Almost since the first person shooter debuted, critics have warned it would make players more violent. Game developers have warned for just as long that rampant piracy was costing them billions and would drive them out of business.
There is little evidence of any truth to either charge, or was until now.
Saturday morning, in southern Paris, thieves attacked two vans carrying as many as 6,000 copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which is due to hit stores at midnight tonight, after a buildup of anticipation from fans unequalled since the CoD: Modern Warfare 2 was released in 2009.
The first attack was in suburban Cretiel, southeast of Paris. According to the French TFI News As a delivery fan with thousands of copies of the game moved through traffic toward a delivery stop, a car appeared and smashed into it. As the van drivers got out to call emergency services, two men carrying knives and tear gas leapt from the attacking car, used the tear gas to disable the guards, grabbed the whole shipment and took off.
Later, an unknown number of men stopped a van making a similar delivery in the Yvelines district west of Paris, threatened the drivers with weapons and took off with the vehicle.
Though the two heists were the ones most true to the game, they're not the first to go kinetic in an effort to get early copies of the games.
In November, 2010 according to PCWorld and the Baltimore Sun, two men walked into a Maryland GameStop store just before closing time, held up the teller and last-minute patrons with handguns and stole cash, game systems and 100 copies of the as-yet-unreleased Call of Duty: Black Ops.
The thieves were likely after items with good resale value, but fans got into the CoD:MW3 pre-release ops as well.
Some KMarts that received the game early under the condition that it not be sold until midnight tonight, reportedly broke out the disks and sold a few last week.
According to VentureBeat, a warehouse employee in California swiped Disc 2 from a two-disk set of the version for the PC and posted its content online.
On eBay users reportedly paid $1,700 for a copy online last week.
Microsoft has threatened to use facial recognition software in the Xbox 360 to ban users going online with pre-release versions of the game, but backed down.
Activision initially also threatened to ban pre-release users, but later announced those who had gotten their copies legitimately could go ahead and play.
Parish police announced the games stolen there were worth about 400,000 Euros, ($550,000US).
The list price of the game is $59.95.
So far there is no offer of extra experience credits for obtaining the game software through covert ops online or IRL, however. It's probably easier to just wait until tonight and pay for a copy you can download.
Saves damage to your ride and the cost of tear gas, which must be rising along with demand, given how much of it New York and Oakland police seem to be going through as part of their negotiations with Occupy Wall Street demonstrators.
(Sorry, there's no OWS mod for CoD yet, either; It's more a Sims thing, anyway.)
Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.