Modern Warfare 3 Leaked

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One of the most anticipated games this year, Activision’s Modern Warfare 3 joins its predecessors — Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 — in the pre-release piracy box. Modern Warfare 3 is due out in stores on November 8.

Dean Takahashi reports on Venture Beat that a thief had physically stolen one of the discs from the two-disc set from a distribution warehouse where copies are being stored. According to the story, it’s disc 2 of the set for the PC and apparently it’s started to circulate.

The story also reports that Activision is actively seeking the pirates with one posting on Craigslist on being forced to delete or destroy his copy of the game or face immediate fines. Apparently, Activision has stepped up its game on being able to track who has what if the posting is to be believed.

Gamespot had also commented on the report by pointing out that simply having the second disc isn’t enough to play the game somewhat mitigating fears over a rash of spoiler filled vids raining down from Youtube such as what followed Crysis 2.

Estimates can vary on how much of an impact this might have on sales, yet few doubt that MW3 will be a titanic windfall for Activision’s coffers when it hits. Piracy is still piracy, though it arguably did little to dent the record breaking numbers of copies sold for either Modern Warfare 2 or Black Ops when they were released. However, an estimate on revenue lost due to the piracy of Black Ops reportedly tops $200 million that could have gone to Activision. Certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities who has often been quoted in the gaming press for his forecasts on associated trends, has estimated that MW3 will sell “16 million units by the end of the fourth quarter” and “another 8 million next year”.

Halo ODST unexpectedly shows up on the internets…

I just caught this browsing around on the ‘net for news and can only think that 2009 is turning out to be the Year of the Leaked Game.

Halo ODST is a standalone expansion to the Halo series casting the player as an ODST trooper sent in to back up Master Chief with their own mission. The leak was already reported earlier as having come from France with Microsoft making the magnanimous decision NOT to ban early recruits, especially when they claimed that only about a hundred copies had actually gone out.

You can catch some of the footage below (which is all in French with English subs). It probably goes without saying that if you don’t want to be spoiled before the September 22nd release date, don’t watch it.

But now it looks like there’s an actual distro out on the ‘net as reported by several sites such as fan-based halo.bungie.org. It was only a matter of time before this happened, but you can bet that Microsoft won’t be looking at this particular incident in the same way as the accidental release of legit copies above.