How Activision Reacted To That Giant Modern Warfare 3 Leak

Last year, we blew the lid off Modern Warfare 3 months before it was due for release. It was the biggest leak we'd seen, let alone written about, in almost a decade.

It was, in short, one hell of a story. It was also only half the story.

The other side, that of how publishers Activision reacted to the leak, is just as interesting! In this video (linked below) from marketing site Ad Age, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg goes into great detail on the company's response, and how it turned what many in that side of business would have called a catastrophe into something they could actually work with.

"We were probably nine months away from launching Modern Warfare 3", Hirshberg recalls. "I was actually at my physical therapist, I'd just had surgery on my lower back, and my iPhone starts doing the nnnnnn, nnnnnn thing"

"So I limp over to the thing and look at it, and there's been this massive leak."

"It wasn't cool".

He then goes into specific detail on how the different wings involved in the game's marketing and production kicked into gear and reacted. As a side of the business we don't normally get to see, it's fascinating stuff.

Activision CEO on How 'Massive Leak' Changed the Launch of 'Modern Warfare III' [Ad Age]


    It's funny reading that old article.

    "Deep multiplayer"


      Whats your definition of deep multiplayer?
      Let me guess.....Battlefield 3

        Nope BF3 isn't deep either.

        The only thing deep about most modern FPS is the fact that they all include a pointless unlock system to appeal to those players who can't go 5 minutes without being given a prize.

          The next xbox will have the ability to dispense food pellets and Mountain Dew to keep the COD player from being distracted and walking away during the 3 seconds it takes to respawn.

            Thro in an orgasm button and I'll pre-order it now.

        red orchestra 2


    There's been another Call of Duty game every November since 2002, why would 2011 be any different? We didn't need a leak to tell us that.

      ahhhhh... the leak was the entire story of the campaign...

      The Leak wasn't that the game was coming out.

      It was basically every significant feature of the game.

      Such as the survival Spec ops mode

    I thought the reacted by doing nothing.

    My housemate already lives off the cookies that come out of the PS3.

    You know what I never tire of? People whinging about a game they don't play, as if their contrarian opinions somehow make them the Han Solos of Internet commenting. Fucking play the games you like, and don't use every news article about MW3 as some kind of springboard for your empty, unfunny snark.

      I like people complaining about people complaining, as if their complaints could make the latter stop dead in their tracks.

        ^ Hahaha so true.

      It should be that simple, but it's not. Call Of Duty is KILLING the videogame industry. Games aren't allowed to be creative anymore, or original. Because there's two variables at play now; Getting teenage boys to take Call Of Duty out of the disc tray in the first place, and keeping the same 'thrills' that Call Of Duty portrays so people don't feel alienated by your game.

      It's not a matter of "just don't play it if you don't like it", something needs to be said, at every opportunity, regarding how Call Of Duty has dramatically reshaped the creative landscape for the worse.

      Gears of War 3 Deathmatch mode is a prime example of this effect. They've now given people respawns in a match so they don't sit out due to them not willing to play by the game's actual rules. This lessens the value of your life in a match, and gives you far more 'bravado' to roll around the map trying to overpower people with the sawed off shotgun. People complain about that weapon but the weapon isn't the problem, it's the game-mode. You need to be given the appropriate consequences for not playing effectively.

      Now finding a match on Gears' more fitting mode, Execution, is made nigh impossible, and certainly not helped by the fact that Warzone (a mode exactly like Deathmatch but without respawns) dilutes the possible match options too.

      This is a direct example of how the games industry is continually being dumbed down by the Post Modern Warfare-era. The game is poison, and it needs to be stopped. Thankfully, like Rock Band, Activision are driving it into the ground themselves with half-yearly iterations.

        Judging by each years sales, I'd hardly say that Activision are driving the Call of Duty franchise into the ground.

          Don't make me come slap you Steve, I know where you live.

          P.S Harrison Fords soon

        FIFA has done it every year since the mid 90s and FIFA '13 will sell millions of copies

          FIFA is different. FIFA banks upon the rabid, obsessive nature of Football fans and the sport itself. FIFA is a game worth buying only every 3-5 years or so unless you are a football fanatic that wants to keep up with the constant shifting of line-ups and managers. FIFA is a constant so long as the sport itself exists.

          And FIFA doesn't damage everything around it. It also has monstrous levels of funding that it can draw upon to increase the quality each year without risk. And lastly, people do not expect the gameplay of a soccer game to evolve over time, like they do with other games. They come in with expectations and those expectations are met.

          The metacritic responses alone show there is a small but growing group of people who grow tired of Call Of Duty's stagnation and pricing. The crash is coming.

        I can't wait for call of duty 13: arthritic thumbs.

    How the heck can you leak anything related to call of duty when the biggest critic of the series is that it never changes (not that theres anything wrong with a series sticking to what works, it's just that releasing a new one every year isn't helping)

      Yeah, there was already an earlier leak of MW3. It's called MW2.

    Well this is one of the better Plunkett articles i've read, but still could use some fleshing out and maybe he could even try putting some of his own thoughts into it next time?

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