Activision have released sales info gathered from North America and UK retail outlets, revealing that Modern Warfare 3 sold in excess of $400 million on day one. An estimated 6.5 million copies were shifted at retail alone. Those numbers beat last year's record set by Call of Duty: Black Ops, which sold a mere $360 million on day one. Modern Warfare 2 must have barely even been trying when it sold $310 million on its first day back in 2009.
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Multiplayer
In case we'd forgotten how mind numbingly huge Call of Duty is, last night's Activision earnings call dropped some massive sales figures to jog our memories. Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg announced that Modern Warfare 3 "drove the largest day one shipments in our history and in the industry's history."
That follows the fact that "Pre-orders for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 outpaced pre-orders for Call of Duty: Black Ops by a wide margin, setting a new industry record in making it the most pre-ordered game of all time."
UPDATE: Graham has just posted his first impressions of Modern Warfare 3 on PC.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is out, and you'll see Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 reviews appearing all over the place. We don't have a review yet because we haven't had access to the PC version until the game was officially released. We did get a copy this morning, but it was for the Xbox 360. :(
So Graham went and bought a copy this morning. He's playing it for review right now.
The copy Graham bought this morning is the first we've seen of PC code. The PC version hasn't been shown at any preview events and the videos and screenshots have all come from console versions. The console mags in our building all got early access to console versions of the game, but the PC has been mysteriously absent. The Call of Duty Elite service that console players can use to track stats and stay in touch with friends has been delayed on PC, too.
Still, it's in shops, unlocked on Steam and we're getting stuck in right now. We'll bring you our impressions and our full review once we've had a chance to play it properly.
Are you playing Modern Warfare 3? What do you think so far?
Update: Activision's UK PR team have been in touch and have explained that the Xbox 360 copy was a bit of a mixup. They feel sad and have sent their apologies. Poor sad PR team. Everyone send cuddles.
VentureBeat have been speaking to Bret Robins - creative director on Modern Warfare 3.
Bret worked on the single player portion of Modern Warfare 3, due for worldwide release on Steam at midnight tonight. When asked how Sledgehammer deal with such a sensitive matter as World War III, he said: "You blow up a lot of cities, is what you do. We’re creating a huge, like a summer blockbuster story and experience. You try to go for the biggest and craziest moments and set-pieces and locations you can come up with. You try to do it in a very believable and authentic way, so it feels like this could actually happen."
The new live action Modern Warfare 3 trailer shows a rare event. A veteran helping out a new player without telling him to GTFO. The prestiged pro makes it through the entire trailer without once saying anything even vaguely unpleasant about the other guy's mother, showing immense restraint when the noob RPGs a single man five metres away (a very familiar sight for Battlefield 3 players at the moment).
The social network, matchmaking and stat-tracking service, Call of Duty Elite will not arrive alongisde Modern Warfare 3 on PC next week as originally planned. VG247 have spotted a blog post from community manager Dan Amirch explaining that the service has been delayed due to security issues.
"We’re as committed as ever to the PC, but the need to ensure a safe PC environment is greater than ever," said Beachhead Studio head Chacko Sonny. "It’s really extensive. We need more time to get there, so Elite on PC will not launch on Day 1. We’re working our butts off to make it happen, but we won’t release it until we know that PC gamers can enjoy Elite as it’s meant to be." It doesn't sound like a small delay either. "It is not going to come out until we've done a lot more work" say Beachhead.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is out next week. In terms of the sheer mass of copies flying off shelves and raw marketing hype it's likely to be the biggest launch of the year. It's surprising, then that we've heard so little about the multiplayer changes that Infinity Ward are planning for the multi-quadrazillion dollar sequel. As well as some very promising tweaks to perks and kill streak rewards, new game modes hope to add more variety to CoD's obscenely popular arena-based man shoots.
Even your weapons will have experience bars in Modern Warfare 3. The unlock system has been revamped, and will work differently depending on which of the three classes you play as, but the perks and point-streak rewards will be separate from the weapon unlocks. You'll be able to earn new attachments by fighting and killing with a weapon. See the devs explain the system in the new trailer above, spotted on Evil Avatar. Infinity Ward say that the unlocks will be geared towards giving players more options in combat, though some, like the weapon stabilising upgrade, will probably just make you better.
If guns can level up, it feels as though they're starting to become RPG characters in their own right. We're hoping for loyalty side quests and proper story arcs come Modern Warfare 4.
The Modern Warfare 3 "launch trailer" has been released three weeks ahead of the game's actual launch. That's odd, but you have to remember that this is "the most anticipated game in history." And a Battlefield 3 launch trailer was released a day ago and could not go unanswered. There's plenty of explosions, of course, and tanks, and talk of Modern Warfare's great villain, the mysterious Makarov. Will we finally get to finish him off? And where is Captain Price's magnificent beard?
Whoa. When did PC gaming become so damn... award-winning?
PC has cleaned up at the Golden Joystick awards with a wealth of exclusives. And the non PC exclusive games that took an award? We get to play most of those too, only more anti aliased, and in a better resolution.
The best bit? Gamers voted for these. Real-life gamers with strong opinons. A record-breaking 2.06 million of them in fact. Well done PC gaming community - you rose to the challenge and pwned.
Click through for the full results. Don't agree with some of the winners? It's time for a furious debate. See you in the comments.
Jut a few weeks before Modern Warfare 3 comes out, Infinity Ward reveal some major and encouraging changes to the way Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer works. In his opening comments executive producer Mark Rubins says that Infinity Ward took a hard look at Modern Warfare 2, and realised that they'd "made a game for one type of player, the high kill-count, low death," recognising that "that was really the only type of player that was getting rewarded."
Their solution for Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer includes a healthy reshuffle of the way that kill streak rewards are earned. Points, not kills, are the key to accessing Modern Warfare 3's most powerful abilities. The reliance on points instead of kills is an interesting switch, because they can be earned by capturing points and helping out team mates as well as lining up the perfect headshot.
Will Modern Warfare 3's single player campaign be as crazy as the globe trotting, paranoid, numbers-obsessed missions of Call of Duty: Black Ops? The latest screenshot of three men in gas masks running away from an exploding Eiffel tower says YES. Individual Modern Warfare 3 screenshots have been popping up at regular intervals over the last few weeks. See four of them bundled together below. As well as the full sized Paris explosion shot, there's one that looks to be from the Black Tuesday single player mission and a couple of aerial images that show aerial bombardments. It looks like the AC130 is back!
The third in the semi-regular procession of Call of Duty: Black Ops map packs is here. It consists of four multiplayer arenas, and a zombie survival map set in the made-up, booby-trapped temples of Shangri-La.
Best pack a portable stove and some marshmallows, because we’re going camping: the new maps are perfect for snipers and hidden bastards who like to find a corner and wait for prey to pass by.
Here's a bit of footage of Modern Warfare 3's Spec Ops survival mode from the Call of Duty Elite event in LA, spotted on CVG. It shows a new map set in Paris. Judging by the suicidal nature of the enemies, it's a very early round, but it doesn't take long to get to unlock a sentry gun to take out a horde of pesky attack dogs. For an overview of the Spec Ops mode, check out this analysis of the official Spec Ops survival trailer. That shotgun seems satisfying, but it doesn't look quite as flash as the Parisian map currently in beta testing in that other shooter, does it?
Call of Duty: Black Ops Rezurrection came out on Friday. The pack adds five new arenas to Call of Duty: Black Ops' zombie survival mode, except four of them aren't new at all. Nacht der Untoten, Verruckt, Shi No Numa and Der Riese are all "remastered" versions of zombie maps from Call of Duty: World at War, released in 2008.
That means 80% of the map pack is made up of recycled, three year old content. What's more, those who bought the Hardened and Prestige editions of Call of Duty: Black Ops received the new maps as part of the deal last year. The asking price? £11.50 / $14.99. This has to stop.
Infinity Ward creative strategist, Robert Bowling has been answering questions on Twitter in the aftermath of the Call of Duty XP event that happened over the course of the weekend. Dedicated Servers for Modern Warfare 3 have already been confirmed, but Bowling also mentions that LAN play will be possible, which certainly wasn't a given, considering how Modern Warfare 3 will tie in heavily with Activision's online Call of Duty Elite service.
"Yes, #MW3 has LAN," Bowling tweets, "along with detailed class restriction control + default class creation option."
The class restriction control will give LAN gamers the ability to "restrict any weapon, equipment, perk, deathstreak, secondary, attachment, ANYTHING from being used when setting up game," Bowling adds.
The latest trailer for Modern Warfare 3 shows more mutiplayer violence and some new toys, like a deployable anti-air battery that can take down airborne attackers, which should hopefully even things up when the best players start unleashing Modern Warfare 3's most devastating kill streaks. Also shown, the familiar XP rewards. Payback! Buzzkill! One shot kill! First blood! Headshot! What do you think of pop-up XP numbers and shot awards satisfying and addictive, or a recurring nuisance?
At the keynote address at this weekend's Call of Duty XP event, Activision revealed the price of the premium subscription for the upcoming Call of Duty Elite service. It'll cost £34.99 / $49.99 a year, and give subscribers access to all of Modern Warfare 3's map packs early as part of the price. Premium players will also be able to enter competitions to win real world prizes and watch pro-commentated match reports and strategy videos.
A new Modern Warfare 3 trailer has emerged from the Call of Duty XP event that took place in LA over the weekend. Amid the running, gunning and exploding, four character load-outs are show some of Modern Warfare 3's perks, weapons and kill streak rewards. New toys include a cruel, leaping anti-personnel mine called the Bouncing Betty, and a tripod mounted device that can destroy incoming rockets. You'll find freeze frames of each load-out below.