Five years since the first COD XP, CODXP 2016 was undoubtedly THE biggest Call of Duty fan celebration to date with thousands of players and fans travelling to the beautifully sunny climates of California, in The Forum in Los Angeles for a weekend of world exclusives, Call of Duty inspired activities and Call of Duty World League Finals.
Activision put on one heck of a show which kicked off with the universal reveal of Infinite Warfare Multiplayer showcasing all of the new available rigs, maps and weaponry which would be available for the very first time on site. Players got to experience the icy caverns of Frost, bull-charging into opponents as the Merc combat rig as well as calling in new, epic Scorestreaks like the hulking R-C8 robot to dominate the battlefield. Infinite Warfare MP’s focus is on evolving combat with fluid movement and unprecedented personalisation that allows players to customize their rigs to their distinct playstyle; and huge influencers, the likes of Ali-A & NoahJ456, streamed Live from the IW base camp to thousands of eager spectators online biting at the bit to catch a first glimpse of what the multiplayer has to offer.
Nostalgia ran riot as well, as fans of the original Modern Warfare series were finally able to get a taste of Modern Warfare Remastered and many of the classic maps were available to play. Smiles and cheers rang out around Call of Duty XP as players battled it out on the dusty plains of the popular Crash map and sniped-their way around the grassy knolls of Overgrown. The announcement at the opening day keynote that the team at Raven will in fact remaster ALL 16 maps from the original sent the crowd understandably into a frenzy!
With Black Ops III, developed by Treyarch, being played on the competitive side across the weekend, it was no surprise that fans could peek into the near future at the new Salvation DLC, confirming the new maps such as the fantasy-laden Citadel and wild western front of Outlaw. For Zombies fans, a snapshot was on offer of the Revelations conclusion; the final piece of the puzzle to a journey which began eight years ago.
With re-animation on the brain, the long sought after Zombies in Spaceland premiered with a fifteen minute exclusive hands-on of Infinity Ward’s 1980s inspired amusement park, where veteran zombie zappers such as MrDalekJD & MrRoflWaffles & CodeName: Pizza were introduced to the four new playable characters they’ll be seeing a lot more of come November.
Alongside the Zombies hype lay a handful of Call of Duty themed activities which added another layer of fun-filled action across the Labor Day weekend. You could wear giant inflatable suits and wrestle your friends in Juggernaut cage-fighting, ride a huge Black Ops III zip-line suspended high above the crowds, play Zombie laser tag, experience the PlayStation VR Jackal Assault and arguably the biggest highlight, shoot your nearest and dearest in Nuketown Paintball! The whole place was buzzing to try and squeeze everything in with each activity a brilliant addition to the show.
Lastly, and by no means least, was one of the biggest reasons eSports fans made their way to LA. Across the three days, thirty-two top teams battled it out to reach the Call of Duty World League Championship Finals on Sunday. After shock exits from OpTic Gaming and FaZe Clan on the penultimate day, the arena was utterly electric when Team EnVyUs and Splyce, the latter the first European team to ever reach a final, battled it out for a grand prize of $800,000! In a tense battle, Team EnVyUs came out on top with a 3-1 win to leave victorious and walk away as champs. To round-off the weekend, rappers Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa put on a closing show which went down superbly with the Call of Duty XP attendees.
In essence, Call of Duty XP 2016 was more than just about world exclusives. It was an opportunity for Call of Duty fans from around the globe to come together and share something which connects them all. It was incredible to see the friendships which had grown from behind a screen sat on a sofa or in a bedroom, and brought players to a single place to celebrate the gaming series for which they all have such passion.
Why can’t Call of Duty XP happen every week? As we all gear up for Infinite Warfare’s release in November, be sure to head back to the Activision UK Blog regularly for the latest intel, and be sure to follow @CallofDuty, @Activision, and @infinityward on Twitter for all the latest updates on Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare!