K-mart were the culprits who let several copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 escape and crawl into the hands of avid Xbox 360 gamers, one even later selling on eBay for over $1,000 USD. This anarchy shows how hotly some gamers - in particular Xbox 360 gamers - are anticipating the release of Activision’s new instalment into the Call of Duty series.

Stephen Toulouse, director of Xbox Live policy, tweeted yesterday that gamers who had received the game legitimately and were playing online were not to be persecuted; but the calm didn’t last long as he tweeted again shortly after speaking to Activision, “MW3 pre-release play not authorized”. Moreover, he asked for players’ patience and tweeted once again claiming, “Playing early may impact your account!”

Activision originally told Joystiq: “We value and appreciate the community’s support. We have no interest in banning legitimate copies in these last few days. We just ask for everyone to wait for Tuesday when everybody can play the game together.”

However, they are now contradicting themselves by stating their disapproval of early play. As a Call of Duty fan, I empathise with those who own MW3 pre-release and may suffer, as I too would take the opportunity to play its well renowned online features.

Yet I feel the least risk-taking option is to switch to another FPS such as Battlefield 3; although not as popular among COD fans, it still has the same core gameplay and visual fidelity. You can read more about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 here.