It’s become a regular tradition now each Sunday to report on high-profile games being leaked onto torrent sites. First it was Gears of War 3 and then it was Battlefield 3. It’s almost like pirates are doing this on a regular basis the same way publishers send out press releases stating how much money they made in first week sales.
Well, today is no different than any other Sunday where some big budget triple-A game gets leaked onto a torrent site. Which big budget game is it this week? Well, it’s none other than Activision’s holiday heavyweight, bread-and-butter making cow, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
According to VentureBeat, a disloyal (or very smart?) employee of the manufacturing company that handles the copying and shipping of the boxed retail version of Modern Warfare 3 managed to slip himself (or herself) a copy of the game in order to pirate, just like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 before it and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare before it. However, purportedly only the second disc of the PC was acquired and it supposedly has made its way online to torrent sites.
Being the thorough researchers that we are here at Gaming Blend, I went ahead and found myself a nice 14.1GB version of the game, just as VentureBeat said, and it turns out it’s already spread like wildfire with close to 5,000 peers sharing, leeching and spreading the pirated copy of the game. According to the comments and forum threads, the game is the full thing, however, much like the pirated copy of Battlefield 3, without the cracks the 14GB of data is practically worthless. Given that the users on the torrent sites believe that it's the full version of the game, apparently more than just one of the two discs were stolen in order to get the full 14gig version of the game up on torrent sites.
Activision isn’t being a slouch about the matter, though. Security is supposedly tight around those manufacturing plants in Fresno, California, and they are visiting the homes of people suspected of buying or selling pirated copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. A Craigslist image even appeared warning people not to buy or acquire the game illegal, lest the powers that be come hunt you down and strip you of $5,000. Check it out below.
I’m calling shenanigans. Whoever doesn’t see this as a marketing ploy needs to drink some coffee and wake-up. Who in their right mind would go on Craigslist warning people not to get an illegal copy of a game? I mean…really? And what’s more, I love how the game is supposedly available in its entirety but you have to wait until launch day to access it. And let’s not forget that you’ll still need to find someway to gain access to online multiplayer, more than likely by eventually paying for it, just like with Battlefield 3.
In the end Activision is the one that still wins. The game’s highlight is in its online multiplayer, and unless you’re completely fine sticking with offline LAN or the single-player campaign after a crack becomes available, it’s no real big loss to Activision because most other people will probably cave-in and buy an access pass for the multiplayer content one way or another.