This is what the news biz calls an "incremental development," but when it involves a game as highly anticipated as Modern Warfare 2, people notice. Yesterday, folks who'd friended some Infinity Ward types saw them playing it on Xbox Live.
Playing an unreleased title on Xbox Live is typically an indicator the game has been moved out of development on Microsoft's PartnerNet, and has moved into the certification process.
But more importantly, the people who spied IW level designer Alex Roycewicz (gamercard above) and community guru Robert Bowling playing the game say they spotted these map names in free-for-all and team deathmatches: Afghan; Underpass; Highrise; Derail; Invasion; Estate; Wasteland; Favela; Terminal; Rust; Scrapyard; and Quarry. This forum thread added three other map names: Uprise, Sub Base and Skidrow. The names don't give up much regarding the game, but those are a solid 15, just like the first Modern Warfare. McWhertor played two of these, Favela and Highrise, if you want to read more about that.
Here also, thanks to reader Richard K., is a video showing FourZeroTwo getting his multiplayer on in a party last night.
Modern Warfare 2 Now Playing on Xbox 360 [WePlayCoD]