Modern Warfare 3 mega-leak: Exciting news or mean-spirited sabotage?

Okay I'll get straight to the point here, in case you don't already know. Kotaku has acquired what appears to be every bit of information a leak-hunter could want about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. If it's legit, and it looks like it could be, then everything is there. I mean everything. The entire storyline, all the new and returning characters, the new multiplayer maps and modes, all the geographical settings, a bunch of weapon renders and a stack of screens. Everything.

We've already run a bullet-point overview of the leaked info, but so that you can decide for yourself how much you want to know, we're not hosting any of the media or covering every detail. Read it if you want to, but be aware that obviously you're going to be knee-deep in spoiler territory.

But a leak of this scale is unprecedented. And thus, big questions need to be asked. Who would release this info? What would their motives be? And should a journalist run it, if he or she acquired it? I'm going to tell you how I feel about it, and I want to know how you feel about it too.

Like I said, this is a landmark leak. It's not a simple "we heard from some guy that you might get a new gun this time around". If real, the information on Kotaku is tantamount to a serious design document leak, and even contains material that looks like it was set for an E3 presentation. It's impossible that this could have got out by accident, or as a sneaky tease on Activision's part to whip up hype. It's too big and potentially far too damaging than that. Unless of course it's all fake info that Activision has leaked to whip up hype, before a big "Fnarr! Fooled you!" presentation at E3. Well played, if so. But I doubt that's the case.

It's more likely that this was a deliberate move to blow one of the biggest games of the year wide open, and it very probably came from, or with the assistance of, someone internal at Activision or one of the development teams working on Modern Warfare 3. With so much controversy around Call of Duty recently, given the original Infinity Ward bosses' ousting from their own studio by Activision management, and what appears to be a great deal of ill will between both parties, conspiracy theorists are going to go nuts. However it happened though, I can't shake the mean-spirited vibe I'm getting from this whole thing. Everyone, from gamer to developer to publisher, can have something wrecked for them by this. If it did come from an internal source involved in the creation or the publishing of the game, it feels utterly self-defeating and a tad snide.

Should a journalist run this sort of thing, if they manage to acquire it? That all comes down to a personal judgement call. In terms of website traffic, this leak is obviously going to be the goose that layed the golden grenade for Kotaku, but it is going to be damaging. Yes, people can choose not to read any of it if they want to - and we've done our best to make sure that you keep that choice on Radar - but information gets around, however much you might want to avoid it. This is the internet, after all. One of the biggest gaming experiences of the year for a lot of people might well have been ruined today. And as for the knock-on effect for internet games journalism, well, the bond of trust between game publisher and game writer probably just got a whole lot thinner.

But what do you think? Are you fine with this leak? Are you just excited to have so much info on Modern Warfare 3 today? Or has this been the spoiler to end all spoilers? However you feel about any of this, whatever you think has happened today, let me know. I'm very interested to know what you think.

May 13, 2011


  • philipshaw - May 15, 2011 3:52 p.m.

    I'm fine with it because I'm not going to play it anyway
  • VaneTrago - May 15, 2011 6:33 a.m.

    It's Activision. Fuck em. If anything, it seems like a lot of these up-their-own-asses companies seem to be getting their just desserts lately. Activision, Sony... maybe some right is finally coming into the world.
  • Uggie - May 15, 2011 12:56 a.m.

    if it's like MW & MW2 im gonna skip it
  • TH3xD4RKNESS - May 14, 2011 5 p.m.

    @p0wnd: Don't you mean CoD 8?
  • BeardedHoplite - May 14, 2011 1:35 p.m.

    Anybody else reminded of those "Don't add your own soundtrack" warnings movie theaters play? Also, Activision isn't getting another cent of my money after what they did to True Crime
  • jmcgrotty - May 14, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    " I mean everything. The entire storyline, all the new and returning characters, the new multiplayer maps and modes, all the geographical settings, a bunch of weapon renders and a stack of screens." Way to go overboard, GamesRadar. FPS players don't give a damn about anything but the online elements of a game. They're too pathetic to actually even realize there is a story mode to a game.
  • SirNinja - May 14, 2011 3:49 a.m.

    Meh. If something like Skyrim was suddenly spoiled this way, I'd be extremely angry. But as for stories like Modern Warfare 2 and 3...what's the loss in spoiling something that was already rotten to begin with?
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - May 14, 2011 2:38 a.m.

    I don't give a fuck, there's way too many better games coming out in November to care about.
  • p0wnd - May 14, 2011 1:09 a.m.

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CALL OF DUTY, I hated you from 4 to 6, but when hating became boring after everyone started doing it, i'm back on your side. And you have 'horde' mode, got you're going to look hot. Maybe you're going to have Spec Ops again aren't you, maybe reveal that Captain. Prices mustache is the power for his time travel? God i'm excited, now people can go play there BF3, which is eventually going to become vastly hated, but i'll enjoy you for now COD 7
  • TH3xD4RKNESS - May 14, 2011 12:57 a.m.

    For some reason, I knew there would be some MW3 info coming very soon, whether it would be leaked information or an official reveal of the game.
  • Stevienet - May 13, 2011 11:59 p.m.

    Most people I know who play COD don't read gaming websites so I doubt this leak will even filter through to the 'mainstream' audience beside which, how many people will remember this come November? I don't think the sales will be jeopardy with this news at all. On a side note, I love to see how people are thinking BF3 will be the FPS game to end them all. I'm looking forward to it but apart from the new frostbite engine, I haven't seen anything revolutionary so far. Middle East? Again?
  • ThatGuyFromTV - May 13, 2011 11:42 p.m.

    I wonder... the concept art of the guy you're supposed to be playing as (Yuri) appears to be a lefty, judging from where his pistol is holstered. I feel like that would be a tad bit disorienting.
  • Y2Ken - May 13, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    Damn strong use of imagery there Dave. :-)
  • tyler_14_420 - May 13, 2011 9:39 p.m.

    Is it really unbelievable that someone would actually leak information for one of the world's biggest franchises? I'm surprised more game info isn't usually leaked, sure game builds usually end up on torrent sites early due to part-time store employees releasing discs early, etc, but to be honest, it's people who make these games. People who can tell other people things, etc. I don't really find a leak like this shocking, it just shows someone was willing to put their ass on the line if this is all true.
  • AlphaAGENT144 - May 13, 2011 8:29 p.m.

    >Caring about any MW game past the original lol CoD turned shit after 4, WaW was fun because of zombies but multiplayer was broken, MW2 was the games aborted fetus, BO is alright, not amazing, but fun. MW3? i couldnt care less.
  • ibeberger - May 13, 2011 7:45 p.m.

    My biggest shock is how this game is coming out in about 6 months and before today (which is obviously not even official) there has not been a single shred of info on the next installment. I know they prefer the drip-feed method of hyping their games but if I'm not mistaken the last few in the series didn't wait until E3 to even divulge the title, time period/theme, or any other broad info like that.
  • Combatjack0331 - May 13, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    Can't wait until it comes out, it will get all the kiddies out of the games I want to play. Also looking at the pics are they using the same engine again? I understand we need to take this leak with a grain of salt but I hope they at least try to put some effort into it unlike the last few CODs.
  • Noah4life - May 13, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    i love spoilers and since im geting bf3 instead of MW3. im reading them. I fell excited that the info got leaked. I want to really know who these person got all this info. I would say this is the Wikileaks of gaming
  • tr1ggerf1nger - May 13, 2011 6:40 p.m.

    This leak doesn't ruin the game for me. After all, it's not exactly a leak for a movie like The Dark Knight Rises, or something like that. You can't leak the experience that the game will give. That said, after the Black Ops debacle for PS3, I'm buying this used. BF3 Day 1 purchase FTW
  • InFeRnOg - May 13, 2011 6:12 p.m.

    Personally I am sick of CoD; MW1 and WaW were the last two I played and probably will ever play. If this decreases the number of rubes who buy MW3 and Activision loses their cash cow (and is forced to innovate *gasp*) then I think whoever leaked this should be commended. Well done leaker, well done.

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