Game On: Call of Duty XP Has Landed

Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) CEO Eric Hirshberg kicked the global Call of Duty® fan community into overdrive this morning when he presided over the debut of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s epic multiplayer mode, the opening act of Call of Duty XP, the greatest Call of Duty gamer celebration ever conceived.

Immediately following the presentation, attendees were turned loose on the showfloor for two full days of gaming, multiplayer challenges and one-of-a-kind real-world experiences, all inspired by the signature action and intensity that has made Call of Duty one of the most lauded and successful entertainment franchises ever. The centerpiece of competition is the Call of Duty $1 Million Tournament Presented by Xbox 360®, a massive 32-team, single-elimination battle royale that pits the world’s premiere Call of Duty gamers against each other for a share of the record $1 million prize purse. The top eight teams will be in the money - the winning squad will pocket $400,000 after the grand finale Saturday night. Call of Duty fans around the globe began qualifying weeks ago on the record-setting Call of Duty®: Black Ops for the historic competition.

A colossal 12-acre compound in Playa Vista, California - where Howard Hughes famously built the Spruce Goose - has been completely transformed for XP’s inaugural edition. Onsite activities include:

  • A once-in-a-lifetime chance to paintball firefight across a life-size replica of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s Scrapyard level.
  • The opportunity to speed-run the infamous Modern Warfare 2 The Pit training sequence, for real.
  • A live action thrill ride across a sprawling, obstacle-ridden challenge course in the Jeep Ops Experience.
  • A Call of Duty: Black Ops military-style zip-line plunge across the compound.
  • One-on-one battles in the raised Juggernaut Sumo ring.
  • Rations for sale at Modern Warfare 2’s iconic Burgertown and Nate’s Grab N Go food joints.
  • A tour of the Call of Duty armory and museum, featuring concept art, weapons and gear, and memorabilia from the entire franchise.

Also on tap are appearances by basketball greats Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, supermodel Marisa Miller, Stacy Keibler and actor/comedian Nick Swardson. Attendees can sit in on developer panels hosted by Treyarch and Beachhead Studios, plus a special panel featuring actors from Call of Duty Black Ops and the Modern Warfare series. Each day will be capped by stellar live performances, including the critically-acclaimed Dropkick Murphys - known for their complex distillation of classic punk rock, Celtic folk and American rock ’n roll - who will close the show’s first night. And coming off the release of his fifth #1 album, the global smash "Watch the Throne," hip-hop icon Kanye West is set to close Call of Duty XP on Saturday night.

Call of Duty XP promotional partners have embraced this unique opportunity for Call of Duty fan service. In addition to co-sponsoring the $1 million tournament, Microsoft revealed the new Xbox 360 Limited Edition Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Custom Console. Sporting a 320GB hard drive, two wireless controllers and a Bluetooth headset, the collectible console will launch simultaneously with Modern Warfare 3 on November 8th. The Jeep brand thrilled fans with an exclusive tease of the new 2012 Wrangler Call of Duty Special Edition. Also debuting in November, this custom four-wheeler was designed with input from Modern Warfare 3 developers. Mountain Dew gave fans a first taste of the new Mtn Dew Game Fuel Tropical flavor, which was developed in collaboration with the Modern Warfare 3 development team. DEW and sister brand Doritos tortilla chips will offer double XP to North American Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gamers with every purchase of specially marked packages starting in October.

Activision and developers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games delivered a knockout punch to the thousands of attendees present at the XP keynote with the reveal of new Modern Warfare 3 features. Strike Packages - including Assault Strike, Support Strike, Specialist Strike and others - will overhaul the Killstreak system and create the most balanced and immersive multiplayer experience ever. The new Weapon Proficiencies system empowers players to modify their load-out to suit their individual play-style. User-generated game modes, a universal player card, loyalty rewards and new game modes like Kill Confirmed and Team Defender capped a stunning lineup of gameplay innovations.

These innovations will work in tandem with the Call of Duty® Elite social gaming platform to dramatically enhance the multiplayer experience. Launching alongside Modern Warfare 3 this fall, Call of Duty Elite is designed to help gamers Play Better Together. Also on display at this morning’s presentation, Call of Duty Elite delivered detailed stat tracking and performance analytics, integrated Facebook friend support, clan creation and management, and a device-agnostic hub for all things Call of Duty, connecting gamers via console, smartphone, tablet and web. Users can even customize matches via mobile and push them to the game remotely - the changes will be waiting the moment they boot up their console.

Call of Duty Elite features the deepest free service in gaming. For uncompromising Call of Duty devotees, the premium annual membership offers an unrivaled level of integration with the franchise and likeminded hardcore fans. The premium membership includes a year’s worth of Modern Warfare 3 DLC available monthly during the 9-month DLC season, daily competitions for in-game and real-world prizes, 24/7 competition calendar, clan competition, up to 24 minutes of HD gameplay video capacity, and the highly-anticipated Call of Duty Elite TV.

The new Call of Duty Elite TV will offer original, episodic video programming from top Hollywood talent, including executive producers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott. RSA (Ridley Scott Associates) is working on a new program, Friday Night Fights, where real life rivals battle it out in Call of Duty multiplayer. Additionally, digital content and production studio DumbDumb, led by Will Arnett and Jason Bateman in partnership with Ben Silverman’s multimedia studio, Electus, is also working on content for Call of Duty Elite. The production company is in development on two new programs, Cocked Hammers and n00b tube!, both airing this fall on Call of Duty Elite TV.

And it didn’t stop there. All Call of Duty XP attendees were treated with a redemption code for a free copy of the limited Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition when it becomes available, which includes a free year’s membership of Call of Duty Elite featuring all Modern Warfare 3 DLC.

Call of Duty Elite will launch this November with an all-inclusive DLC premium annual membership for the annual price of $49.99, less than $5 per month.

Activision will donate 100% of the ticket sales of Call of Duty XP to The Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit, public benefit corporation that seeks to help returning soldiers transition back to civilian life, find work and establish careers. Fans who are unable to attend or simply want to follow the action, including the Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer reveal, can do so by visiting Highlights will also be posted on Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops Facebook pages, and the Xbox Facebook page.

 [September 5, 2011]

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