The countdown is on for the next installment in the "Call of Duty" franchise – and all signs are pointing to "Modern Warfare 3". MW3-teaser

Activision has sent out dog tags to select members of the press that include the message "end the war" and refer to athe website That site (which is getting hammered right now) features a countdown clock that's set to expire Wed. March 2 at 7am PST.

Vladimir Makarov, the apparent namesake for the site, was the primary villain in 2009's "Modern Warfare 2," fueling the speculation.

Call of Duty, of course, is Activision's biggest franchise. "Modern Warfare 2" set entertainment industry records that were subsequently broken by last year's "Black Ops". Will "Modern Warfare 3" continue the streak? We'll see the first bits of information about the game next week.

[UPDATED: Activision has issued a statement that the site has no ties to the "Call of Duty" franchise.

“There seems to be a great deal of speculation about the next Call of Duty project,” said the company. “Let me be clear that we are not revealing yet. Anything indicating otherwise is a hoax.” 

The publisher furthertold Kotaku it had nothing to do with the dogtags sent to some media outlets, either.]

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