As another Call of Duty title nears its yearly launch, newly revealed Infinite Warfare has gotten a lot of criticism from developers as well as fans. Reports of low pre-order numbers, recently rebuffed by Activision themselves, have painted a bleak future for the first-person franchise as the competition in the genre grows with the announcements of Battlefield 1 and TitanFall 2 – and next week’s inevitable reveal of Destiny’s fourth expansion – that are set to launch alongside Infinite Warfare this holiday season.
Publisher Activision is determined to keep the sales momentum going coming off of Black Ops 3’s commercial success, and are looking to the past for inspiration, as a one-time event returns to usher in the next generation of the popular shooter. Call of Duty XP will return in 2016 after taking a 5-year hiatus - with the lone event having taken place in 2011 ahead of Modern Warfare 3’s record-breaking release. The event also marks the publisher’s absence from E3, a common trend among many companies this year, besides a presence at Sony’s conference presumably to show off Infinite Warfare’s campaign (and announce 30 days early access to map packs on PlayStation 4).
The Call of Duty XP event, which will be streamed on Activision’s video channels, will take place September 2-4 in Inglewood, California and will focus on an assortment of reveals and activities. Black Ops 3 (getting new DLC unveiled at the event) will be the center piece of the Call of Duty World League Championship as eSports teams face off for a prize-pool exceeding $2 million dollars. Most exciting for fans at large: the world premiere and hand-on demos of both Infinite Warfare and the highly-anticipated remastered version of the first Modern Warfare.
Additionally, PlayStation is partnering with Activision to bring the PlayStation VR experience to attendees via Jackal pilot demo, the aircraft used in Infinite Warfare’s reveal trailer. Fans can also check out the live-action experiences of Nuketown paintball and Zombies laser tag. Tickets for Call of Duty XP 2016 go on sale at 10AM PST on June 11, 2016 with the previously mentioned live streams taking place of the official Call of Duty Twitch channel.
The decision to hold their own event and not share details at E3 might be Activision’s way of not allowing other titles to monopolize the hype and attention but to instead shift the narrative and the focus of the industry to just Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered. Even then, the annual E3 showcase looks to be in trouble of losing its credibility as more and more publishers decide to hold their own events. It also might be because saying “Call of Duty 4 Remastered will not be available separately,” on the big stage isn’t the most consumer friendly strategy.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare & Modern Warfare Remastered are set to release on November 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.