MWIII Confirmed to Be Just DLC for Last Year’s Game


Welp. It’s confirmed. Modern Warfare III (MW3) is literally just DLC for the last game. No separate installable, and small beta download.

In a year where expectations were set for further expansions on Modern Warfare II (MWII), Activision took a sharp turn by announcing the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (MW3). The announcement came as a surprise to many, especially given the previous commitments to the longevity of MWII. Despite the anticipatory murmurs, the decision to unveil MW3 only a few months before its intended launch has left a sting in the community.

RELATED: Modern Warfare III Upgrade May Be Free (If You’re Patient)

The criticism hinges on what many see as a breach of trust. Activision had previously strongly hinted at no new releases in 2023, making the sudden announcement of MW3 feel rushed and unexpected. The date for the official announcement, according to Bing, further tightened the timeline, intensifying the skepticism surrounding the release.

As details about MW3 gradually surfaced, the community started voicing concerns, drawing parallels between the new release and a DLC (Downloadable Content). The resemblance was hard to ignore, yet Activision maintained that this was a full premium release. The price tag of AUD$109.95 on BattleNet further fueled the debate, with many seeing it as an overpriced extension rather than a new offering.

Activision’s marketing touted a host of new features in MW3 – a brand new campaign, a refreshed ‘open world’ zombies mode (which essentially is just DMZ with AI zombies), new guns, adjustments to the HUD, and much-anticipated improvements to gameplay including movement and gunplay. However, the maps, largely remastered from previous Call of Duty titles, didn’t help in setting MW3 apart from its predecessor.

The real bone of contention emerged with the beta release of MW3. The beta was integrated within the MWII launcher, a move that many saw as a confirmation of MW3 being nothing more than an upgraded DLC. The relatively small download size for the beta, which merely required downloading a few maps, skins, HUD upgrades, and minor code adjustments, belied the full game price being asked.

MW3 gameplay

Adding to the skepticism, the title renaming strategy by Activision, where the three Modern Warfare titles were rebadged as simply “Call of Duty”, was seen by some as a tactic to blur the lines between the three iterations. This, critics argue, is a clever ploy to mask the repackaging of similar content over three different yet closely related titles.

The conjecture extends to the console version of MW3 as well. It’s speculated that the console release would essentially be a MWII version with an automatic update to MW3 or akin to a “Game of the Year” edition of MWII, with MW3 content acting as DLC on the disc.

Despite the grievances, there’s an acknowledgment within the community that MWIII offers a refined experience over MWII. The gameplay in MW3 has been described as a true return to form, a sentiment that brings some solace. However, the overarching consensus remains – the experience, however enjoyable, doesn’t justify the hefty price tag of AUD$109.95, raising questions on the value proposition offered by Activision with this release.


Activision has reached out to us to clarify that Modern Warfare III (MW3) requires a separate installation. However, it can only be accessed through Call of Duty HQ, the launcher for previous Modern Warfare games.

“We’ve seen some confusion out there on this topic. To be clear, Modern Warfare III beta does not run from the same executable as Modern Warfare II. The beta is simply accessed through Call of Duty HQ, which is where Call of Duty players are able to navigate to all their content in one place,” a spokesperson for Activision said.

We reached out to inquire whether the game operates on the identical engine as Modern Warfare II, similar to how Far Cry Primal was more of a “spin-off” to Far Cry 4 rather than a full sequel, or what some of the significant alterations to the game engine are.

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