The game industry is keyed into Activision Blizzard this week, as the publisher gears up to launch Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Already the most preordered game in both Activision's and GameStop's history, the publisher has with no uncertain swagger said that it wouldn't be at all surprised if the military shooter achieves the highest-grossing launch of any entertainment product in history.
With the mountain of money the game is on track to generate, Activision announced today that a portion of the proceeds from Modern Warfare 2's launch will go to an altruistic end. The Washington Post reports that the publisher has established the Call of Duty Endowment, a $1 million grant to establish a foundation for helping military veterans find work.
As noted by the Post, a 2008 Department of Veterans Affairs employment survey found that 18 percent of military veterans who left the armed services in the past one to three years are currently out of work. A Bureau of Labor Statistics study found that 11.6 percent of people who departed the military since 2001 are unemployed.
"The joblessness rate that [veterans] should have should be far less than the national average, not more," said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. "How do you expect people to actually join the military if when they leave the military they can't integrate back into the free market they're supposed to be protecting? These are super-capable people. To the extent that you can put them on track to develop more skills, the development potential that we've identified is extraordinary."
Activision said that its first donation will be to the tune of $125,000, to be delivered to the Paralyzed Veterans of America foundation to help establish a vocational rehabilitation center.