Activision Blizzard have confirmed the pre-load times for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, detailing when pre-order folks can start downloading the game's campaign as part of its early access period, as well as when the rest of us mortals can start pre-loading in time for its release next week. Modern Warfare 2 doesn't release in full until Friday October 28th, but folks who pre-ordered the game can start playing the campaign as early as tomorrow, October 20th - and pre-loading begins this evening.
If you're part of the pre-order crew, pre-load begins at 10am PT / 6pm BST today, October 19th across all platforms, with the campaign becoming available to play 24 hours later at 10am PT / 6pm BST on October 20th, according to the Call Of Duty blog.
For those opting to wait until its proper launch, pre-load for PC begins at 10am PT / 6pm BST on October 26th. The full game will then be available to play from 9pm PT on October 27th, or 5am BST on October 28th for us in the UK.
Call Of Duty has been quite the storage hog in recent years, so I'm sure eager COD-ers will appreciate the extra lead time. Last year's Vanguard had a download size of 61GB for both multiplayer and the campaign - but those after the high resolution assets pack for playing in 4K had to find room for a whopping 125GB of free space. It was a similar story for Cold War the year before, with the total download size for the ultra graphics pack coming to 125GB, or 82GB for the full game without it.
Unfortunately, there's an extra wrinkle for PC players of this year's Modern Warfare 2 release. As we reported on last week, PC players will also need to register a phone number before they can start playing - something many Overwatch 2 players ran into trouble with during its troubled launch period. Blizzard eventually removed Overwatch 2's phone requirement for folks who'd played Overwatch 1, but it remains in place for those coming to it fresh. Activision say the phone requirement for Modern Warfare is to help combat cheating on PC, but have also warned that pre-paid numbers "may not work" yet again, which sucks for pay-as-you-go phone owners, including yours truly.
We'll be keeping a close eye on the state of Modern Warfare 2's phone requirements as the game gradually opens up to more people, and keep you up to date with any developments. It's coming to both Steam and Battle.net for £60 / $70.
Activision Blizzard publish Call Of Duty and they're still facing law suits alleging a workplace culture of sexual harassment and discrimination. Microsoft also intend to buy Activision Blizzard, although the deal is currently under investigation by UK regulators over competition concerns.