After months of leaks, rumors, and speculation, Activision finally made it official. Fans can expect Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this fall. As the title suggests, the game will be a direct sequel to Modern Warfare 2, which marks a first in franchise history. In the past, players were used to waiting 2-3 years for direct sequels to the various sub-franchises under the Call of Duty umbrella. It is also the first time another studio has taken over to spearhead an installment in another’s series, as Infinity Ward has always been the lead on new Modern Warfare projects.

At this point, after nearly two decades of annual releases, the Call of Duty marketing cycle is usually fairly predictable. Emphasis on usually. This year has been a bit of an outlier, with players having to wait until August for any official confirmation, despite months of credible leaks and rumors.

The road to the official announcement has been more unpredictable than usual, with the game initially rumored to be a major expansion to MW2 followed by a Year 2 of DLC Support. Not to mention, the ongoing court proceedings as Microsoft tries to acquire Activision/Blizzard, which had fans wondering if and how the franchise could be reshaped in the near future. It seems as though things are finally going according to plan, as Activision starts to tease the 2023 entry in their juggernaut franchise.

First Teaser Breakdown

On Monday, August 7th the official Call of Duty YouTube channel posted the first Official Teaser for the new game. Coming in at around 41 seconds, the brief video, titled “Modern Warfare III is Coming” serves as more of a tone-setter than a proper trailer. However, there is still some key information found in the video. The video opens with the iconic Modern Warfare green visual noise fighting and losing to a dark red variant of the same effect.

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Within it, a phone number was found, and after texting the number, fans will be sent cryptic teasers hinting towards the MW3 Warzone Reveal Event. We tried it ourselves and will report our findings later in the article. Over the graphic, audio from the post-credits scene of MW2 plays, reminding fans of the impending doom of the “No Russian” massacre teased at the end of the campaign.

Next, the camera flies through a red fog with numerous deep-red columns, with audio from the ending of the MW2 campaign playing in the background. Eventually, we’re shown a Snake Skull with a Chain through it – a 3D rendition of the Konni Group’s logo – as Captain Price toasts “to cutting heads off snakes”. Then, we see a new image of Captain Price. The visual is consistent with his appearance on the leaked MW3 Key Art. He says “he’s not new…” alluding to his history with iconic villain Makarov, who long-time fans may remember from the original Modern Warfare trilogy.

A New Threat Emerges

Makarov lurks in the shadows in an Image from @CallofDuty on Twitter.

Finally, we hear an unfamiliar voice telling someone to “never bury your enemies alive”, and see for the first time the new face of Vladimir Makarov. Bulgarian actor Julian Kostov plays the new iteration of the iconic villain. We can expect his performance and characterization to be at the forefront of MW3‘s marketing. This is the last important thing the teaser shows, before revealing the game’s Banner Key Art, (pictured at the top of this article) and the release date, November 10th.

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Viral Marketing

MW3 Reveal Teaser Image

Activision has started the official Viral Marketing campaign, and it all centers around a Burner Phone, nearly identical to the one used to communicate with Makarov in the “No Russian” MW2 post-credits scene. A working replica of the burner phone has appeared in packages Activision sent to YouTubers, Streamers, and Influencers.

Fans can simulate the experience of being activated for missions by texting +1(202)918-3022 to subscribe to Activision marketing messages. If they accept, “Comms” are secured and they will get several text messages with “sensitive intel”. We did so ourselves and were sent several pictures, including the image above. The map shows the locations of some of the Missiles found in Al-Mazrah after the Season 5 update, with their paths all converging at Zaya Observatory.

This is all pointing toward the full reveal, which will happen in Warzone during an event that has been confirmed for August 17th. It has also been discovered that texting the number “red dot” will get a response with a red circle emoji and a short message; “CONFIRMED”. Fans are sure to be excited about this, as the re-addition of a classic mini-map system has been highly requested since the Modern Warfare Beta in 2019.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Press Packages

Faze Swagg, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Mystery Box

Activision sent Faze Swagg a package to open on stream, filled with seemingly random items. The contents – half a pair of slides, a metal can, and a cell phone – appeared random at first. After some great detective work from the Call of Duty Community, fans pieced together that combining the names of the items leaves players with the phrase “Slide Cancel”.

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Slide canceling is a popular movement mechanic which allows players to jump out of a slide, and potentially land into another slide to chain these movements together. This allows players to traverse much faster around the map. The strategy is incredibly popular with the most aggressive Call of Duty players, and its re-addition to the franchise has been anxiously awaited since MW2 debuted with slower-than-average player movement.

It is undoubtedly an exciting time for Call of Duty fans. Coming off the success of MW2, a direct sequel is imminent and Activision is generating a lot of positive buzz ahead of the official reveal. Though official details are scarce to start, there is still plenty of information out there for players who are eagerly awaiting the MW3. On August 1st, we compiled everything we know so far.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III releases November 10th on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S.

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