Editor’s note: Ryan Smith is a longtime gamer and freelance writer who lives in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in business and marketing, he has written in the past for WRAL Tech Wire and GameArgus.com. He currently plays Xbox 360 and PC as well as Nintendo DS. For story ideas, tips and feedback, he can be reached via e-mail (ryannicksmith@gmail.com)

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Activision Blizzard’s upcoming monster of a shooter, Modern Warfare 3, which is also rival to recently released EA title Battlefield 3, has been pirated.

According to Venturebeat, Disc 2 of the PC version (a 2 disk set) has been taken from a Fresno CA warehouse. Shortly thereafter, it appeared online as many began to pirate the stolen game. It is “circulating among pirates,” VentureBeat says.

Release date is Nov. 8.

This is part of the reason that PC games were on the decline for so long – pirating is a major concern. Unlike consoles where you don’t just download and install software, you need an actual game disk (unless you also have a modified console, but that is much less common). With pirating being such a large issue, it is no wonder that developers started pushing for console releases instead.

But, with the rise in PC technology over consoles as the generation gap widens (Xbox360 released in 2005 and PS3 in 2006) PC game developers have been finding plenty of ways to avoid piracy. Nowadays if you want to play most PC games, it probably requires a constant Internet connection to make sure it is a genuine copy (a la Diablo 3, which will require such). Or, if it is a game with multiplayer, you will be unable to play it online without an authentic copy.

So with a game like Modern Warfare 3, which is projected to sell 20 million copies this year alone, its main selling point is, of course, its multiplayer. With the usual fail safes in place to bar unlicensed players, I can’t imagine why anyone would try to pirate it.

So far, Modern Warfare 3 hasn’t been seen by most of the industry that has been looking for it.

But one person who bought an early copy on Craigslist had this to say according to VentureBeat: “They will come get you. You will be fined $5,000. I already went through it.”

Activision Blizzard is seeking out the piraters of their beloved franchise, fining them if they don’t comply and potentially banning them permanently from online play.

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