Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 copies hit streets early

[UPDATE]: Shooter spotted in online auctions; Microsoft cautions Xbox Live members that "playing early may impact your account," but Infinity Ward says there are "no plans to ban legit fans."

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 isn't supposed to go on sale until November 8, but it appears some copies of Activision's first-person shooter have already hit the streets. Multiple online auctions for sealed copies of Modern Warfare 3 have already surfaced, with sellers providing photographic evidence to back up claims that the game is in hand.

Is it better to have it and not be able to play it, or not have it at all?

While the auctions may give gamers the opportunity to answer the latest Call of Duty a little early, that decision may have repercussions. Late last night, Microsoft's Xbox Live director of policy and enforcement Stephen Toulouse posted on his Twitter account that Modern Warfare 3 prerelease play has not been authorized by Activision and cautioned, "Playing early may impact your account!"

That warning was an about-face for the Microsoft representative. Earlier in the day, he responded to players' concerns, saying "If your copy is legit and obtained legitly, have fun. It's a great game."

This is not the first time Activision has had release plans for the popular shooter series undermined. When Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 debuted two years ago, retailers were as eager to sell the game as gamers were to play it. The end result was specialty chain GameStop jumping the gun on the shooter's formal release date in select markets, an act of which the publisher expressly disapproved.

[UPDATE]: Infinity Ward representative Robert Bowling has spoken for the Modern Warfare 3 developer on Twitter, saying, "No plans to ban legit fans, but try to wait 'til midnight launch on Tuesday to play #MW3."

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

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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236 comments
blackace
blackace

@simonsolidsnake @blackace Wut? so it's Activision's fault for sending out stock early so that shops would be fully stocked and so there was no delay of sales on launch day? Every single product that gets released not just games but TVs, phones, clothes etc arrive at stores at least a week early to ensure there is enough supply for demand and so there are no delays. You can't blame Activison for greasy shop assistants who make money by selling stolen copies on Ebay thats just stupid. This kind of thig happens for almost everything these days. *********************************************************** I'm not blaming Activision. I'm saying if they don't want greasy shop assistants to do this every time they released a CoD games, they may want to ship the game later or overnight. I know Activision doesn't have any control of the employees and they will eventually fine Gamestop and other retailers who release the game early anyways. Still, if they want to fix the issue themselves, their are options. This isn't the first time this has happened. Activision should be well aware of this by now. That's why I said they were stupid. I don't understand why Microsoft cares about this as it really doesn't have much effect for them. I'm sure journalist and developers have been beta testing and playing the game for weeks before the launch on XBox Live.

skiwalker9292
skiwalker9292

ppl who use # at the start of their words go f*ck yourself its the stupidest trend so far

M3ran
M3ran

deus ex?that was some stupid game it was really boring i dunno why it got the good review on gamespot!

mickyfinn84
mickyfinn84

@warhawk-geeby lol Didn't mean to label you a troll mate. Like you I was just fed up with the cod v bf thing because they are very different games and its a pointless argument.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@mickyfinn84 Well hey that's your choice pal. But the standard arguments on here don't have anything to support them. I wasn't being a BF 'troll' as you'd kindly labelled me though, I've just had enough of the whole COD vs BF war. Looking at both of the games BF offers more. It may not be your cup of tea, but as an experience it's great fun. Running in to a building only to have it demolished by tank shells and mortar fire? That's realistic.. and it's great stuff. If you don't want that type of gameplay though then that's fair enough, that's entirely your point of view. The only reason Call of Duty is where it is now is because it's riding it's own wave of success. Give the average gamer a copy of each and I'd imagine the majority would prefer BF3. It's refreshing.

Freak_Jesus
Freak_Jesus

I have this Game for 4 days now... It's not my fault the store I happen to buy from has it early in my country, I shouldn't be punished! I paid regular price! same has been with MK9 too anyway, I'm just addicted to this game yeah yeah, I also have BF3 for PC so I got both ends here covered and love them both

hunter8man
hunter8man

I don't see the big deal. If they were legitimately purchased, then they shouldn't be punished. When I worked at Best Buy, we were told that we could sell the new GTA (back then was Vice City) early, but leave enough for pre-orders and early morning shoppers.

mickyfinn84
mickyfinn84

@warhawk-geeby Ever consider the possibility that some people might not want helicopters, jets, boats, buggys, tanks, mortars? Gun v Gun in a small map is fun. Running miles through a huge boring map only to be blasted by tanks etc. is no fun in my opinion. Battlefield has better graphics but COD feels & controls much better, which for me is what is important. I might not even buy mw3 because like you say it is barely a new game at all, but I wouldn't even consider buying BF3 because it just DOESN'T APPEAL TO ME. Why can't you and all the BF fanboys trolling mw3 articles understand that they are two very different games & that people have different tastes?

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Can I just say - having actually played Battlefield 3 (unlike a lot of MW folks it seems).. The online play is better. (60% of readers thumb down without continuing) I'm sorry, but to still be forking out full-price for essentially the same game every year you must all be mad :| Battlefield 3 has helicopters, jets, boats, buggys, tanks, mortars.. geez I could go on. What does COD have? Dogs.. and maybe a tank if you're lucky. I'm not being a fanboy here as I'm willing to play any old game on any old console.. But for the copy I have for the PS3 Battlefield is genuinely a blast. By all means support your beloved games, but back it up.

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

@warhawk-geeby I do have Deus Ex. I've obviously not given it enough time. I got the feeling it was taking me down a familiar FPS route that I'd been on before.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@BoabDreeps You got Deus Ex? That's the most refreshing game I've played lately.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@BoabDreeps You got Deus Ex? That's the most refreshing game I've played lately.

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

@CronosXIII Agreed. I just wasted another few hours of my life playing through the Battlefield 3 campaign. What an utter waste of time. Same old linear gameplay that we've been subjected to for years. Multiplayer is full of unemployed d1cks that have nothing better to do that go on an XP hunt. I'm not wasting any more of my time providing them with cannon fodder. All exactly the same as COD Black Ops/MW1/MW2/Homefront etc etc Getting really bored of first person military shooters. It's really old now. Can someone recommend a decent game please?

X-RS
X-RS

@easports5001 Hahah, word! ;)

earlmccormick88
earlmccormick88

@Frost259 I agree100%. I work at Fred meyer in anchorage alaska and we've had that game over a week sitting in the stock room. i wish I could've taken pics for proof. The guy who work in electronics told me If I bought the game, the store could get fined....like seriously? Activision has the most moronic fan base and they are willing to sacrifice leg and limb for this subpar video game, filled with little kids calling black people the N word.

CronosXIII
CronosXIII

I find it hilarious how you are all wasting yet another $100 of your money buying a game you have already played twice in MW2 and black ops. This is practically the same game with a different story line and slightly modified gameplay. Groups like... wait who made this game again? groups like these make so much money off of idiotic consumers who are willing to thrash out their money over and over again for a slightly modified product. Call of duty is a decent franchise, however it isn't going anywhere, at least not until next generation consoles arrive. And even then you can only expect graphical improvements, followed by the same trend of clones in subsequent releases. One thing will remain constant. The incompetent elitist community surrounding this franchise.

shaunn191
shaunn191

Good, gets them off BF earlier.

aamir69
aamir69

Modern Warfare 3 copies hit streets early...nice rumor for marketing by GS. I am expecting a 9 or 9.5

Ssgt-BlackRifle
Ssgt-BlackRifle

going watch ELPRESADOR play MW3 and see what he thinks of the game

StingrayX5
StingrayX5

Lol...funny S***...well back to Battlefield 3.

AvatarMan96
AvatarMan96

Looking at the bids on eBay is freaking hilarious :P Oh, and screw you Activision.

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

I'm surprised that they're not more upset about this. Their game is being resold for THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, and yet they (the devs) don't get a cent from it beyond their original purchase price.

StingrayX5
StingrayX5

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

easports5001
easports5001

I can't wait for Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones!

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

this reminds me of when the ps3 first cameout during the holiday season of 05 and people were buying those babys for thousands of dollars crazy stuff...

blueman55
blueman55

Assassins Creed Revelations FTW

timmy0001
timmy0001

LOL @Spartan_418 ..that post was hilarious and so are the thumbs down you're getting for it. I guess some people just don't appreciate good humor.

Spacerac
Spacerac

I hope street-date players enjoy getting murdered by cheap predator drone strikes and the like. Enjoy getting nuked-literally. :P

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

Man, I can't wait to rent this! Play through it on Veteran, get all the achievements, laugh at the Michael Bay-like story. Then when I'm ready for my multiplayer fix, back to Battlefield 3 :D

TheIfym20
TheIfym20

I love how infinity wards is just like, have fun with the game just play the online yet. Game is going to be great, nothing fresh, but great.

megakick
megakick

I guess Activision could fine Target or some retailer for sellin the game before release and Target could decide not to sell Activisions game. Who loses? It's an example of what the Activision really cares about the money not you. Activision knows people will want to play it online, so they made a call to Microsoft. Probably not as easy to find accounts on PSN so why bother.

blackace
blackace

Why are people paying $300 for this game? I couldn't stop laughing when I saw this. [url]http://www.ebay.com/itm/140631630270?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649[/url] This isn't even the Harden version. Someone else won for $12,100. What's hilarious about this auction is the 2 highest bidders have "0" feedback. So you know they aren't paying and probably already canceled their account. [url]http://www.ebay.com/itm/Call-Duty-Modern-Warfare-3-HAND-READY-SHIP-/180750389264?pt=Video_Games_Games&hash=item2a15901010[/url] Modern Warfare 3 fever at it's finest.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

"Playing early may impact your account!" damn straight...if you get caught playing before launch, your account should be suspended until after launch as punishment. besides...with Skyrim on the horizon, you could tell me my copy of MW3 came with an actual MP5 gun (complete with reflex sight and suppressor) and I'd still wouldn't be as excited as i am for Skyrim.

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

So let me get this straight. Mr. Toulouse wishes to punish people, who bought legal copies of the game, but are doing so earlier than the publisher likes? Would he and the publisher prefer that these people pirate the game instead? This is an issue between Activision and the relevant stores, not the customers. So don't drag them into it. I sometimes really don't get these publishers. They come up with the most idiotic forms of DRM, that only inconveniences their actual customers and not the crackers/pirates. And now they want to punish customers for buying their games? Mr. Toulouse should be the first in line for getting sacked by the sounds of it. It's fairly clear that he's not suited for the position that he's in, considering he's being a brain dead Yes man. As opposed to threatening paying customers, he should be telling Activision, that this is an issue between them and retailers, and has nothing to do with either the customers or M$. And subsequently just hang up the damned phone to whatever Activision Stooge is blabbering into his ear. Cripes. They moan on endlessly about piracy, and then seemingly do everything within their power to actually drive their paying customers into getting pirated software, just because of their thrice damned BS.

ScouseLemon
ScouseLemon

@alemania15 - The stupid thing about that (apart from the ridiculous winning bid) is that it ended yesterday and the delivery time is 9-12 working days hahahaha. The winning bidder just paid that kind of money and wont have the game until the 16th of November at the earliest. Some people are really that stupid /facepalm.

ManOfHorrer
ManOfHorrer

people you know that MW3 is more fun to play then BF3 that's why your all going to buy it next week and that's the truth so shut up already.

ManOfHorrer
ManOfHorrer

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

PayneKiller
PayneKiller

Funny thing is people are probably overpaying for these 'early copies' What does getting it early do for you anyway? You get those bragging rights for only a few days then you're back on even terms.

jackblade_live
jackblade_live

Sorry, activition company, I just don't have that kind of money to buy COD and i own BF3 already le, but can't wait for your single player only, hehehe...

Uesugi-dono
Uesugi-dono

lol So, how's it gonna be buying this day 1 and logging in to get smoked by a guy who's level 30? One who's a pay-as-you-go elite and has weapons you can't get unless you BUY them?

FuryX-4
FuryX-4

Lets check out Ebay on how much are they bidding on this. "Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 IN HAND READY TO SHIP!!! Bid History: 33 Bids $12,100" *facepalm*

phillkillv2
phillkillv2

Download MW3 skins , Open up MW2 textures folder , copy and paste to MW2 textures folder - Bam.. How to get Modern Warfare 3 for free.

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

I already got BF 3 and I love it and I will get MW3 to check it out. Competition is always good.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Happens a lot, who cares? I got MX vs ATV Reflex a whole week in advance. I got MK9 two days early.