The beginning of September 2011 isn’t only the lead-in to one of the biggest fall seasons of video game releases ever, but it also provided the introduction to Activision’s first ever Call of Duty XP event. Featuring paintball and tours through recreated levels of the Modern Warfare franchise, a $1 million dollar multiplayer tournament, an armory of weapons from the games and much, much more, Activision brought the ultimate experience to dedicated Call of Duty loyalists… or did they?
According to Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, the Call of Duty XP event was an “overwhelming” success, both from the fans perspective and from a marketing standpoint. In fact, Livestream reports that it was the second most watched digital event ever. That’s a lot of people tuning in to learn more about Modern Warfare 3’s killstreaks and game modes…
“Livestream, the company that broadcast the event for us, indicated that it’s the second most viewed event in history — the first being the Royal Wedding and I think the third was a President Obama speech. So that’s a pretty remarkable statistic.”
Attendees had to pay a hefty $150 to attend, but everyone who did so is receiving a free copy of the Hardened edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 which helps make that ticket price worth it. What may make it not worth it are the line-ups and we saw this ourselves while attending the event and waiting hours to play the game the event was really all about. That however, is secondary to the bigger picture of the audience Activision was able to reach through digital attendance and the news that came from the event.
“We were also a global trended topic on Twitter during the first 24 hours of the event, and a lot of the metrics are still coming in so we’re doing a deep dive on the investment. But we’ve reached our goal of getting our fans to really engage the game… The average viewing time of the keynote speech was 30 minutes, and that’s the kind of deep engagement that’s very hard to get with a TV commercial or paid media.”
To the credit of Activision and the Call of Duty brand, they are consistently helping video games becoming a more prominent part of pop culture and mainstream media. From mentions in television and film, to mainstream media headlines and celebrity fandom and involvement, each Call of Duty release, not unlike Call of Duty XP, is more than just a game launch but an event. And like Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops, it should be expected that Modern Warfare 3 will not only see massive numbers but to break even more records.
We did get some good hands-on time with the competitive multiplayer elements of Modern Warfare 3 and it also offered a showcase of the functions for the Call of Duty Elite service. Needless to say, expect Call of Duty XP 2012 to return to Los Angeles next year to help promote the next game from Treyarch (Black Ops 2?).
Maybe Kanye West will return too?
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Source: Industry Gamers