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The fact that Modern Warfare 2 raked in obscene amounts of money basically made a third entry in the franchise a forgone conclusion, but it turns out Activision Blizzard's counter-lawsuit against fired Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella also made it official: Modern Warfare 3 is already in development. The bad news for gamers is the legal dispute, according to Activision, is delaying the project's pre-production.
In their counter-suit, Activision claims that West and Zampella (before they were fired) were intentionally delaying the pre-production of Modern Warfare 3 in order to use it as "leverage in their negotiations with Activision" (via Kotaku). Activision also says in the case that the duo's alleged secret meetings with their "closest competitor" (almost certainly Electronic Arts) contributed to the delays, and that "as a direct and proximate result of this breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, Activision has been forced to commit additional resources to Modern Warfare 3."
In a statement released shortly after the counter-suit was made public, Robert Schwartz, West and Zampella's attorney, called Activision's allegations "false and outrageous."
As for Modern Warfare 3, we all know Activision intends to release a new Call of Duty every year, with this year's version rumored to be set during the Vietnam War. That would likely put Activision's desired release date for Modern Warfare 3 in 2011, assuming whatever current delays that may or may not be taking place don't push it off too much.
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