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 96.

    Call of Duty 4:MW is my favourite game ever.

    MW2 was awful and disrespectful to the community that made the original great. By leaving out the features for the 'extreme' fan-base the game was a fast seller but not played often. This is the reason, that almost 4 years after launch more hours are spent on COD4 than MW2... (Based on the stats of a few game trackers).

    I won't be buying into this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    It'll be interesting in about 2 months time to see what the average players online number is for both MW3 and BF3. Personally I have always been a huge teamwork fan and BF3 has really ticked a lot of boxes, but I will be giving MW3 a go as well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    #17 is spot on. CoD was a great series and peaked at CoD:MW. The game was brilliant, particularly the multiplayer, and as such attracted a lot of attention including that of children. The developers obviously saw children as a large target market and so since then the series has been dumbed down to suit younger players, while its rival, BF3, has come on leaps and bouns and is now the better game.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    Its the same game year after year,they even re-use the same graphics n buildins from the very first game years ago,its just new maps being charged the same price as a new game but review sites dare not rate this game low cause thery`re scared of losing ads.

    Uncharted 3,bf3 and killzone are all much better.

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    Who cares, BF3 is here. I passed some kids earlier not much older than 14 they were all highly excited about the release of the 18 rated MW3. I imagine all those kiddies will push MW3 to the xmas top spot, still BF3 is the superior game.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    I suppose when unmanned drone combat aircraft become commonplace, we will see a passing out parade at Cranwell where the Air Marshal pins RAF wings on a line of computer game geeks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    To all those who say a waste of time, sat watching the tv these days is a waste of time to, and dark winter evenings what else you expect us to do, prune the roses?

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    87. Mark

    When will this game be available for my Sinclair ZX Spectrum?"


    Spectrum? Ha, I wish!! I'm waiting for it to become available on my abacus!

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    When will this game be available for my Sinclair ZX Spectrum?

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Modern Warfare 3 is just going to be a carbon copy of modern warfare 2 yet still all the xbox fanboys will go out and spend another £40 or however much it costs on it because they have no brain cells. Anyone who has even the slightest taste in games will be getting Skyrim which comes out in 3 days and will be vastly superior in every way, shape and form.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Well if it guarantees lots of future squaddies no-ones going to ask about morals eh....
    BBC can we not have SOME follow up on which bankers/bent mp-s will face prosecution, and if not why not?

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    @65 p.s BF3 trumps MW3 on every level !

    Actually I'm enjoying the MW3 campaign a LOT more than the BF3 campaign. BF3 had too many scripted breaks and it ended up being annoying. BF3 multiplayer though is SUPERB and I doubt MW3 can come close to the fun you can have in the huge battlefields.

    MW3 Campaign - Winner
    BF3 Multiplayer - Winner

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    Been playing BF3 for the last week and a bit and it is VERY good. Can't see MW3 matching it. For me there is a place for both games though and I am still looking forward to going home tonight to start MW3 :-)
    Although Skyrim will be my game of 2011... At least it will be a single player that lasts >5hrs

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    I'll see you all in a few weeks when you realise you bought the wrong game. BF3 isnt just for christmas!

    I feel sorry for the MW brand, because they have been let down in the years between by Trearch, but now that Ativision axed most of the big players, i dont see the point in buying another COD4 add-on

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    To 80. Stubbs66 - Yes, your comment is a prime example of that. Not everything has to be about politics. Just because the theme doesn't suit you doesn't mean you have to come trolling here to interrupt the people who it does interest.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    Another Call of Duty another chapter in the decline of the name. Still using a slightly tweaked version of the engine Call of Duty 2 ran on in 2005 shows how much innovation goes into making CoD these days. The only priority for Activision-Blizzard is to run off a game as quickly and cheaply as possible to meet the yearly release so that people can lap up the subsequent (at least) 5 DLC packs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Haven't played MW2 and won't be going out of my way to buy MW3. Having two kids now has put a stop to any sort of hours long gaming. The first game I bought in more than a year was Crysis 2, which I have played three times in the past two months :( The next game I will buy is Syndicate >:-) Brutal... That will trump all these games...

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    There are a number of comments on here from parent complaining abut having to get it for their kids. I'm certainly far from a moral guardian, but I'm rather bemused at parents feeling they have to buy children a game notorious for letting the player take part in a terrorist atrocity. Why do parents persist in ignoring the age ratings on games? Some are for children, many are not.


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