[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Activision issued a statement that appeared to deny any association with the website Findmakarov.com. "There seems to be a great deal of speculation about the next Call of Duty project. Let me be clear that we are not revealing yet. Anything indicating otherwise is a hoax." The original story is below.
In 2009, Activision used the Game Developers Choice Awards--the Game Developers Conference's award ceremony--to premiere the trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The preview was a bare-bones affair, with audio clips auguring the controversial content of the now-internationally infamous "No Russian" airport-massacre level.
Now, it appears history is about to repeat itself--almost. This morning, the site findmakarov.com opened with graphics and sound cues straight out of Modern Warfare 2's ad campaign. The site's title also references Vladimir Makarov, the ultranationalist terrorist who was the primary villain for a large portion of the 2009 blockbuster actioner--more than hinting at a Modern Warfare 3 reveal. (The site itself is owned by a URL-registration front company used by corporations to hide their web domains.)
After briefly flashing a shadowy figure (pictured) in military fatigues and a beret, Findmakarov.com posts a countdown clock that ends at 7 a.m. PST on the morning of Wednesday, March 2. The date marks the busiest day of the Game Developers Conference, one that will see both the GDCAs and a keynote address by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. It is also the day that Apple is holding a nearby press conference at which it will likely unveil the next iPad.
If the Modern Warfare 3 reveal comes next Wednesday, it will be for a game with a checkered development history. Though not yet officially announced by Activision, the game is rumored to be in the works at Infinity Ward, a studio that spent much of last year wracked by controversy. Following the firing of its cofounders Jason West and Vince Zampella, the Los Angeles shop saw massive staff defections. However, rumors have the game still in the works at a "reconstructed" Infinity Ward, albeit with the assistance of two other Activision studios: Madison, Wisconsin-based Raven Software and Redwood City, CA-based Sledgehammer Games.