Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer maps hit the Web early

More than a week ahead of launch, Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer maps have been leaked via torrent.

Modern Warfare 3 isn't due out until next month. But a few multiplayer maps have already hit the Web. Here, a screen from Modern Warfare 3.

On Nov. 8, Activision will release Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the next installment in the most successful video game franchise in history, and easily The Biggest Video Game Event of 2011. But already, a few multiplayer maps have hit the Web. According to several gaming sites, 16 maps were leaked this weekend, including grids titled Bootleg, Dome, Seatown, Lockdown, Bakaara, and Interchange.

You can see the maps here. If the files are legit – and Activision has not commented on the maps, one way or another – they would be the second reported Modern Warfare 3 leak in recent days. As Venture Beat reported recently, an employee at a shipping warehouse in California may have snatched a copy of the PC version of the new Call of Duty game, and made copies for friends.

Investigators for Activision, Venture Beat reported, are "knocking on doors around the country and asking people nicely to turn over and delete their pirated copies of Modern Warfare 3. Rather than face fines, many complied." Venture Beat published a CraigsList post from one of the busted parties, who warned other gamers not to buy MW3 before the Nov. 8 release date.

Piracy is a major concern for publishers of games such as Modern Warfare 3, which rely on major, buzz-heavy launches, where millions of consumers line up at their area stores.

In related news, Activision is expected to release a whole lot of limited edition material in conjunction with MW3, from a new "hardened" edition of Modern Warfare 3 – complete with "unique disc art, a collectible steel case and a 100-page field journal packed with Call of Duty sketches and diagrams" – to a $400 MW3-patterned Xbox console.

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