Ye Gods. Activision has announced Call of Duty XP 2011, a convention for Call of Duty fans taking place in Los Angeles on September the 2nd and 3rd of this year. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg cheerily admits to the event being based on Blizzard's yearly Blizzcon and says that it will allow CoD fans to "feel like you stepped into the game."
I actually groaned as I was reading all this. The thought of finding myself in twelve acre convention centre filled with six thousand hardcore Call of Duty fans has a comparable effect on my testicles as salt has on slugs. Then again, as much as I enjoy the image of twelve Activision higher-ups discussing how to extricate me from my grotty bedsit, this convention isn't for me. It's for people who want to (among other things) eat at a recreation of Modern Warfare 2's Burger Town, play paintball in a recreation of the same game's Scrapyard multiplayer map and much more besides.
For the privilege of attending Blizzcon, Blizzard charges attendes $175 each. For Call of Duty XP 2011 Activision looked at this figure and then settled on $150, all of which Activision will be donating to Call of Duty Endowment, a charity organisation that helps American war veterans find jobs and receive training in civilian life.
So, hurrah for that. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about a franchise that so expensively glamorises the modern military then going on to put its name on a charity trying to spread awareness that (among other things) over 20% of US veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 are unemployed, but whatever. Here are just some of the rad things you'll be able to get up to at Call of Duty XP 2011!
- A Call of Duty® multiplayer tournament with over $1,000,000's worth of cash and prizes to be won! 32 teams of 4 players will have to qualify prior to the event, but Activision say that "there will be additional ways to qualify on site".
- A real-life zipline!
- The reveal of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer component! Modern Warfare 3 is scheduled to ship around two months after the convention, on November 8th.
- A real-life Modern Warfare 2 Burger Town to eat at!
- A further reveal of Activision's upcoming subscription-based Call of Duty: Elite service. You can read our own Alec's thoughts on that here.
- The Call of Duty® Armory, where attendees will be able to ogle the weaponry they have fondled for so many tens of hours online, for real.
- A real-life recreation of The Pit, Modern Warfare 2's training level
- A real-life recreation of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer map Scrapyard that you'll be able to play paintball in.
- Live music from "AAA artists"
- And more!
I find myself wincing a bit at the fact that so many of those attractions relate to the last Infinity Ward Call of Duty game, with nothing at all (so far) from Black Ops, but hey. More attractions have yet to be announced.
So, what do we think, readers? Any takers? Tickets go on sale on Tuesday July 19th, according to the official FAQ.
EDIT: I've just noticed that the same FAQ states that "Desktop computers, laptops, consoles and electronic storage devices are not allowed inside the event." Odd.