisses me off the most is that so many people buy every COD game that gets released like e.g. my friend that lives near me, if there's a new COD game coming out, you just know that he already pre-ordered it, every time I see him after someone writes an article about COD that it's coming out and that it's going to have some super edition. He gets exited like he just took a Viagra pill.

RobinGS
RobinGS

All of your negative comments are the reason there is and will be another CoD, Black Ops 2 next year, thanks haters

strothers101
strothers101

I used to buy call of duty but then a took a couldnt give a F@#K to the attitude. Now I mostly read articles pertaining to COD for the comment wars.

minivirus2
minivirus2

I'm confused. What was the point of this article? To say they turned a leak into something good? Last I checked, leaks promoted interest in your game, Bland Ops (minus the name) was leaked to be in production BEFORE MW2 was released and nobody cares that info about your 2+ month old game had details leaked months in advance of it's release. Again, I don't get the point...

tainted0ne
tainted0ne

I don't get why everyone says CoD sucks.... I mean it's like calling night dark, we all know this and no matter what anyone says, it won't change.

tainted0ne
tainted0ne

@staff really hope you didn't mean this article........

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

What are you guys complaining about with this "article"? I think "hefty dump" pretty well summarizes this CEO's make-believe "problems". (LOL & such)

Soothsayer42
Soothsayer42

Im thinking, with big company like Activision, they should make a game with combined COD and BF gameplay. Theres 2 section in the multiplayer, KIDS and MENS. Lol? Its a good idea isn't ??? and with amazing engine of course.

Rovelius
Rovelius

Try and find the hidden lol. Already much better than this article. IUEFIEBFIUFBQWILFWEIFU43184612984UREJRKBSDNB,KHFB1O2347 61234584123745897978CV790ZXCV798CVZX9VZ0Z97XVCXC6V574C XVXC34ZXX329R13905I32096J2B5YTKWEJRBKGSUHDVFIASD876SD A9F6SADF82045761234857612495713G2HRU12BFRKJE2BF98749936 2147236473164198246231836876876326412476168179586971345JVF VJADSKCADSKFdgfigfiqwegro92746514785618t43igtbbflwbfcksdjbsadfg eifgqwoirg123ig51o325716457567yIbHIBhvbUGVyCgFYTDYRDTRDTDTD TFKLBBBVVCCX NCHGKgiugiug79i89655R7FUJGFuyfiur74568556D6Crcecc5ec54341231 7986*&?@*$#%?&h(#h(#$iubwfibfifg@fg(*#y?BHJWBLFIWGF IWEBGWERWEIRI@BRHKBMBSVWILFUY@O*&?@$*(@%?T%JBLKI JFBWIFYT&?$%#$)(@$&*@#$?%*@#?$*&$?%*$&bdfbw2rk g123rigfhb li4yg836547 63275$#%#@$@#$$#$@#$L0I*(&$*@#$($@# *$&? &65478135457354324434#?$*(@#$%*?#$@%!$?!%$ HJBkfliLIUBKDFLIFGQWUY&?*?%?jjjmsdfsdfnsbdflol!&?$*%$BKHBDHBDFJHBW FJFVWFKWUTF#KUVuy%6518423184971*(!%?&!$%!$

conkerton
conkerton

Yes Activision we are all proud of your gold star on your Call of Duty homework. Now go do something productive and stop trolling gaming sites with month old news.

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

@redskinStu "I wonder if Activision paid for this story to run." You really think those greedy bastards paid for this?

Rankor_Mugnam
Rankor_Mugnam

They made more money on this that we can possibly imagine... 1. Why should I care? 2. Activision Y U no stfu?

NightFox313
NightFox313

I expected this from a company like Activison.

redskinStu
redskinStu

I wonder if Activision paid for this story to run.

raptures330
raptures330

@Gelugon_baat I hardly visit this site anymore, and even less check the comments, but click on a CoD link... and what do I still find? You dissing the dissers. So meta. You are just as much the broken record that they are. Quote: (and edited) Good [expletive] job keeping this old, old trend

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

Yeah, it was a sure "crisis" that Modern Warfare 3 was being released because nobody could have guessed that after Black Ops was released.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

''massive'' -quite an exciting word for that news !

nousername66
nousername66

One crisis they will never have is having to innovate the game and find new ideas

Staff
Staff moderator

Interesting....

Rocker6
Rocker6

@Robotman170 Here's a thumb down for you,just as an reminder how we are not on Youtube,and how we don't ask for thumbs up here... As for the article,well,I have no comment...

Robotman170
Robotman170

Thumbs up if you think cods getting old(I will be suprised if anyone puts a thumbs down).

Awesome-o
Awesome-o

Cliff Notes: MW3 game details leaked MW3 makes over a billion dollars in 16days Activision CEO cries about mw3 leak ARTICLE WORTHY APPROVED sorry activision, you can't leak something that has already been released 10 years ago.

AvnKnight
AvnKnight

Only CoD can give us these high quality "news" stories.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

how about real news like i dunno SOPA ? no ?

ZombehDino
ZombehDino

How does this really quality as 'news' at all? I'm not a CoD hater, but this was one of the more pointless headlines I've seen on gs.

nemesis1990
nemesis1990

....and not a single f*** was given that day.

kyle_360
kyle_360

@jamesp2005 because some of us like me used to love the game but now see how far down the drain it's gotten especially after infinity ward split up mw2 was there last good release and even that was rushed to hell by activision and infinity ward didnt get to do alot of what it wanted too with it

Jamesp2005
Jamesp2005

@ all the ones who post saying they hate MW3 Why did you bother to not only read the article, but also post a comment about the game you don't like?

unreal101
unreal101

In related news, a leak about the next Michael Bay movie reveals that there will be many explosions. The world is once again shocked.

X_Colbert_X
X_Colbert_X

Massive leak? Really? The only massive leak in regards to a CoD game would be along the lines of "The next Call of Duty will sport innovation and creativity."

vega13mv
vega13mv

slow news day eh, GS? go ahead an archive this article after the 3DS demos come out and Capcom announces RE6 later today

FusionRain
FusionRain

They weren't talking about covering the game, but the story and guns. Some of you guys have very poor memory. Also why post this now. no one cares at this point and had forgotten. Why bring it up again?

Ant0n89
Ant0n89

Anyone knows if MW4 coming out later this year??

BibiMaghoo
BibiMaghoo

'so team, lets lie about the lak being a bad thing and make sure it seems a good thing' But also 'never lie to people, be transparent. thats important'' What an idiot.

IamTheBesteva
IamTheBesteva

mw3 sucks anyways, wasted 4 hours of my life cos of that rollback crap

endorbr
endorbr

Running around freaking out because he thought people didn't know that Activision was working on a new CoD game... He knows everyone knows that they come out with a "new" one EVERY year, right?

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Good move, I think. There will always be hackers and those who want to "share with the group" earlier than IP owners intended. Important thing is how to use such a thing to an advantage instead of suing everyone. Appropriate story, what with SOPA gaining interest.

daabulls23
daabulls23

So it took him half a day to come up with a plan to release official information the same day leaked information was coming out? Way to go...

njkindred
njkindred

I think they're taking themselves a little bit too seriously. Who cares? Yet another FPS was coming? You don't say !! BUT, take it in context. He was speaking to other video game advertising people....so it was probably relevant in their little circle.