Two years ago, Infinity Ward used the Game Developer's Conference Awards show to unveil the trailer (and date!) for its hugely anticipated followup, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. If we're reading the signals right, it's looking to use the conference for the reveal of the third installment (Modern Warfare 3?), a game that's been shrouded in mystery following the developer's very public (and very ugly!) executive departures.

Someone sent over a pair of dog tags, pictured above, that include a link to findmakarov.com, with the totally-a-tag-line "End the War" stamped above it. The site includes a countdown which takes us to 10am ET next Wednesday, March 2. The other dog tag belongs to – gross, a dead guy! – Lt. General Shepherd, MW2's main bad dude, who evidently has a birthdate of ... next Tuesday? Wait, that's not right ...

The site's whois information has been anonymized, and we're busy trying to confirm the validity of the tags with Activision. The GDC Awards take place on Wednesday night this year and, glancing at our packed GDC calendar for next week, Tuesday night belongs to EA's competing Battlefield 3. So either Activision wants to steal some of their thunder, or this is a comically elaborate ruse on EA's part.

The return address indicates Toronto-based "viral marketers" VVO Media are behind the mailing and, with a slim portfolio, it's tough to say who they're working for. Oh viral marketing, how we grow tired of you.

[Update 5:45pm – VVO Media's site is now offline. Go figure.]

[Update 8:05pm -- We've received the following comment from an Activision spokesperson: "There seems to be a great deal of speculation about the next Call of Duty project. Let me be clear that we are not revealing yet. Anything indicating otherwise is a hoax." We contacted EA for comment when the story first broke and have yet to receive a response.]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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