"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" won't officially be on sale until Tuesday, but its pre-release week seems to have turned into the Wild West. Not only did some retailers begin selling the game early; copies of the game also began showing up on torrent sites, and stolen Xbox 360 bundles appeared on Craigslist, prompting Activision to hire a cyber-crime investigator to get some answers.
“It all happened very fast,” IPCybercrime owner Rob Holmes told VentureBeat. “If these guys get their stuff out, then they can do some major damage to sales and spoil it for everybody. We plug leaks every day, but this was one of the biggest ones of the year.”
Through a process involving Craigslist, a suspect's Facebook account and a sting operation, the investigation eventually led to the arrest of 18-year old Christian Del Amo of Miami and a deeper operation involving illegal game copies.
“This kid was in a position to sell thousands of these,” Holmes claimed.
Combating piracy of the PC version of "MW2" was among the reasons Infinity Ward switched over their new IWNET multiplayer setup from the dedicated server-oriented system used for its predecessor. This latest move may have nabbed one suspect, but did not move quickly enough to stop the flow of illegal copies to P2P download services.
Have you seen copies of "MW2" for sale on Craigslist yet? What do you think of this arrest? Share your reactions in the comment section below.