When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. According to an Ad Age report, Activision publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said that the Modern Warfare 3 leak onto the Internet was his "first real crisis on the job” and forced the company to employ some unorthodox methods to soften the blow. He said that when the news broke the marketing department was called into a half-day meeting with risk management to discuss their options.
"It wasn't on our timetable; we didn't instigate it,” said Hirshberg. “But it's out there, and we can't pull it back in. We weren't ready for this, but we had to deal with it."
During that meeting Hirshbeerg claims he said: "Our job today is to complete this sentence: 'If this leak had never happened, we would have never been able to do ______ .' And if we could complete that sentence, then we could go to bed tonight having turned a crisis into an opportunity.”
From there, he claims the company used social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to pour gasoline on the spark of interest generated by the leak. They also pushed the launch up four weeks to take advantage of the buzz. His point is that he turned what could have been a crisis into an opportunity.
Of course we are talking about Modern Warfare 3, a new chapter in a game series that continually breaks sales records every time a new game is released... In other words, the leak had no impact one way or the other on sales.