All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launches overnight for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 when the clock strikes midnight. But you probably don’t have to wait until October 25 to start playing the military shooter. If you purchase it digitally, Activision plans to unlock the game at 6 p.m. Pacific time (9 p.m. Eastern). But if you preordered the physical edition from GameStop, do you have to wait until midnight while others get a headstart? Turns out you probably don’t.

Activision has told GameStop that it will look the other way if stores begin selling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific time, according to a source familiar with the companies.

This is more of a wink-and-a-nudge agreement than an official policy, so don’t expect GameStop to confirm the early release on social media. Instead, in-store associates are only allowed to give a word-of-mouth notice.

Can you really get Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from GameStop early?

I called my local GameStop and asked when is the earliest on Thursday that I could pick up my copy. After asking about preordering, the associate told me that I could probably pick it up around 7 p.m. Mountain time.


Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.

Watch On Demand

Of course, this could vary by store or at the discretion of the individual employee. If a manager spent weeks planning a midnight launch, it may want everyone to show up for that. But chances are that if you are cool (read: nice), you can probably get home and start playing the latest Infinity Ward adventure before bedtime.

Above: Activision’s release map for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Image Credit: Activision

So be cool, and enjoy some Call of Duty.


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member