1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" screenshot
Activision  /  AP
A scene from "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" is shown. The inaugural Call of Duty XP conference will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2-3, 2011 in California.
By
updated 9/2/2011 3:38:02 PM ET 2011-09-02T19:38:02

"Call of Duty" is coming to life.

Fans of the shoot-'em-up franchise are converging Friday on the sprawling 12-acre compound where Howard Hughes built the Spruce Goose for the inaugural "Call of Duty XP" convention, a two-day event celebrating the Activision Blizzard military shooter with game previews, real-world recreations of "Call of Duty" levels and a performance by Kanye West.

"It's really in response to the strength of the 'Call of Duty' franchise and the passion of our fans," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, which organized the event. "We have fans who play our game every day — more than they go on Facebook — and enough fans in multiplayer every day to fill the 80 largest sports stadiums in the world."

Hirshberg expects 7,000 attendees at the sold-out event, which will serve as the unveiling for the multiplayer mode of the upcoming "Modern Warfare 3." Tickets cost $150 and include a special edition of "Modern Warfare 3." Proceeds will go to the Call of Duty Endowment, a nonprofit organization that Activision founded to assist military veterans.

Besides previewing "Modern Warfare 3" and the "Elite" online service, attendees will have the chance to zip around in a Jeep, spar on two paintball courses modeled after "Modern Warfare 2" levels, grab grub from an eatery resembling the game's fictitious Burger Town fast food chain, and meet some of the franchise's various developers and voice actors.

Hirshberg said the extravaganza was kept intentionally compact to avoid long lines and give hardcore fans "an A-plus experience." For those who can't attend but want in on the action, supermodel Marisa Miller will host streaming videos from "Call of Duty XP." Miller said she's no stranger to "Call of Duty." Her father and husband are both die-hard players.

"The way we play is my husband will show me what's up in the specific map that we're going to play through and then he'll give me the controller, and I'll have a go at it," said Miller. "My husband is really intense about it. He's really good. I'm just the type of player who likes to sit behind the wall with my sniper rifle and pick people off that way."

For the past four years, the immersive "Call of Duty" franchise has enjoyed unprecedented success. The latest title, "Black Ops," has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide since its launch last November, and more than 7 million people play online every day. The upcoming globe-trotting "Modern Warfare 3" edition is scheduled for release Nov. 8.

AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Joan Lunden: 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed with breast cancer

    From the moment you hear the words ‘You have breast cancer,’ it’s almost like you’re shot out of a cannon. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed.

    10/1/2014 10:52:45 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:52:45
  2. Want to help? A guide to breast cancer charities

    In the United States an estimated 296,000 women and 2,240 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and almost 40,000 women and 410 men will die of the disease. That's one death every 14 minutes, according to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

    10/1/2014 10:45:11 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:45:11
  3. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
  1. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

    Secret Service director resigns amid scandal

    10/1/2014 7:30:52 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T19:30:52
  1. Texas Ebola patient had contact with kids

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in a press conference on Wednesday that “some school-age children” had been identified as having contact with the man diagnosed with the first case of Ebola in the United States. 

    10/1/2014 5:37:52 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T17:37:52
  1. Carrie Vitt

    5 things we learned from '100 Days of Real Food' blogger Lisa Leake

    10/1/2014 6:30:19 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T18:30:19
  1. Getty Images file

    Brad Pitt loves 'being a father,' raves about kids, Angelina Jolie

    10/1/2014 6:16:00 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T18:16:00