LOS ANGELES – Activision is re-enlisting “Call of Duty XP.”
After a five-year hiatus, the video game publisher is organizing a second edition of the fan-focused convention to celebrate the popular military shooter franchise.
The three-day event will host this year’s “Call of Duty” championship. The e-sports extravaganza will serve as the culmination of a yearlong tournament featuring 32 teams vying for a prize pool of $2 million in competitive “Call of Duty: Black Ops III” matches.
“Call of Duty XP” will be held Sept. 2-4 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The event is expected to draw 10,000 fans.
“We wanted to seize the opportunity to bring back a great fan event and make it bigger,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “We’re going to have what’s sure to be our biggest championship ever for our Call of Duty World League.”
“Call of Duty XP” will feature the unveiling of the multiplayer modes from the upcoming entries “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.”
Activision will also bring “Call of Duty” to life with such real-world activities as a paintball battle modeled after the Nuketown map from “Black Ops III” and a laser tag course inspired by the zombie mode from “Infinite Warfare.”
At the convention, Sony will debut a PlayStation VR experience that will re-create the sensation of sitting in the pilot seat of the Jackal fighter jet from “Infinite Warfare.”
“It’ll be a celebration of the franchise – past, present and future,” said Hirshberg. “It’s a good time for us to invite our fans, celebrate the championships and go big.”
Hirshberg noted “Call of Duty XP” is among the reasons Activision will not be exhibiting on the show floor at next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, the industry’s annual trade show.
“We will have a presence at E3 but not the big booth that we’ve had in the past,” said Hirshberg. “We’re holding back content to do more at ‘Call of Duty XP’ than we have at E3 and other events in years past.”
The inaugural “Call of Duty XP” event was held in 2011 and drew more than 6,000 fans to a 12-acre compound in Playa Vista, California. The convention featured the debut of the “Modern Warfare 3” multiplayer mode and a performance by Kanye West.
“I think a lot has changed,” said Hirshberg. “Obviously, e-sports was already gaining a lot of momentum, but so much more has happened globally and with our ‘Call of Duty’ World League.”
Tickets for this year’s “Call of Duty XP” go on sale June 11. They will range from $49 for general three-day admission to $199 for a VIP pass that includes a deluxe edition of “Infinite Warfare,” a space-set edition of the series set for release Nov. 4.
“Call of Duty” continues to be the top-selling gaming franchise. Activision said earlier this year that more than 250 million copies of “Call of Duty” have been sold since the series debuted over a decade ago.