The street date for Modern Warfare 2 has apparently gone out the window as the world has collectively decided that it just can't stand to wait any longer.
Modern Warfare 2 was scheduled for release on November 10 - that's tomorrow - but the sweet smell of dollar bills has proven too much for retailers, many of whom are letting the game go early to anyone who asks nicely. As is usually the case with this sort of mess, it began small, with a few retailers giving copies to customers who had preordered or were just particularly pushy about it. But the floodgates opened over the weekend when GameStop decided at the corporate level to let 'er fly.
"This past weekend, GameStop made the decision to break street date and sell reserved copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in select markets where other retailers had broken street date," the company said in a statement to Kotaku. "Our decision followed many conversations with Activision and was an effort to protect our customer base."
Activision didn't see it in quite the same light, however, issuing a contrary statement saying that it hadn't given anyone permission to break the street date under any circumstances, and that it still "fully supports" the original November 10 release date. Robert Bowling of Infinity Ward expressed a similar sentiment, tweeting, "Any store selling Modern Warfare 2 early is in violation of street date. There are no 'special permissions'." But he added that players who manage to score a copy of the game early won't be "punished" for it.
With the release date largely shot to hell, the press embargo also appears to have come to a whimpering end, as reviews and walkthroughs have begun popping up all over the tubes. Activision has thus far maintained a stern look and wagging finger but its wrath will almost certainly be mitigated by the fact that reviewers are almost tripping over themselves to heap sparking praise on the game.
Modern Warfare 2 officially goes on sale tomorrow, with some retailers holding special midnight openings to take advantage of the hype, and if you're a PC gamer you might as well wait: As Bowling noted, the PC version of the game will remain locked and unplayable until then.