Call of Duty announced today that two new pieces of digital content will be released to help support veterans thanks to the Call of Duty Endowment initiative. The Call of Duty Endowment is meant to help give back to the men and women that have served in the United States military by helping them transition into regular civilian life, offering them segues into high-quality jobs.
Call of Duty Endowment first launched in 2009 with a commitment to raise and donate millions of dollars to help assist veterans with job placement and training, while also serving as a spotlight on the issues facing veterans as they attempt to transition into civilian life. The organization even features an advisory board comprised of veterans who represent each service branch, giving the Call of Duty Endowment initiative an insider's perspective on what needs to be done and how to go about it. Previously, multiplayer downloadable content has been released for Infinite Warfare and WWII with all profits going directly to the Call of Duty Endowment.
Today, Activision announced that Call of Duty would now offer fans two new ways to support veterans. First, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will receive the C.O.D.E. Jump Pack - a timed PlayStation 4 exclusive - that provides a special wingsuit, parachute, and trail for players. 100% of the proceeds received by Activision from this pack will go directly to funding nonprofits for veteran job placement. Activision is also partnering with Marine Corps veteran Max Uriarte, a writer and artist, to debut a new Night Raid PS4 theme that will also donate all proceeds to the Call of Duty Endowment.
Activision's support of veterans is a nice break from the current media perception of the company, but doesn't necessarily address the many issues the publisher faces. It's still true, after all, that the company laid off a huge number of workers despite posting record profits in 2018. Activision gave management lucrative bonuses for signing or remaining part of the company, which left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans. Even here, despite supporting a worthy cause, the C.O.D.E. Jump Pack is available on PlayStation 4 first with other platforms to follow - curiously limiting the amount of people who can donate initially.
It can be tough to reconcile the good with the bad when it comes to Activision. The idea behind Call of Duty Endowment is certainly laudable, and it's great that companies like Activision still make these large-scale attempts at supporting charitable work. Fans can certainly make up their own minds about how to support veterans or other charitable organizations, but it's worth noting that many avenues don't include the indirect support of a company that some consumers still want to hold accountable for earlier decisions.