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Microsoft Warns Users Not To Play Purchased  MW3  Discs Early
Microsoft Warns Users Not To Play Purchased MW3 Discs Early
November 4, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

Xbox Live users who play legitimately purchased copies of Activision's Modern Warfare 3 before its release date Tuesday may face consequences for their Xbox Live accounts, according to Microsoft.

After some stores began mistakenly selling shipped copies of the game earlier this week, ahead of an official November 8 launch, a tweet from Xbox Live Director of Policy and Enforcement Stephen Toulouse warned that pre-release play for the game is "not authorized" and "may impact your account."

The word comes after Toulouse said he "[double-checked] with Activision" on the matter, following an earlier tweet that said players could "have fun" with pre-release copies of the game before launch.

In the past, Microsoft has been quick to ban Xbox Live users for infractions from using modded consoles and playing pirated games to using objectionable imagery on in-game characters.

Outside of the tweets, it's unclear how Microsoft and Activision will be letting potential players know not to use the game before the official launch date. We've reached out to both companies for further comment on the matter.

Online auctions for Modern Warfare 3 discs being resold by early purchasers are going for over $1,700 in some cases.

[UPDATE: In a statement to Gamasutra, an Activision spokesperson said the company has "no interest in banning legitimate copies in these last few days" and was simply requesting "everyone to wait for Tuesday when everybody can play the game together."

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Richard DeBarry
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So punish the players, not the stores?

manou manou
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Of course! How does "Director of Policy and Enforcement" sound? A guy with such a title will surely punish the evil players who bought their copies earlier. Silly customers... You can't just buy things whenever you want!

Pieterjan Spoelders
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Some good PR there...

Nick Kinsman
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Genuinely confusing as sh!t ...

The Tweet sounds like the most straightforward and intelligent solution out there. I wonder who has their socks on wrong ...

I'm assuming it isn't JUST 360 copies that have been sold this way? If so, how? If not, has Sony said anything at all? I'd think either system being ahead of the competitor is a plus for them ...

kevin Koos
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I doubt they will do anything. If some kids mom saw the game at kmart and bought it for her kid how could you possibly punish that person? I would go ahead and play and let them try to "punish" you....

Eric Geer
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Well that's just silly...why would they punish the end user that payed money for their game....even though it's the stores fault for selling early.

Rey Samonte
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What they should do is contact the person who played it early and ask to get a copy of the receipt...that way, they can find out which store sold it early. Of course, I know this sounds like a lot of work on MS's part, but seriously...don't punish the player because they were able to buy it early.

c anderson
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I suspect the problem was probably not the buying of software from a legit retailer early. It was the people who started playing ebay roulette; when that startted (alledged $1500 bids) to get noticed activision and microsoft probably said whoa ... we got discourage some of this ridiculousness.

Nou Phabmixay
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It's also ridiculous to threaten paying customers. In a world where there's people who won't pay for games and they want all the money they can get, don't piss people off for doing the right thing: buying.

The games shouldn't have been sold and the players aren't criminals.

Jeremy Reaban
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Bear in mind (at least based on reading a thread on NeoGaf about it) that players won't be permanently banned, just until the official launch date of the game...

joe Astor
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I doubt Microsoft is going to ban anyone. Its more likely that after stepto said go ahead and enjoy he got scolded by the higher ups via activision. They don't want people playing early even though Ms said go for it. Then they made him post that tweet to scare people off. They can't ban you for playing a legit game.

Jonathan Murphy
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This happened to my friend. He got MW2 early because my local Game Craze was competing with Gamestop. His account was banned and was accused of hacking. He eventually got his account back. A recent study showed only 10% of people banned on XBL were proven hackers/pirates. I almost got my account banned because 4 players decided to report me at the same time for hacking in Shadowrun. I was legit and the charges were dropped. Without due process this crap is common.

august clark
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Link the study or don't quote figures out of it. That is just dishonest. Not saying you made it up, but "10% of all of something is something" is 90% of the time a lie.*

*yes, I am being ironic, but the original "produce study" still stands.

Buck Hammerstein
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i got both black ops and mw2 a day early and at the time the official word was go play but keep your receipt if microsoft wants to check into it. not ban first and prove it later.

i heard that the fine for a retailer selling early was up to $6000 per infraction. when i got online with black ops there were 30,000 other players online. the next day (the official release day) it jumped to 1.5 million. i was never contacted and enjoyed my legit copy a few hours early.

yuseph maghsoudlou
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I love how people bought a prerelease.. some dude bought it for $1725 on the 4th, and the estimated shipping was 4 days. Dude paid that much to get the game on launch day. rofl