Activision has hit a home run with the Call of Duty series. “COD”, as it has become known, is now an entity of its own. The first ever Call of Duty fan experience in Los Angeles, CA on September 2nd and 3rd demonstrated just how much of an impact this extremely popular franchise has made on the entire gaming industry.
Call of Duty XP treated fans of the franchise to exclusive news on the latest installment of the series: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The game is scheduled to hit the shelves on November 8, 2011. All signs point to its release being received with both the hysteria and fanfare that rivals that of Apple’s revolutionary iPhone and iPad.
The event in Los Angeles was an intelligent marketing ploy by Activision to generate even more excitement and buzz without giving too much away as the game’s development continues. There are still many questions left to be answered about how it will ultimately look and feel; most of the hype was surrounding the multiplayer trailer and tournament, which carried a $1 million dollar purse.
COD transcends the video game world and has entered popular culture. Many who are generally unfamiliar with games understand what the now infamous acronym means. It’s not just a video game anymore. The Call of Duty franchise has become its own culture. As of September, anticipation for what has become one of the most popular video game series of a generation has transcended generational gaps and commanded a following from people who want to be a part of the phenomenon. It has taken on of a life of its own.
Gone are the days when launching a video game was simple. Not long ago, games were introduced by a trailer being shown and a date flashed. In the digital age of instant information, the bar has been set extremely high with the Call of Duty XP event. While not unprecedented, Activision will assuredly see positive results from its efforts.
There was clearly a lot to take in during the event in Los Angeles. Here are the highlights:
- The COD: Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer world premiere
- A high-stakes multiplayer tournament with a four-man team from the United States winning the $400,000 top prize
- Live performances from Kanye West and the Dropkick Murphys
- Real-life replicas of in-game maps and landmarks
- Panels from various groups affiliated with the game to interact with fans
- New gaming modes introduced, including a highly anticipated Kill Confirmed Mode
Though a game with this kind of popularity can often times be polarizing (just read any of the COD forums on one of many online blogs for examples of this fact), its overall impact is undeniable. It has become a staple of the collection of many avid gamers, and it certainly isn’t going away any time soon. It will be very interesting to see just how updates are disseminated leading up to the release of Modern Warfare 3.
No matter what, fans of the franchise, casual gamers, and industry bloggers alike will be out in force the entire way.
Michael C. Jones is an avid gamer and has over 20 years of experience playing and testing video games across many platforms. Follow Michael on Twitter.
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