Experiencing 'Call of Duty'

Digital soldiers will get their first taste of the latest edition of “Modern Warfare” at next weekend’s Call of Duty XP.

Activision and Infinity Ward will bring the battle to Los Angeles on Sept. 2 and 3, allowing  gamers to learn more about “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” one of the most-anticipated games of the season. In addition to getting some hands-on time with the game and participating in a variety of live-action “experiences,” they will be entertained by the likes of Kanye West and the Dropkick Murphys.

About 6,000 gamers are expected to plunk down $150 for the two-day tickets, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Call of Duty Endowment, which grants money to veterans charities, ranging from the USO to Military to Medicine to Student Veterans of America.

In preparation for the giant shootfest, we fired some questions toward Robert Bowling, creative strategist at the game’s development studio, Infinity Ward.

What prompted you to create Call of Duty XP?

At the core, we wanted to have an event, unlike anything that has ever been done before, that was completely focused around the fans — giving them a once-in-a-lifetime experience deeply rooted in the game but, more importantly, giving us all a chance to celebrate together because our fans aren’t just passionate about the game when it comes out; they’re involved in the entire development process from day one, providing feedback, being involved in every step we take in making this game. That’s why we wanted to make sure they had the chance to be the first to play the game when it was finished, and it kept growing from there.

How will it be different from Quakecon and similar events?

Call of Duty XP will feature a number of different things that fans will enjoy, including the world debut of the “Modern Warfare 3” multiplayer.

Attendees will get hands-on time with multiplayer and the new Spec Ops survival co-op mode. Also on display for the first time will be the full feature functionality of Call of Duty Elite, the innovative new online service built from the ground up to support “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” Supporting these epic reveals is a series of real-world “Call of Duty” action-experiences and gaming competitions as well as an unprecedented $1 million “Call of Duty” tournament by Activision and the event’s lead sponsor, Xbox 360.

What will be available beyond the multiplayer battles?

There will be a series of remarkable “Call of Duty”-inspired real-world action experiences to immerse attendees in a “Call of Duty” experience unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. Call of Duty XP will feature … a once-in-a-lifetime chance to paintball firefight across a life-size replica of “Modern Warfare 2”’s Scrapyard level, the opportunity to speed-run The Pit, “Modern Warfare 2”’s infamous training sequence (for real), a military-style zip-line plunge across the Call of Duty XP compound. suiting up for one-on-one battle in Juggernaut Sumo. Rations and refreshment for sale at “Modern Warfare 2”’s iconic Burgertown fast food joint. A comprehensive “Call of Duty” armory and museum, featuring concept art and unique memorabilia from the entire franchise. We’re pulling out all the stops to make Call of Duty XP the ultimate gathering for “Call of Duty” fans that will blow their mind!

On the Call of Duty Endowment’s website, there’s an impressive list of grants to veterans charities. How much money has the endowment granted since it was founded? 

The Call of Duty Endowment was founded in 2010 by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. Since that time, the endowment has made more than $1 million in donation with the goal of helping veterans who are transitioning to civilian life find jobs.

For more information on the event, go to www.callofduty.com/xp

For more information on the Call of Duty Endowment, go to www.callofdutyendowment.org

Join the conversation and share your voice.

Show Comments


About the Authors

Brian Bowers is Stars and Stripes’ Assistant Managing Editor for Europe and Mideast and one of its video game reviewers. He joined the newspaper in 1992 in Germany, where he worked on the news desk and the city desk. He has a wife and three children, who are always eager to help him test games.

Sam Laney joined Stars and Stripes in 2007 as a copy/layout editor and slowly convinced upper management to support his video game habit. Since then, he’s added game reviews and previews to his list of duties and moved on to the iPad. When he’s not rocking newbies in “Left4Dead2,” he covers PC and Nintendo systems.

Michael S. Darnell joined Stars and Stripes in 2013 as a reporter and quickly annoyed his bosses into allowing him to write about video games in his spare time. He's a PC gamer at heart whose life goals include building the first gaming PC on Mars.