A few days ago, some retail stores mistakenly sold copies of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 before its planned release on Tuesday. At the time, Stephen Tolouse, who is Microsoft's Director of Policy and Enforcement for Xbox Live, posted on his Twitter page, "dblchk'd with Activision. Mw3 pre-release play not authorized. So pls be patient. Playing early may impact your account!"
That message didn't make some people very happy. They felt that Activision was keeping them from playing the first person shooter even though they had bought the game legitimately (although at the expense of the retail store who broke the sales embargo). Now Kotaku has received an official statement from Activision that (kind of) sorts everything out:
We value and appreciate the community's support. We have no interest in banning legitimate copies in these last few days. We just ask for everyone to wait for Tuesday when everybody can play the game together.
That statement says two things. One is that if you do happen to get Modern Warfare 3 early and it's not a pirated copy, it's most likely safe to play online on your Xbox 360 or your PS3. On the other hand, Activision clearly would appreciate it if you didn't play online until the vast majority of retail stores start selling the game.