After last weeks flurry of Modern Warfare 3 information leaked out, many wondered how the developer(s) and publisher behind the project would respond. Since then, Activision has released a series of four teaser trailers that don’t do much to reveal gameplay, but do support many of the storyline details that came as part of the leak.
Now Activision has come out to say just how they felt about the leak, and how they turned what was a PR nightmare into a win.
When the existence of Modern Warfare 3 was outed by retail boxes and various media outlets, most, who figured the title was an inevitability, wrote it off as par for the course. Then Kotaku broke a story that not only detailed intimate moments in the game, but walked gamers through every beat from beginning to end. This was a big deal, and this was in no way something Activision had imagined happening.
For the publisher, this particular leak was seen as theft — stealing someone else’s intellectual property and putting out their for any and all to see. Of course, in the world of video games journalism, many scoops, especially one about the successor to the most profitable game ever, cannot be overlooked.
But Activision wasn’t about to let something like this ruin their enthusiasm for the game. Instead they would take an unfortunate situation and put a positive spin on it. Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg explains:
“While it’s definitely not cool to steal other people’s intellectual property, and while it’s definitely not cool to leak stuff that’s not yours, there are ways that you can respond that actually turn the lemons into lemonade, and that’s what we tried to do on Friday.”
That Lemonade came in the form of the previously mentioned teaser trailers, each of which were seen by more eyes than both the Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 teasers combined…times 20. Needless to say, these teasers helped generate more buzz for the game than a storyline runthough that most gamers weren’t looking to read.
“Through our various channels, through Robert Bowling at IW, through Facebook and through our YouTube channel, we reached out to our fans and we said, ‘Look, we didn’t schedule this. This wasn’t something we had planned. But everyone seems excited, so we’re just going to roll with it. So here they are, a couple of assets that weren’t scheduled to be out for another couple of weeks, we’re going to release ‘em to you today.’”
Sure, the Modern Warfare 3 reveal that was supposed to take place at E3, or perhaps the NBA Finals, came a bit earlier than Activision and Infinity Ward expected, but instead of taking a reactive position the company took a proactive stance, and helped hype the game much further than the unsatisfying details did.
Now, tons of gamers are looking forward to Modern Warfare 3 not just because its existence is confirmed, but because the company that knows how to hype up a game started the ball rolling.
What do you think did more to generate excitement for Modern Warfare 3: the teaser trailers or the leaked details? Should Activision have gone after those who supplied the leaked information?
Modern Warfare 3 hits on November 8, 2011 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.