'Call of Duty' Fan Fest Debuts This Sept. in L.A.

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Activision's inaugural event will include a $1 million "Call of Duty" game tournament and paintball firefight.

Los Angeles will become ground zero for Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this Labor Day weekend. Activision has partnered with lead sponsor Microsoft to host the first-ever Call of Duty XP 2011 fan festival, which the game companies say will include “AAA” talent and musical performances.

Activision will secure a 12-acre section of urban Los Angeles and turn it into a video game fan festival for more than 6,000 gamers. Tickets go on sale July 19th with 100% of the $150 ticket price going directly to The Call of Duty Endowment, which helps soldiers transitioning to civilian life find work and establish careers. The event is expected to raise over $900,000 for the endowment.

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For the majority of the 30 million Call of Duty players who can’t attend, Activision is partnering with broadcast and online outlets to live stream the festivities online and offer televised coverage.

“From the high production values of our live, immersive events – all the way to the smallest details in every design and activity – we’re pulling out all the stops to make Call of Duty XP the ultimate gathering for the global community of Call of Duty fans,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “The celebration will immerse attendees in a Call of Duty experience unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.

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One of the highlights of the two-day event will be a $1 million Call of Duty: Black Ops tournament by Activision on Xbox 360. Gamers will be able to qualify for the multiplayer tournament in advance at various events, while a select group at XP 2011 will be given the chance to qualify at the festival.

Attendees will be among the first to have the opportunity to get hands-on time with Modern Warfare 3’s new Spec Ops survival co-op mode. Activision will also display the full feature functionality of Call of Duty Elite, its new online service that will connect all of the Call of Duty game experiences.

Other activities include a paintball firefight on a life-sized Call of Duty multiplayer map, an onsite Call of Duty armory and museum, concerts, and panel discussions with the creators of the games.

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The last few Call of Duty games have each topped $1 billion in global sales and Modern Warfare 3 is expected to attract an even larger international audience when it launches November 8. Call of Duty XP 2011 is part of Activision's reported $100 million marketing plan to promote its most popular game franchise.

Activision celebrated the launch of Black Ops last November with a benefit concert for The Call of Duty Endowment headlined by Metallica, which raised $1 million. This tier of musical talent is expected for the XP event, which could turn into an annual fan gathering.

Activision’s Blizzard Entertainment has been hosting a BlizzCon convention for the past five years. The sixth annual event will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center October 21-22. Over 27,000 fans attended last year’s event, which featured celebrities like Jay Mohr and Jack Black, who performed in concert with Kyle Gass as Tenacious D.