Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 videogame sales begin


The game almost did not happen after dozens of the staff resigned last year

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The latest addition to one of the world's best selling videogame series went on sale in the UK at midnight.

More than 500 stores held special openings to let gamers buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Its predecessor, Call of Duty: Black Ops, generated more than $1bn (£620m) of global sales over the first six weeks of its launch.

However, troubles at the studio behind the new title have threatened to overshadow its release.

The latest game follows on from events in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Players take on the role of special forces resisting a Russian invasion of the United States and Europe.

The campaign is set across locations in England, France and Germany as well as Africa, India and the Middle East.


Modern Warfare 3 is the first title in two years to be developed by Infinity Ward, the creator of the Call of Duty series.

Game's Oxford Street store in London Shoppers queued at midnight to be among the first to own the Call of Duty sequel

Critics are keen to discover if staffing changes at the California-based studio affected the product.

Activision fired Infinity Ward's founders, Jason West and Vincent Zampella, in 2010 accusing them of misconduct. The firm later described them as "insubordinate and self-serving schemers" who had negotiated with rivals while under contract.

The two men sued their ex-employer seeking unpaid royalty payments and damages. Activision countersued, alleging that the men had held secret talks with Electronic Arts.

A court in Los Angeles is set to consider the case in May 2012.

Mr West and Mr Zampella went on to set up a new studio, Respawn Entertainment, which signed a publishing and distribution rights deal with EA.

Several of Infinity Ward's other employees also moved to the new studio. Respawn's website reveals that 40 members of its staff previously worked on the Modern Warfare series.

Activision brought in one of its other teams - Sledgehammer Games - to help the remaining Infinity Ward workers complete Modern Warfare 3.

Several members of Sledgehammer's team had helped develop the highly regarded Dead Space series, helping restore gamers confidence in the project.


There is now huge interest in what they have been able to deliver.

A trailer of the new game, posted on YouTube on 21 October, has already attracted more than four million hits.

Battlefield 3 Call of Duty faces competition from EA's Battlefield 3

IHS Screen Digest predicts the title will sell more than 20 million copies worldwide before the end of the year, despite competition from EA's rival title, Battlefield 3, which was released over the last fortnight.

"It's not just about day one sales for these types of games - there's a heavy online-multiplayer aspect," said Steve Bailey, an analyst at Screen Digest.

"Gamers pay for enhanced subscription services such as Call of Duty: Elite's extra social/profile features, or direct-purchase other content such as map packs.

"The true test will be taking place over the next six months to a year, where we see who can support the gaming community best, retaining and engaging an audience in an ongoing fashion."

Not everyone has been willing to wait. French media reported that thousands of copies were stolen in a Paris heist, and pirated versions of the game have been spotted online.

Other titles fighting for a place at the top of the Christmas games charts include Skyrim, the fifth entry in the Elder Scrolls role-playing series, and the action adventure Batman: Arkham City.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    All sounds good however my X-Box live account was hacked 5 months ago, and someone was able access my bank accounts through it, it took 3 months for Microsoft to sort the situation, and that was only done as a result of my persistent hounding them, I wont be purchasing MW3, and anything else from MS for that matter. pitty because I loved MW2

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    I queued up and played it for hours. Great craic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    #32/33 I do not think they need Auntie for that if all the posters around my city are anything to go by.

    I am just happy that the Beeb has woken up to the idea that perhaps gaming is not a fad for teenage boys and may be around for a little while.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    I think it is worth debating why the BBC see it as their duty to advertise commercial products in nearly every news item.
    This topic is the most blatant placement I have ever seen.
    You have not mentioned Apple for a few days. Will we be seeing the annual report of which toy is in short supply in the shops owing to all good mums buying it for their children?

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    Should the BBC really be reporting on this title? Part of the reason why it sells so well in the UK is because the BBC tells the casual gamer in advance it is on the way.

    If they kept quiet though, would the market be different? I would say yes, what if the BBC had advertised Heavy Rain as much as it does Apple products and Modern Warfare games?

    Heavy Rain would be one of the UK's best sellers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Both games have their problems. BF3 requires licenses to play so if you want to play online with your friend they have to pay around €10 for a license. MW3 shouldn't have this but the game rewards non-strategic play and is a lone wolf time game. In terms of sales MW3 should take the cake. However in terms of value for Money fridays release of Skyrim should blow BF3 and MW3 out of the water

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    24. Ian P

    Yet more opportunity for people to waste time.
    Get a job, a life, do voluntary work, but don't waste your time on playing games. It does nothing to help the world and just propagates death and destruction."


    Or, just like Ian P, you can sit on BBC HYS all day, trolling people.

    How's that well in Uganda coming along, Ian?

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    And the winner of 2011s most over hyped and most outdated game goes to Modern Warfare 3. As voted for by school boys everywhere, cos I have to get it if my friends have got.
    I for one cannot understand how a game of this low quality can get so much attention, where as a game such as Uncharted 3 doesnt even get a mention.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    I'll stick to my Atari 2600

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." - Bertrand Russell (English Logician and Philosopher 1872-1970)

    If you've played one FPS, you've played them all. They all went down hill 10 years ago with the influx of young players and their squatting ways.

    I bumped into a mate (camper) at 20:00 last night. He was getting supplies for his all-nighter

    I'm 40. Still play games. GOMY

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    im really looking forward to me kid's change in personality for the next few weeks whilst he plays this game! o joyless!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Great time to be a gamer with bf3 and mw3 now both out - but for me bf3 team play edges towards a more complete game.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Yet more opportunity for people to waste time.
    Get a job, a life, do voluntary work, but don't waste your time on playing games. It does nothing to help the world and just propagates death and destruction.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    BF3 is great only spoilt by the number of bugs including freezes in the multiplayer caused by pushing the graphics cards too hard which will be addressed in patches. Its a good fun game with a focus on teamwork.
    MW is also fun but in a different way. MW online is all about the kill count which is fun if you need stress release. The SP Campaign is an old format but if it ain't broke don't fix it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    @17. I couldn't agree more!

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Well as a gamer I have to say that like some others I also lost interest after World at War. MW was alright but a bit dull and the market has been saturated by COD for the past few years. BF3 should (not will) blow COD out of the water, It offers so many aspects that MW just doesn't, you can fly fighter jets, choppers drive tanks, APCs, buggy things and lots of watery craft. How can COD compete?

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    The game like every other modern war games is vastly over hyped. I don't know why people bother to queue through the night for this game

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    They need to bring out a game where you battle to win the right to have interesting topics remain open for discussion on BBC Have Your Say - or maybe bring back 606 - you could even get to cancel period dramas

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    A friend bought it last night, played it at silly-o'clock this morning. I have to report..... it's a good 'un!

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Lost interest after Call of Duty 4, which is still my firm favourite of the series. The emphasis in the following games on a 'run and gun' attitude rather than teamwork made the multiplayer too shallow.

    Battlefield 3 has been awesome so far though - I will be trial running MW3 on Xbox 360 but I can't see it competing in all honesty, short of a complete multiplayer overhaul.


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