Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (stylized as Call of Duty: MW3) is a first-person shooter video game, developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games, with assistance from Raven Software, and published by Activision. It is the third and final installment in the Modern Warfare saga, a direct sequel to 2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and the eighth Call of Duty installment. The game was released worldwide in November 2011 on Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, with a separate version for Nintendo DS developed by n-Space. Treyarch developed the game’s Wii port. In Japan, Square Enix handled the installment with a separate subtitled and dubbed version, as they did for Call of Duty: Black Ops. It is also the last Call of Duty game for the Wii.
The game’s campaign follows Modern Warfare 2 and begins right after the events of its final mission. Similar to Modern Warfare 2, it is centered around the Task Force 141, which contains Captain Price, Soap MacTavish, and Yuri, one of the playable characters. Alongside the Delta Force and Special Air Service, they hunt Vladimir Makarov (antagonist of Modern Warfare 2), a Russian terrorist who leads the Russian Ultranationalist party. He leads several terror attacks across Europe, triggering a large-scale war between the Ultranationalists and friendly forces. For the game’s multiplayer mode, new mode types and killstreak choices were brought in. Improvements were also made to the mode that solved issues that appeared in Modern Warfare 2.
Using the MW3 engine, development for the game began in 2010 with more than one developer. Prior to development, Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella left the company to form Respawn Entertainment. Other members had been fired or had left the company following the duo’s departure. Sledgehammer Games had joined the Modern Warfare 3 development force, with Raven Software also developing the game’s multiplayer mode. Following a large leak containing detailed information about the game, multiple teaser trailers were released with each showcasing a location featured in the game’s campaign, leading up to a full reveal.
Upon its release Modern Warfare 3 received positive reviews from critics. The game was also a commercial success. Within 24 hours of going on sale, the game sold 6.5 million copies in the U.S. and UK alone and grossed $400 million, making it the biggest entertainment launch of all time, until it was surpassed by Call of Duty: Black Ops II in November 2012.