We’re finally going to get what we hope is a glimpse at Modern Warfare 3, putting a year of rumors and speculation to rest. Is the the next Call of Duty a prequel? Does it center around Modern Warfare 2‘s Ghost character? Is it even coming out in 2011?

We received a pair of bloodied up dog tags (pictured below) and transcribed what’s written on the tags. They lead to viral website hosting an intriguing countdown timer.

Upon visiting this site, findmakarov.com, you’re presented with a countdown timer with under 5 days left to go. Why, the Game Developers Conference is going to be happening in 5 days is it not? How interesting!

Starting on February 28th and ending March 4th, the GDC is likely where Activision’s big Call of Duty reveal will pop up. Modern Warfare 2 was also revealed at GDC back in 2009.

The numbers included on the dog tags could be hinting at some preliminary news or reveal showing up on March 1, 2011, which is before the coundown finishes. Take a look:

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Dogtags Reveal Countdown

Dog Tag 1
SHEPHERD
LT. GENERAL
003-01-2011
B POS
NORELPREF

Dog Tag 2
END THE WAR
FINDMAKAROV.COM

“End the war” may imply that the rumors that the game is going to be a prequel are false. This might also indicate that there will be a flashback sequence in this game centered around protagonist Ghost, not unlike how Modern Warfare 2 had a flashback centered around Lt. Price.

The sequel’s status has been mired with controversy, what with the a large chunk of the development team leaving Infinity Ward after studio heads Jason West and Vincent Zampella were relieved of their duties by Activision. Activision accused the two studio heads of insubordination and a conspiracy to take their Infinity Ward development team to one of Activision’s largest competitors, EA, which they ended up doing anyway. West and Zampella, upon being sent on their way, went on to form Respawn Entertainment, a company with an exlusive publishing and distribution deal with EA.

Rebuilding Infinity Ward over last year’s summer, it seemed like Activision was still intent on pushing for a Modern Warfare game which would head out in 2011. The news of the rebuild was then accompanied by reports that newly formed Sledgehammer Games would be working on the next Modern Warfare installment alongside Infinity Ward. This was later supplemented with the announcement that Raven Software, known for their time travelling FPS Singularity, were going to be working on the multiplayer component of Modern Warfare 3. With all these resources invested in the title, it was beginning to look a lot more likely that a 2011 release was still in the works for the title.

While its expected that Modern Warfare 3 will continue Activision’s trend of releasing a brand new Call of Duty game every year, no official word has come out on the matter so stay tuned as we patiently stare at our screens for the next few days.

More importantly, what will Call of Duty do different to help it compete against Battlefield 3 and erase the stigma that their last three games have all been too similar?

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