Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 box art.png
Official box art
Developer(s)Infinity Ward
Sledgehammer Games
Publisher(s)Activision
Square Enix (Japan)[1]
Distributor(s)Activision (retail)
Steam (online)
Designer(s)Glen Schofield
Michael Condrey
Writer(s)Paul Haggis
Will Staples[2]
Composer(s)Brian Tyler
SeriesCall of Duty
EngineMW3 engine[3][4]
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360[5]
Wii[6]
Release date(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
November 8, 2011
JP November 17, 2011 (Sub)
JP December 22, 2011 (Dub)
Wii[7]
  • NA November 8, 2011
  • EU November 11, 2011
  • AUS November 23, 2011
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer, Co-op
Media/distributionOptical disc, download
 
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 box art.png
Official box art
Developer(s)Infinity Ward
Sledgehammer Games
Publisher(s)Activision
Square Enix (Japan)[1]
Distributor(s)Activision (retail)
Steam (online)
Designer(s)Glen Schofield
Michael Condrey
Writer(s)Paul Haggis
Will Staples[2]
Composer(s)Brian Tyler
SeriesCall of Duty
EngineMW3 engine[3][4]
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360[5]
Wii[6]
Release date(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
November 8, 2011
JP November 17, 2011 (Sub)
JP December 22, 2011 (Dub)
Wii[7]
  • NA November 8, 2011
  • EU November 11, 2011
  • AUS November 23, 2011
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer, Co-op
Media/distributionOptical disc, download

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a first-person shooter video game, developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games (Treyarch for the Wii version), with Raven Software having assisted in development.[8] It is the third installment in the Modern Warfare series, a direct sequel to 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and the eighth Call of Duty installment.

The game was released on November 8, 2011 in North America on Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3,[9] and Wii,[7] with a separate version for Nintendo DS developed by n-Space. In Australia, the Wii version was released on November 23, 2011.[10] In Japan, Square Enix handled the installment with a separate subtitled and dubbed version, as they did for Call of Duty: Black Ops, released November 17, 2011 and December 22, 2011 respectively. Within 24 hours of going on sale, the game sold 6.5 million copies in the U.S. and UK alone and grossed $400 million, making it the biggest entertainment launch of all time,[11][12][13] until it was surpassed by its successor Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 in 2012.[14]

Contents

Gameplay

Modern Warfare 3 is a first-person shooter video game much like its predecessors. Activision confirmed at Gamescom 2011, that Modern Warfare 3 on the PC has dedicated servers support.[15]

Campaign

The player assumes the role of various characters during the single-player campaign, changing perspectives throughout the progression of the story, which, like its predecessors, is divided into three sets of missions called "Acts". Each mission in an act features a series of objectives that are displayed on the heads up display, which marks the direction and distance towards and from such objectives. Damage to the player is shown by the percentage of blood splatter shown on the screen. The player's health regenerates over time. Mission objectives vary in their requirements, ranging from having the player arrive at a particular checkpoint, to eliminating enemies in a specified location, to standing their ground against enemy squadrons, manning mini-guns and other weapons, and planting explosive charges on an enemy installation. Some of these objectives can be failed, and may or may not hinder progression of the story. The player is also accompanied by fellow soldiers who cannot be issued orders.

Cooperative

Modern Warfare 3 features a new mode, called Survival Mode. This game mode features one or two players fighting endless waves of enemies, with each wave becoming increasingly difficult. Despite being much compared to the World at War Nazi Zombies mode, enemies do not spawn at fixed locations like the zombies do; instead, they appear at tactical positions based on the current location of the player. The mode is available on all multiplayer maps in the game. Players earn cash for items such as weapons, upgrades, ammo, air/ground support and equipment.[16][17] Special Ops also returns from Modern Warfare 2. These challenge missions feature up to 48 stars, unlike its previous installment, which featured 69. Some weapons in Spec Ops are exclusive to that game mode, and are not available for play in Multiplayer mode.[18]

Multiplayer

The new "Recon Juggernaut" Pointstreak reward in Multiplayer Mode.

The entire Killstreak reward system has been revamped. Killstreaks are now known as Pointstreaks, and kills are no longer the only way to increase the player's pointstreak. Completing objectives such as planting the bomb in Search and Destroy or capturing a flag in Capture The Flag awards points towards the player's Pointstreak. Pointstreak rewards are organized into three different "strike packages" called Assault, Support, and Specialist.

The Assault strike package works the same as the Killstreak reward system in Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops: the player must earn more and more points without dying. Once the player is killed, his or her points are reset to zero. Likewise, the Specialist strike package rewards players with perks after every second consecutive kill. Upon death, however, the player loses all the perks and the points are reset to zero. In contrast, the Support strike package are awarded based on the total points that the player has earned over the entire match, regardless of how often the player dies. It is important to note that if a player switches to a custom class with a different reward system (either assault or specialist) during game play, all points are automatically reset to 0.[19] Players are allowed to choose which Pointstreak rewards they want to use when they gain it during the match, rather than choosing them between rounds.

Along with revamping the entire Killstreak reward system, Modern Warfare 3 also has a completely modified Ranking and Unlocks system, which does not use a currency system for unlocks.[20] The player's primary weapon levels up alongside the player, and unlocks a number of "Proficiency" perks such as Attachments, (allows two attachments and is a successor to the "Bling" and "Warlord" perks), Kick (reduced recoil while aiming down the player's sight) and Focus (reduced flinching while under fire). Only one Proficiency can be put on a primary weapon.[21] Another new addition is the ability to equip "Hybrid Scopes" on a weapon, such as a Reflex Sight a magnifier similar to an ACOG on the same weapon, and the player can switch between the scopes.[21] Modern Warfare 3 introduces a new "Prestige Shop" which will unlock only after the player has selected the option to prestige for the first time. The "Prestige Shop" allows Prestige players to use tokens they gain from using the Prestige option to buy exclusive features such as double XP and an extra custom weapon class.[22]

Several controversial perks in Modern Warfare 2, accused of being overpowered, have been removed in Modern Warfare 3. Diving from standing to prone, known as "dolphin diving", has been removed due to balancing issues.[23] Modern Warfare 3 will utilize Treyarch's hot fix system to fix bugs and glitches.[24] Modern Warfare 3 features a local and online split-screen option.[25]

Several new game modes have also been added:

Private matches also now include pre-made game modes including: "Infected" (where the infected kills enemies to recruit them to their team), "Drop Zone" (where the player must hold a drop zone for points and care packages), "Team Juggernaut" (each team plays alongside an AI Juggernaut character), "Gun Game" (be the first to get one kill with every gun in the game), "One in the Chamber" (in which players are only allowed one pistol with one bullet and three lives where they can only get more bullets by killing other players), and "Juggernaut" (free for all against a juggernaut, kill the juggernaut to become it). Along with this, players are allowed to create their own game modes with customized settings such as number of players and time limit.[19]

Special Ops

The Special Ops game mode from Modern Warfare 2 is present in Modern Warfare 3, and includes new features which make it more replayable and similar to other game modes, such as Nazi Zombies from previous Call of Duty games, and Hordes from Gears of War. One of the changes makes it easier to unlock new Special Ops levels, which is good for casual players, but undesirable for those looking for a challenge. The two main Special Ops modes include one that is generally the same from the last Modern Warfare game, and a new wave based game where the player is inserted into a multiplayer map alone or with a single partner and defends an area against waves of enemies. Between waves, the players can buy support options with XP earned during each round.

Call of Duty: Elite

Call of Duty: Elite is a new free/subscription-based service developed by Beachhead Studios for the multiplayer portion of Modern Warfare 3 (as well as the previous installment in the series, Black Ops). It was first showcased at E3 2011 and was released on November 8, 2011 to coincide with the release of Modern Warfare 3. The free version includes features such as lifetime statistics and social-networking integration. The subscription version is priced at $49.99 per year and includes monthly downloadable content, daily competitions with virtual and real life prizes, the ability to level up your clan, pro analysis and strategies, and more.[26]

Downloadable content

Synopsis

Call of Duty
fictional chronology

World War II story arc

1942–1945Call of Duty
                   – United Offensive
                   – Finest Hour
                   – Call of Duty 2
                   – Big Red One
                   – Call of Duty 3
                   – Roads to Victory


Modern Warfare story arc

2011Modern Warfare (DS)
2015Defiance
2016–2017Modern Warfare 2
                   – Mobilized
                   – Modern Warfare 3


Black Ops story arc

1942–1945World at War (DS)
                   – Final Fronts
1961–1968Black Ops 1986–2025Black Ops II (Declassified)


Zombies story arc

1945Nazi Zombies (Call of Duty: Zombies)
1962–2011Zombies (Black Ops: Zombies)


Characters

The game sees the return of former Task Force 141 Cpt. John "Soap" MacTavish (voiced by Kevin McKidd), former S.A.S. Cpt. John Price (Billy Murray) and Russian informant "Nikolai", who are on the run after killing the rogue U.S. Army Lt. General Shepherd, the main antagonist of the previous game. However, for most of the game, the player will control Yuri (Brian Bloom), an ex-Spetsnaz who joins Price on his hunt for Russian Ultranationalist leader Vladimir Makarov (Roman Varshavsky). Makarov returns as the game's primary antagonist,[27] and has a new contact named "Volk", a Russian bombmaker in Paris, France. Several new playable characters have been added, including: Delta Force operative Sgt. Derek "Frost" Westbrook; S.A.S. Sgt. Marcus Burns; and Andrei Harkov, a Russian federal security agent tasked with protecting the Russian President. Just like President Al-Fulani in the first game, Soap is only "playable" during the game's opening sequence; while Price becomes the player character in the game's final mission, Dust to Dust. The player also takes brief control of a civilian tourist in London, seconds before he and his family are killed by a chemical agent; as well as an AC-130 TV Operator during Team Metal's escape from Paris in the mission Iron Lady.

New non-player characters (NPCs) include: Delta Force operatives "Sandman" (William Fichtner),[28] "Truck" (Idris Elba), and "Grinch" (Timothy Olyphant), who serve as Frost's squadmates. Captain MacMillan returns from Call of Duty 4 to provide the 141 with critical intelligence. Craig Fairbrass, who originally voiced the characters Gaz and Ghost, returns to voice SAS operative Sergeant Wallcroft, who originally had a minor role in the first Modern Warfare.[29]

Plot

On August 17, 2016, hours after killing General Shepherd, Captain Price and Nikolai evacuate a dying John "Soap" MacTavish from Site Hotel Bravo, Afghanistan. Soap receives medical attention in a safehouse run by Nikolai's Loyalist allies in Himachal Pradesh, India, but Vladamir Makarov's forces arrive in an attempt to kill the trio. After the doctor is shot down, Yuri, Nikolai's best soldier with a grudge against Makarov, gives Soap an adrenaline shot to keep his heart going, and helps secure a safe route out of the country. Together, the four are all that remain of the now-disavowed Task Force 141. Meanwhile, the war between Russia and the United States continues (and ultimately leads into World War III). The actions of Delta Force Team Metal—made up of Sgt. Derek "Frost" Westbrook, "Grinch", "Truck", and their C.O. "Sandman" (with whom Soap, Price, and Ghost previously worked together with on Operation Kingfish three years ago to kill/capture Makarov)—facilitates the Russian army's withdrawal from the invasion of Lower Manhattan, New York City. They destroy a jamming tower on top of the New York Stock Exchange, then hijack a Russian Oscar II submarine in the East River, in order to use its ordnance against its own fleet.

On October 4, 2016, Russian President Boris Vorshevsky announces plans to make peace with the U.S. at a summit in Hamburg. However, Makarov's men hijack Vorshevsky's plane and force it into a crash landing at the Hamburg tarmac. F.S.O. Agent Andrei Harkov attempts to secure Vorshevsky's safety, but is killed when Makarov appears inside what the F.S.O. mistake as the evac chopper. Makarov kidnaps the President, and plans to capture and torture his daughter Alena, to force the President to give Makarov access to the Russian nuclear arsenal that has the capability and destructive power to destroy the entire continent of Europe.

After Soap recovers from his wounds, he, Price, and the remainder of Task Force 141 follow leads from both Yuri, and Price's former mentor, MacMillan, that leads them to an arms transporter in Sierra Leone and Somalia. They try and fail to intercept a mysterious cargo, which is distributed to Paris, Berlin, and London. A British S.A.S. unit, including Sgt. Marcus Burns and Sgt. Wallcroft, is sent in to deal with the cargo, but discover one of the transports to be a decoy. A piece of the real cargo, revealed to be a biochemical weapon from Fregata Industries, is detonated on a London street nearby, killing a young American family as it releases its toxic payload near Big Ben. The attacks escalate the conflicts into World War III and paves the way for the Russian Army to invade NATO allied countries in Europe. Team Metal is deployed to Hamburg to rescue the U.S. Vice President from a hostage situation. Acting on intelligence supplied by Price, who had extracted it from a warlord in Somalia named Waraabe, they capture Volk, Russian bomb-maker and CEO of Fregata, in Paris. Team Metal then fights to an extraction point with the help of an AC-130 gunship, but the Eiffel Tower collapses into the river after a bombing run eliminates all Russian forces at the escape point.

Team Metal learns from Volk of Makarov's hiding at the Hotel Lustig in Prague, where he is about to call a meeting with his top advisors. Price's team infiltrates the locked-down city, meeting up with Loyalist Kamarov, now an organizer of the Czech Resistance, to try to assassinate Makarov. Yuri and Soap take up sniping postilions from a church tower across from the hotel, but Kamarov himself is taken hostage and rigged with explosives. Price, who sneaks into the building, escapes the hotel just as Kamarov is blown up. Makarov reveals that he knows Yuri personally, by acknowledging him as his former "friend". Makarov then detonates rigged explosives in Yuri and Soap's overwatch spot. Soap and Yuri are not killed by the explosion, but the former is wounded from the height he'd fallen, causing his knife wound to reopen. Yuri helps him and escapes with Price to a resistance safehouse. As Yuri tries to help, Soap tells Price that Makarov and Yuri know each other before dying. After leaving his Colt M1911 pistol with Soap's body and taking Soap's journal and dog tag, an enraged Price punches Yuri down a staircase and holds him at gunpoint, demanding him to explain his connection with Makarov.

Yuri explains that he was a former Ultranationalist who befriended Makarov when they were both escorts of Imran Zakhaev. They evacuated Zakhaev from the arms deal at Price's 1996 assassination mission in Pripyat, and later witnessed Makarov's detonation of the nuclear bomb in the Middle East, killing 30,000 Marines. Yuri, changed by the latter event, attempted to stop the massacre at the Zakhaev International Airport in Moscow five years later, but was found out, restrained and shot in the stomach by Makarov. Yuri's guilt convinces Price that they are fighting for the same thing, and the two barely keep their alliance.

After infiltrating Makarov's castle near Prague and learning of President Vorshevsky's captivity, Price alerts Team Metal of an Ultranationalist plan to abduct Alena Vorshevsky from a safehouse in Berlin. Team Metal is unable to prevent the kidnapping, but trace Makarov's Ultranationalists to a Siberian diamond mine. Together with Task Force 141 (minus Frost), they ensure the safety of President Vorshevsky and Alena, ending the conflict between the United States and Russia and clearing the name of the Task Force 141. During extraction, Sandman, Grinch, and Truck stay behind to buy the evacuation chopper some time, but are killed when the mine collapses on them.

On January 21, 2017, three months after World War III, Price, Yuri, and Nikolai track Makarov to the Hotel Oasis on the Arabian Peninsula. Price and Yuri assault the hotel with E.O.D. armor, making their way to the top floor as Makarov's escape helicopter approaches the hotel. With only minutes left before Makarov escapes, Price and Yuri press through the casino and the atrium to find him; Yuri is seriously injured in the process, forcing Price to go on alone. Price hijacks Makarov's helicopter, crashing it onto the hotel roof, where he confronts Makarov. Yuri intervenes before Makarov can kill Price, but is himself killed by Makarov. This gives Price enough time to wrap a steel cable around Makarov's neck by breaking him through the glass floor, hanging him and ending the Ultranationalist movement. Price survives the fall and smokes a cigar in front of Makarov's corpse as the police arrive, ending the story. A post-credits scene shows a picture from Operation Kingfish.

Development

System Requirements
Requirements
Microsoft Windows[30]
Operating systemWindows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
CPUIntel Core 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom X3 8750 processor or better
Memory2 GB RAM
Graphics hardware256 MB Pixel Shader 3.0 or better (NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT/ATI Radeon X1950 or better)
Sound hardwareDirectX 9.0c or later

A 2010 Q3 earnings call from Activision confirmed that the eighth installment of the franchise was currently in development by Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software and due for release "during the back half of 2011". This was revealed to be Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, with the latter developers co-developing multiplayer.[31] Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was known to be in development after a legal dispute between Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella and Activision resulted in the pair being fired from the company. Several dozen Infinity Ward employees followed West and Zampella as a result of the ongoing dispute, causing Activision to enlist the services of Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software to assist development of the title.[32] The game was said to have been in development since only two weeks after the release of their previous game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.[8] Also reported was that Sledgehammer was aiming for a "bug free" first outing in the Call of Duty franchise, and also set a goal for Metacritic review scores above 95 percent.[33] Modern Warfare 3 utilizes the MW3 Engine, unofficially the IW 5.0 Engine. Improvements include better streaming and audio.[34] Sledgehammer Games announced the game to be the first entry in the Modern Warfare series to have built-in support for color-blind gamers.[35]

The Official UK PlayStation Magazine lent credence to speculation that Modern Warfare 3 would be a prequel starring fan favourite character Ghost. The magazine's sources strengthened a rumor which first reared its head online early in January 2011. On the Rumor Machine page in its issue (055), OPM points to "insider whispers" which suggest: "Infinity Ward's next Modern Warfare title will be a prequel, with Ghost in the lead role."[36] According to PSM3, the first snippet of Modern Warfare 3 gameplay would be revealed in mid-April. According to the publication's May 2011 issue, insider rumors say "the next in Activision's megaton FPS series will be announced in mid-April".[37]

On May 13, 2011, video game website Kotaku revealed the existence of Modern Warfare 3 following a massive leak. According to Kotaku, this leak came from multiple sources who may or may not work at Activision and Infinity Ward. The leak contained thorough information about the game, confirming that it would be a direct sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, as well details regarding weapons, levels and modes found in the game.[38] In response to the leaks, Robert Bowling tweeted "A lot of hype & a lot of leaked info on MW3, some still accurate, some not. To avoid spoiling the experience, I'd wait for the real reveal." Just hours after the leaked assets appeared on Kotaku, four teaser trailers were released on the official Call of Duty YouTube page, separately titled "America", "England", "France" and "Germany", indicating the various locales of the game.[39]

Marketing

On May 23, 2011, Activision released the first gameplay trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on YouTube ahead of its official premiere during the NBA Western Conference Finals.[40] On May 31, 2011, Activision announced Call of Duty: Elite, a new social service for the Call of Duty community to track and compare statistics, create videos and access premium content. The service is fully integrated into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and launched on November 8, 2011 to coincide with the game's release.[41] On June 6, 2011, at 11:00 AM (PDT), the first live gameplay demo of Modern Warfare 3 was presented by Robert Bowling and Glen Schofield at E3 2011. On June 14, 2011, 12:35 PM (EST), the first live gameplay demo of the new Survival Mode was played by Jimmy Fallon and Simon Pegg on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[42] On August 9, 2011, the trailer for the new Survival Mode was released on YouTube.[43] On September 2, 2011, the multiplayer world premiere trailer was released on YouTube.[44] On September 3, 2011, another multiplayer trailer was released on YouTube showing off the heads-up display along with various weapons, perks, and killstreaks.[45] On October 6, 2011, a second full-length cinematic trailer was released.[46] On October 22, 2011, the launch trailer was released.[47]

On July 19, 2011, UK distributor Lygo's unveiled a range of Turtle Beach Ear Force Modern Warfare 3 gaming headsets that launched in November 2011. The headsets are distinguished by custom audio presets designed by the audio teams at developers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games "in order to provide the ultimate immersion into the cinematic world of Modern Warfare 3".[48] On August 24, 2011, Activision revealed the official Modern Warfare 3 sunglasses. These Call of Duty-branded glasses come from technology eyewear manufacturer GUNNAR – in a licensed partnership with Activision – and join its "Advanced Gaming Eyewear" line. They come with a limited edition Modern Warfare 3 carrying case and cleaning cloth. The product is sold exclusively in North America at Best Buy retail locations and at select European retailers.[49] Microsoft released two limited-edition Modern Warfare 3-themed accessories on October 11, 2011, a wireless controller and a wireless headset.[50] On September 29, 2011, Munitio announced a partnership with Activision in order to make a special edition Modern Warfare 3 9 mm "billet" earphone featuring the Modern Warfare 3 logo, among other things. The earphones were available for pre-order and were released on October 23, 2011.[51] On October 18, 2011, Logitech announced a partnership with Activision in order to make a special edition Modern Warfare 3 mouse and keyboard which feature many things, including the Modern Warfare 3 logo.[52]

On September 2, 2011, Jeep announced a partnership with Activision for the second year in a row, to make a special edition Modern Warfare 3 Jeep based on the Wrangler Rubicon model. The Jeep comes with various features including the interior and exterior being designed with a Modern Warfare 3 theme. Jeep dealers started selling this model in November 2011.[53]

On August 24, 2011, the PepsiCo-owned brand Mountain Dew officially announced on their Facebook page that they would be promoting the game with their "Game Fuel" soda variants, which would be cherry-citrus-flavored (the original Game Fuel that promoted Halo 3 in 2007 and brought back in 2009 to promote World of Warcraft) and Tropical-flavored (a new flavor that was tested by 500 Dew Labs members). The drinks feature codes to give the player double experience points in-game for a limited time depending on the size of the drink.[54] Another PepsiCo-owned brand, Doritos, are promoting the game with their "Cool Ranch" and "Nacho Cheese" flavors and also follow the same rules as the Mountain Dew promotion. Both promotions started on October 10, 2011 and ended on December 31, 2011.[55] In Australia, 500 ml cans of V Energy Drink have been branded with the Modern Warfare 3 logo, along with a branded code which can be used for downloads and previews.[56]

To promote the game, Activision held a two-day event called Call of Duty: Experience 2011 (Call of Duty: XP for short) which took place in Los Angeles from September 2–3, 2011. It featured many things including the reveal of the new multiplayer which attendees were able to play for the first time. In addition, all attendees received the Hardened Edition for free as a gift for attending.[57] At a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 VIP party in Amsterdam, Dutch porn star and avid fan of the series Kim Holland was originally invited to attend the event until she was suddenly uninvited when Activision discovered her profession. In her blog, she shared her opinion and feelings towards Activision's sudden decision: "People murdering people is neat, [...] but love-makers are dirty?" she wrote. Activision did not respond to any comments about the subject.[58]

Activision had planned to set up an official website to promote the game, however the domain name "ModernWarfare3.com" had already been taken and was used for an anti-Call of Duty website and redirecting users to Electronic Arts's game Battlefield 3. Activision filed a lawsuit against the site with the National Arbitration Forum costing US$2,600.[59] On September 8, 2011, Activision won the lawsuit and acquired the rights to the domain name.[60] In November 2011, actors Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington (who voiced the main character Alex Mason in Black Ops), and NBA athlete Dwight Howard starred in commercials advertising the game.[61]

Release

Two weeks before the release of the game, it was reported that half of the PC version had been uploaded online after being stolen from a warehouse in Fresno, California. Investigators working on behalf of Activision have been searching torrent websites for traces of the game as well as visiting people who had downloaded a copy across the United States and requesting that they remove it or they will face a fine of US$5000.[62]

As early as late October, reports were already surfacing about copies being sold early to people with gameplay videos uploaded online.[63] On November 3, 2011, it was reported that copies of the game were already being sold early in the United States. K-Mart had already started selling copies of the game before its scheduled release date with copies already appearing on eBay and Craigslist. This was due to an error made by one the shipping companies that told K-mart to sell copies of the game immediately after receiving the shipments. However, Activision contacted K-mart about this and had the issue resolved.[64]

French site TF1 News reported that a truck suffered a collision with a car on November 6, 2011 in Créteil, south Paris, before two masked individuals emerged from the car. The criminals reportedly used tear gas to neutralise the truck drivers before hopping in and making off with the video game shipment said to be worth 400,000 Euros. A separate report said the truck contained a delivery of 6000 copies of Modern Warfare 3.[65]

Shortly after the game's release, a man from Aurora, Colorado who did not receive a copy of the game at his local Best Buy, despite pre-ordering it, claimed to be so angry that he "could blow this place up". He was also reported as having threatened to shoot employees once they left the store. Lomon Sar, age 31, was issued a citation and court summons by police responding to the disturbance.[66]

Retail versions

The contents of the Hardened Edition for Xbox 360.

Modern Warfare 3 was released in two different retail versions across the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms: Standard and Hardened. The standard version consists of the game and an instructional manual, and is the only version available for the Microsoft Windows platform. Contents within the Hardened Edition include the game disc with "unique art", one year membership to Call of Duty: Elite, "special founder status" on Call of Duty: Elite which includes an exclusive in-game emblem, playercard, weapon camouflage, clan XP boost, and more exclusive benefits, premium collectible Steelbook case, exclusive animated timeline theme for PS3 only, exclusive Spec Ops Juggernaut Xbox Live avatar outfit for Xbox 360 only, and a limited edition, collectible field journal, which chronicles "the entire saga with 100+ pages of authentic military sketches, diagrams, and written entries."[67]

Robert Bowling of Infinity Ward confirmed that there will be no Prestige Edition of Modern Warfare 3. In the past, the Prestige editions of previous Call of Duty games have included physical items such as a remote-controlled car for Black Ops, and a pair of night vision goggles and a life-sized plastic head to put them on for Modern Warfare 2.[68]

On August 19, 2011, UK retailer Game announced an Intel Pack of Modern Warfare 3. It comes with a British special forces avatar for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, as well as a Brady strategy guide.[69] On September 3, 2011, Activision and Microsoft jointly announced a special, limited Modern Warfare 3 version of the Xbox 360 with a 320GB hard disk. The unit is designed by the Call of Duty team and includes two custom wireless controllers, a copy of Modern Warfare 3 and features custom sounds when the console is turned on/off or when the disc tray is ejected. A one month subscription to Xbox Live Gold is also included, as well as exclusive avatar items.[70]

Sales and revenue

Activision has said that it believes Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 day-one shipments were the largest for any game ever. "The record number of pre-orders from Modern Warfare 3 drove the largest day-one shipments in our history, and in the industry's history," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg during an earnings call on November 8, 2011. Hirshberg said more than 1.5 million people queued at 13,000 shops at midnight on Monday to buy Modern Warfare 3, "making it the largest retail release in Activision's history and in the industry's history".[71]

Activision reported sales figures for Modern Warfare 3 in the U.S. and UK being more than 6.5 million copies sold on launch day and grossed $400 million in the US and UK alone in its first 24 hours, making it the biggest entertainment launch of all time.[72] It is the third year in a row that the Call Of Duty series has broken the same record. 2010's Black Ops grossed $360 million on day one; in 2009, Modern Warfare 2 brought in $310 million.[73] Activision Blizzard president and CEO Robert Kotick stated that "the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we [Activision] achieved this record with sales from only two territories."[11]

The title grossed more than $775 million globally in its first five days of availability, exceeding the $650 million record set by 2010s Call of Duty: Black Ops and the $550 million one achieved by 2009's Modern Warfare 2.[74] To be exact, it has beaten theatrical box office, book, and video game sales records for five-day worldwide sell-through in dollars.[75]

Modern Warfare 3 went on to gross $1 billion throughout the world in 16 days of availability, beating Avatar's record of 19 days, according to Activision.[76]

According to NPD Group, Modern Warfare 3 was November's biggest selling game of the month in the U.S. Modern Warfare 3 sales surpassed first-month sales of 2010′s Black Ops by 7 percent, and sales for November sit at around the 9 million unit mark.[77][78]

Modern Warfare 3 topped the UK video game sales chart in its first week, becoming the biggest video game launch in history by revenue.[79] By November 21, 2011, the game remained the bestselling title in the United Kingdom, despite sales dropping by 87%.[80] Modern Warfare 3 held the top spot on the UK charts for four weeks running.[81][82] It was replaced by The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in its fifth week on the market.[83]

The PS3 version of Modern Warfare 3 also topped the Japanese chart in its first week on sale, shifting 180,372 copies, while the Xbox 360 version sold around 30,000.[84]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings(X360) 88.36%[85]
(PS3) 88.10%[86]
(PC) 81.24%[87]
(Wii) 69.25%[88]
Metacritic(X360) 88/100[89]
(PS3) 88/100[90]
(PC) 78/100[91]
(Wii) 70/100[92]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.comA-[93]
Eurogamer8/10[94]
Game Informer9/10[95]
GameSpot8.5/10[96]
GameTrailers9.3/10[97]
IGN9/10[98]
(Wii) 4.5/10[99]
Official Xbox Magazine9.5/10[100]
Gaming Evolution9/10[101]
Giant Bomb4/5 stars[102]
Joystiq4.5/5 stars[103]
The Daily Telegraph5/5 stars[104]

Modern Warfare 3 has received generally positive reviews. The Daily Telegraph gave the game's Xbox 360 version 5 stars out of 5, stating that even as "the series has always been renowned for elements like the excellent sound design, the gloss, polish and compulsion of its gameplay," it is "a game that not only lives up to the brand hype but exceeds it. A game where the mass appeal is justified, and the expectations are met."[104] Gaming Evolution gave the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions a 9.0 out of 10, stating "Modern Warfare 3 lives up to the hype. It is proving itself the one of the best FPS the genre has to offer."[101] IGN gave the game's Xbox 360 version a 9.0 out of 10.0, pointing out that the game offers "great multiplayer, [a] fun campaign, tons of content, but [also] a forgettable story."[98]

GameSpot qualifies its review, stating that "the series' signature thrills have lost some of their luster. Modern Warfare 3 iterates rather than innovates, so the fun you have is familiar", but concludes by affirming that "fortunately, [the game is] also utterly engrossing and immensely satisfying, giving fans another reason to rejoice in this busy shooter season".[96] Eurogamer gave the game an 8/10 noting that it is a "ferocious and satisfying game that knows exactly what players expect, and delivers on that promise with bullish confidence" but with "an outmoded single-player campaign".[94]

Reviews for the Wii version of the game has been less favorable. IGN rated it only a 4.5 out of 10, blaming the lacking graphics and poor friend code system for bringing it down.[99] Modern Warfare 3 received the Best Shooter award at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards.[105]

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