War isn’t a video game for the men and women in uniform. In gratitude for their service, Activision recognized Veteran’s Day by donating $3 million to the non-profit Call of Duty Endowment fund, which assists veterans with job placement and training as they transition back to civilian life. Also on Nov. 11, the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE) awarded a $250,000 grant to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation to support the foundation’s program to host hiring fairs in 25 cities nationwide in 2012, which is expected to result in at least 3,500 jobs for veterans.
Earlier this month Activision Publishing announced that the fund also would be receiving all proceeds from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 soundtrack, composed by Brian Tyler.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Brian Tyler onboard for Modern Warfare 3,” said Eric Hirshberg, chief executive officer of Activision Publishing Inc. “If you’re an action fan you certainly know his work. It’s a pleasure to partner with Brian Tyler and Call of Duty fans around the world to assist real-world soldiers in need.”
Tyler, who has scored more than 50 films including Fast & Furious and The Expendables, said he was excited about the opportunity to assist CODE. “I feel privileged to be able to contribute to the building of The Call of Duty Endowment,” he said. “It is a true honor!”
Activision in September donated 100 percent of its three-day Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launch event ticket sales, which was in addition to other endeavors supporting CODE. Activision had previously donated about $2 million to CODE, which has provided more than $1.5 million in grants and scholarships to veterans’ organizations across the country since it was established in 2009 by Activision Blizzard chief executive officer Bobby Kotick. CODE’s grants and other activities are guided by an advisory board composed of respected veterans representing the various branches of the military.
According to U.S. Department of Defense Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, about 850,000 veterans are currently unemployed. and for those who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts the unemployment rate is 12.1 percent.
Call of Duty is one of the industry’s most popular franchises. Within the first 24 hours of its release, Charttrack reported Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold more than more than 6.5 million units in North America and the United Kingdom, representing $400 million. Last year, also in North America and the United Kingdom, Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops had estimated day-one sell-through of $360 million and in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, set day-one records with estimated sell through of $310 million.
“Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time,” Kotick said.