Eric Hirshberg, Activision's publishing CEO, seems like a pretty nice bloke. In a report we covered earlier this week, Hirshberg revealed how the company handled the recent Modern Warfare 3 leak. And now, Giant Bomb has somehow snagged an internal email sent to all Activision employees by Hirshberg, where he addresses the leak personally, the investigative measures being taken and the detrimental effect it may potentially have on the game's launch.
"Hey gang," begins Hirshberg's amiable email, "I wanted to reach out to you today and address the Call of Duty intellectual property leak that occurred last Friday". If you need reminding, Modern Warfare 3's entire plot, beat for narrative beat, was revealed by Kotaku, who also got their grubby mitts on concept art, screenshots and unfinished renders. It was a leak quite unlike any other, and for it to afflict the biggest franchise in current gaming was a very curious anomaly.
And while Hirshberg has appeared pretty laid-back about the whole thing, even going so far as to dub the leak "a cool day", in the internal email he admits Activision "takes very seriously any abuse of our intellectual property – the event is under investigation and we’re confident it will be resolved quickly". It's unclear quite where the leak originated, but Giant Bomb speculates the multiple teams and outsourced help involved in Modern Warfare 3's development means any number of possibilities have to be considered.
The email is remarkably candid, with Hirshberg confirming our worst fears that the leak may potentially damage Modern Warfare 3's launch. "When it came to light that we had suffered a significant security breach, it became clear that a leak of this size had the potential to throw our launch off of its schedule, or worse, blunt its momentum". He reveals they had the unenviable task of identifying the source of the leak while pushing ahead with the game's marketing, well ahead of schedule.
Shortly after the leak, Activision jumped the gun and released no less than four MW3 teasers online, detailing the campaign's global struggle across four continents. Since then, over 4.8 million views have been recorded, dwarfing both Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops' teasers combined. Hirshberg is keen to emphasize this course of action; "Perhaps, most importantly, we migrated the dialogue from one that was between our players and the leakers, to one between our players and us".
Modern Warfare 3 is due a number of more official reveals in the coming weeks. The single-player campaign is due a trailer at the end of the month, and I expect we'll hear more on that side of things and possibly the multiplayer at E3. [Giant Bomb]