It's the Friday before Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 hits stores, and you know what that means: gamers everywhere are in search of stores willing to break the game's November 8 street date. There's been some success in that regard this year, which prompted Microsoft's Xbox Live policy gury Stephen Toulouse to tweet yesterday that "If your copy is legit... have fun."
Only Toulouse was wrong. He checked in with Activision and later sent out a clarification. The publisher does not authorize pre-release play. No specific penalties are mentioned, but Toulouse notes that "Playing early may impact your account!"
A more likely scenario is that Infinity Ward will hit a "panic button" on launch day to zero out all of the multiplayer stats. Even more likely than that, I think, is the possibility that there will be no repercussions at all. There weren't for Modern Warfare 2 or Black Ops. Why start now?