Given how monumentally successful Call of Duty is, it's a surprise this hasn't happened sooner. Franchise owner Activision today announced the first official convention celebrating the first-person shooter series, Call of Duty XP 2011. It'll take place over Labor Day weekend, September 2 and 3, at "a secure 12-acre compound in the urban confines of Los Angeles" and cost $150.
The festivities will include the premiere of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer, hands-on time with MW3's MP and Spec Ops co-op survival modes, paintball on a recreation of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 map Scrapyard, a real-life version of MW2's Spec Ops time trial 'The Pit,' the full reveal of subscription service Call of Duty Elite's functionality, and an armory displaying weapons from the series.
In the realm of more traditional convention attractions, there will be developer discussion panels and Q&A sessions, contests, and tournaments, crowned by a 4-player team tourney with a $1 million prize pool.
The $150 two-day passes for Call of Duty XP 2011 go on sale on July 19. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to The Call of Duty Endowment, Activision's non-profit which helps ease armed forces veterans back into civilian life.
For those who wisely refuse to brave LA's weather and traffic, Activision assures there will be "a constant stream of high-production value videos" online and on television. There's no word yet on whether this will be free to watch or if a fee will be charged, like Activision subsidiary Blizzard does for its own BlizzCon.
"From the high production values of our live, immersive events--all the way to the smallest details in every design and activity--we're pulling out all the stops to make Call of Duty XP the ultimate gathering for the global community of Call of Duty fans," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg in the announcement. "The celebration will immerse attendees in a Call of Duty experience unlike anything they've ever seen before."
Considering how popular BlizzCon is as a community-strengthening tool and publicity platform for Blizzard's products--selling out within minutes every year--it's no surprise to see Activision follow suit with Call of Duty. It might only be a single franchise and arguably a single game, but it's just as beloved by its fans.