Microsoft has warned that early copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 are "not authorized" to be played online, and using them before street date could have dire consequences. This includes legally obtained copies bought from a store that sold them before release.
Xbox Live policy enforcer Stephen Tolouse embraced early players at first, saying, "If your copy is legit and obtained legitly [sic], have fun. It's a great game."
However, he would later get on Twitter and warn against his earlier encouragement: "Clarification: dblchk'd with Activision. Mw3 pre-release play not authorised. So pls be patient. Playing early may impact your account!"
It's a bit rich to hit people for playing games they bought, especially if they don't happen to follow Tolouse on Twitter. Nevertheless, the warning has been issued and while I doubt they'll instantly ban people just for getting online, it sounds like it could be a distinct possibility.
After all, punishing consumers for what retail does is what this generation's all about!
Play Modern Warfare 3 early and risk Xbox LIVE ban [Videogamer]