It’s no secret that Activision has been exploring alternative strategies to promote and/or milk their flagship Call of Duty franchise for every penny they can potentially collect. The Call of Duty brand is already notorious for frequent, and pricey, DLC map packs – and, recently, the publisher revealed their subscription service, Call of Duty Elite, which should provide a steady stream of income beyond basic game sales. Elite mostly dismissed rumors that Activision would charge for Call of Duty multiplayer – but there’s no question that the service could, over time, evolve into something more invasive to the core CoD offering.

Following on the heels of the Elite announcement, it was revealed that Activision was also organizing a fan convention for their FPS franchise, the Call of Duty XP event – and, if playing Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer before the rest of the world wasn’t tantalizing enough, the publisher just announced that Kanye West will close-out the event with a concert.

Admittedly, all proceeds from Call of Duty XP will be donated to the Call of Duty Endowment, the company’s NPO that assists soldiers in transitioning back to civilian life through employment opportunities – but, no doubt, the convention will make big money for Activision through increased awareness and consumer-loyalty. Like BlizzCon, The Call of Duty XP event will be a great opportunity for fans to get together and celebrate their passion for the FPS franchise – while also enjoying early hands-on time with Modern Warfare 3, a sneak peek at Call of Duty Elite programming, combat in a live-fire paintball arena, as well as acquire CoD in-game content, among other things.

In an official press release, Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, was obviously excited to have Kanye West on-board:

“We’re pulling out all the stops. We promised our attendees and fans around the world a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the first Call of Duty XP, so we’re thrilled to have Kanye on board. Everything about XP will be as epic as the games themselves. Whether you’re competing for one of the open slots in the $1 million tournament, playing Modern Warfare 3 for the first time, dodging paintballs in a spectacular life-size recreation of Modern Warfare 2’s Scrapyard level or just mingling with developers and fellow gamers, Call of Duty XP is a celebration of one of the greatest games in the world. So what better way to top it off with one of the greatest artists in the world?”

The real question is, considering this will be West’s first concert appearance since releasing his collaboration with Jay-Z, “Watch the Throne,” will Shawn Carter make a surprise appearance as well?

Maybe the hip-hop duo could arrive on-stage driving the Modern Warfare 3 Edition Jeep Wrangler – which was recently unveiled at Detroit’s annual Woodward Dream Cruise. Unlike the Black Ops Wrangler, which featured bullet-hole-like decals as well as extreme feature additions (such as a snorkel) to the actual vehicle, the Modern Warfare 3 Jeep is less cheesy – with metallic badges and emblems as well as built-in winch system, upgraded hood, and a rear bumper that can be filled with water.

Check out images of the Modern Warfare 3 Edition Jeep Wrangler below (courtesy of Sidequesting):

Despite being one of the cooler car brands on the market, it’s no surprise that Jeep is investing big money in refining their Call of Duty Edition Wranglers – as tearing into the young, gamer market will no doubt help build brand loyalty, and mean a lot more Jeeps sold down the road (trail?).

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

Call of Duty XP will be held September 2nd and 3rd. Tickets, which are good for both days of the event, cost $150.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 releases November 8, 2011, for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

Source: Activision & Sidequesting

SCROLL FOR NEXT ARTICLE