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Over the Labor Day weekend, Activision will celebrate the biggest video game franchise of all time – Call of Duty – with a two-day fan festival in Playa Vista, California. Approximately 6,000 gamers will attend Call of Duty XP, which will take place in a 12-acre “compound” at the Hercules Campus, where Howard Hughes built the Spruce Goose.
One of the many celebrity fans who will be among the first to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 before it’s available at retail is actor Will Arnett (Up All Night). Arnett and Jason Bateman (The Change-Up) are working directly with Activision and developer Infinity Ward to create original video programming that will be available exclusively to members of Activision’s new Call of Duty Elite online service. Arnett will offer a sneak peek of the new, original programming under development at the XP event.
“I consider myself a gamer,” said Arnett. “When you look at the time spent gaming, versus other entertainment outlets whether it’s watching TV or watching movies; for me, I probably spend more time gaming. I want my videogames to be entertaining. You realize that videogames are a real outlet that needs to be taken seriously.”
Arnett is a huge fan of Call of Duty and has a close relationship with some of the development team members at Infinity Ward, who he engages in multiplayer online gaming sessions with.
Activision will also provide XP attendees with a sneak peek of the latest Modern Warfare-inspired live-action short by We Can Pretend, the Toronto-based creative team behind this year’s fan-favorite film Find Makarov.
Additional Hollywood celebrities will partake in XP activities, including facing off against U.S. troops deployed abroad via online games on Xbox Live in Pro vs. G.I. Joe.
The centerpiece of the inaugural Call of Duty XP event will be a 32-slot, single-elimination Call of Duty $1 Million Tournament sponsored by Xbox 360. Call of Duty fans around the globe are pre-qualifying now for the tournament playing Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops. All XP tournament contestants will do battle in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, live in front of thousands of delighted fans. Four Tournament slots will be filled on site at Call of Duty XP, giving attendees a shot at the largest gaming prize purse. The top eight teams will be in the money, with the winning squad pocketing $400,000.
Activision will release Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 worldwide on November 8 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Every attendee at the XP event will receive a special redemption code for a free copy of the Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition game when it becomes available. Tickets for the festival are currently on sale for $150 each with all proceeds going directly 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.
Call of Duty Elite is the new online service that Activision will launch at XP, which will allow gamers to connect with other Call of Duty fans across all of the games. Activision will be charging for some of this Elite content, but the publisher has not revealed pricing information yet. Full details will be announced at the XP event.
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