The Call of Duty™ Endowment, Activision Blizzard’s non-profit charity organization that helps put veterans back to work, has announced that they have reached their goal of placing 50,000 veterans in meaningful employment ahead of schedule.
The Call of Duty™ Endowment (“the Endowment”) today announced that it has reached its goal of funding the placement of 50,000 veterans into high-quality jobs ahead of schedule. Now, the Endowment is doubling down with a new goal of securing placements for a total of 100,000 veterans by 2024. Thanks to the work being done by the Endowment, veterans in the United States and United Kingdom have found premier opportunities with hundreds of companies including Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, Deloitte, Delta, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Nike, and SpaceX.
“The Call of Duty Endowment has exceeded expectations and continues to benefit the lives of veterans and their families, significantly giving back to those who sacrificed for others,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard and co-founder of the Endowment. “With U.S. and U.K. veteran unemployment and underemployment challenges persisting, I am thrilled to advance our efforts with a new, ambitious goal of securing employment for 100,000 veterans by 2024.”
The endowment, was started in 2009, started with a goal of placing 25,000 veterans into employment by 2018; that initial goal was hit within 2 years. The next goal was reaching 50,000 by 2019, and the endowment reached that a year early. Their new goal is to secure employment for 100,000 veterans by 2024.
“The Call of Duty Endowment is making a remarkable impact in the lives of our veterans,” said General James L. Jones (USMC, Ret.), Co-Chairman of the Endowment. “High-quality, meaningful employment is imperative to their successful transition back to civilian life and the Endowment’s focus on these efforts is unmatched.”
To help place veterans in high-quality jobs, the Endowment works with carefully vetted, high-performing veteran employment organizations through its prestigious Seal of Distinction program in partnership with Deloitte. The Seal of Distinction program bestows awards annually to the highest performing non-profits that meet the Endowment’s benchmarks in effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity in placing veterans in high-quality jobs. In 2017, the Endowment expanded its reach overseas, identifying and forging partnerships with a select group of U.K.-based veteran’s charities.
“Placing fifty thousand veterans in meaningful jobs is significant—that’s the equivalent of more than half the U.S. Army’s annual recruit class. By finding and funding world-class organizations and with the unwavering support of Activision Blizzard, we were able to reach our goal ahead of schedule,” said Dan Goldenberg, executive director of the Endowment. “Our approach is to marry common sense business practices with philanthropy, which enables us to place vets in jobs at about 1/6 the cost per placement of U.S. Department of Labor efforts. We are proud of, and share this achievement with, all of our grantees who have worked tirelessly towards our shared goal.”
Learn more about the Call of Duty™ Endowment here.
Johanna Faries named new Call of Duty General Manager
Activision Blizzard announced that Johanna Faries had been named the new General Manager of the Call of Duty franchise.
Call of Duty is arguably the biggest franchise in the video game world and one of the top entities in all of entertainment. With great success this past year thanks to Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, Activision Blizzard has officially decided who will lead the franchise into the future.
This week, Activision announced that Johanna Faries has been named the new General Manager of the Call of Duty franchise. In her expanded role, she will have management oversight of every angle of the high-profile first-person shooter franchise going forward.
“Since joining Activision Blizzard, I’ve had the opportunity of a lifetime to set a new and dynamic vision for Call of Duty eSports alongside an incredibly talented team of colleagues, players, owners, and partners. In the process, I’ve been on the front lines of the Call of Duty franchise, working closely with our studio and marketing teams to deliver breakthrough experiences for players and fans the world over,” said Faries to GameInformer. “Call of Duty has made an immeasurable impact on the world of gaming and entertainment and is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. I can’t wait to help usher the franchise into its next chapter, and to continue to unlock the power that Call of Duty holds for the future of competitive entertainment.”
Faries is far from new when it comes to Call of Duty. She first joined Activision Blizzard in 2018 as the Head of Call of Duty Esports. Her goal when joining the company to create the franchised Call of Duty League, which lead to her becoming the Call of Duty League Commissioner and subsequently the Head of Leagues at Activision Blizzard, including the Overwatch League over the last 3 years.
The National Football League is where Johanna Faries called home before Activision Blizzard, where she spent 12 years as an executive.
With Call of Duty continuing its reign as a heavyweight in the video game world and Black Ops Cold War and Warzone kicking off Season 3 that saw the introduction of the new Verdansk ’84 map, there is no more exciting time to see where Johanna Faries will help take the franchise in the future.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard
Premium Call of Duty games will be revealed later in the year than usual
Activision confirms Warzone’s success has had an impact on Call of Duty marketing decisions.
With the success of Call of Duty: Warzone and the post launch campaigns, Activision has acknowledged that they are experiencing a shift in their marketing of Call of Duty.
The Call of Duty marketing machine has been in almost a consistent pattern for years. A new game gets announced in May, MP reveal over the summer, potential beta in August/September, and then a release in October/November. It’s been systematic.
That entire process has been upended with the launch of Call of Duty: Warzone. With the game’s success and continued post launch campaign seasons ongoing, there’s a lot to talk about now without having to shift attention to the latest premium release so early.
And, Activision’s President is acknowledging this shift in Call of Duty marketing plans. When asked in a new interview with VentureBeat about revealing new CoD games later in the year, Kostich states “we’re probably shifting a bit more in that direction.”
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was the first to experience this. The game, which fans hoped would be announced in the similar schedule in May, was only revealed in end of August. The reveal event occurred within Call of Duty: Warzone, a new way for Activision to engage the fan base.
Kostich says that the reason for the change in reveal time frame is what we’re seeing right now. “You’ve seen what we have in season three this week. We have so much to talk about and so much going on that’s happening this week. We want to focus on that with the community, focus on the journey with them.”
He reiterated how Black Ops reveal was able to be apart of Warzone, something Activision has never been able to do before. “We did some cool things in terms of integrating the reveal of Black Ops into Warzone. Those are the things we want to orchestrate and provide to our community, letting them discover Call of Duty themselves in their play experience.”
Kostich confirms that “marketing is changing within Call of Duty, how we get the community to participate and uncover things for us.”
He states that reveals of premium CoD games “might be happening later, but it’s all part of a broader agenda to bring the community along on a fun journey.”
As always, stay tuned for the latest news on Call of Duty.
Activision issuing “hardware bans” to thwart Warzone cheaters
Activision have confirmed that they are handing out “hardware bans” to banned cheaters who keep making fresh accounts.
Cheaters and hackers have plagued Call of Duty: Warzone since its launch, but on top of account bans, Activision has confirmed that they are issuing hardware bans to thwart repeat offenders.
Cheaters have been a thorn in both players’ and developers’ sides since Warzone launched in 2020. It has been common to run into players blatantly wall-hacking and aim-botting, ruining the game for casual players and pros alike.
Raven Software has been providing regular updates on how many cheaters have been banned, and Activision recently confirmed that 475,000 permabans have been issued since Warzone’s launch. The likely reason why this number is so high is that Warzone is free-to-play. It’s widely believed that even if a cheater’s account gets banned, they can simply create a new one and carry on as if nothing happened.
Activision is aware of this issue and player’s concerns and released an in-depth update on their anti-cheat progress on April 12.
Because so many players have been concerned that account bans are ineffective, Call of Duty staff responded to this, saying that “Removing cheaters and taking away their ability to move to alternate accounts is a key focus for the security teams.”
They confirmed that if you’re cheating, not only could you be unknowingly downloading malware to your system, you could also receive a hardware ban.
To make sure players don’t keep creating fresh accounts to cheat with, Activision said, “We do issue hardware bans against repeat, or serial, cheaters. This is an important part of our effort to combat repeat offenders.”
This means that players who receive a hardware ban will be permanently locked out and won’t be able to simply create a new, free account and go back to their cheating ways.
Activision also confirmed that not only are they targeting individual accounts with cheats installed, but also “the commercial market of cheat providers and resellers.” They revealed that they have recently banned “45,000 fraudulent, black market accounts used by repeat offenders.”
Cheaters will likely still make their way into your Warzone sessions, but Activision is making sure it’s continuously more risky and difficult to do.
In the meantime, you can check out our guide on how to spot cheaters in Warzone so you can assist Activision by reporting these players.
Image Credit: Activision
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