The latest instalment of the Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare 3 came out today, with thousands across the country waiting outside stores to be the first to purchase it at midnight. The previous instalment, Call of Duty: Black Ops made more than £620m ($1bn) worldwide during its first six weeks on sale. As usual with the Call of Duty series, the launch has not been without controversy. The game takes place in a fictional world where gamers play as American and British special forces defending against a Russian Invasion of the US and Europe.
The game has large battle scenes that take place in London and New York, where several civilians are seen to die. In one part of the game in London, the player controls a camcorder as a little girl is seen to be blown up by a car bomb. This scene, much like a mission in Modern Warfare 2 where the player was forced to kill innocent Russian civilians, has caused controversy, with many arguing that games have become too violent and immoral. The game’s creators defend the scene and civilian deaths as necessary to show the horror of war.
The game release has been highly anticipated, with a trailer for the game posted on YouTube receiving more than four million views within two weeks. The game is predicted to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide before the year’s end and even with heavy competition from rival series Battlefield. Analysts point out that sales for the game do not end once the game is purchased. There is also high demand for the multiplayer part of the game, which allows for sales of subscription based services for add-ons such as new maps and other special features.
Several thousand copies of the game were stolen before release in a robbery in Paris.