Activision is giving away two free copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops every day during a 25-day awareness campaign being held by the Call of Duty Endowment to draw attention to the challenges facing veterans when they return home.
Activision established the Call of Duty Endowment in November 2009 to mark the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, setting up a $1 million fund to "support other groups that assist veterans with their careers" when they leave the military. As Activision CEO Bobby Kotick noted at the time, "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?"
One year later, Activision is doing it again in the wake the even more successful launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops. $1 million of Black Ops sales will be donated to the endowment and the publisher also pledged to help find jobs for 1000 veterans. According to Activision Blizzard Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from an unemployment rate more than double that of the national average. "The Call of Duty Endowment is dedicated to raising national awareness of the needs of our returning veterans - and helping these veterans directly," he said. "We are confident that many more businesses will join us by employing veterans in their companies. We are encouraging our suppliers, customers and business partners to join us in the cause of getting veterans hired."
Beginning on November 12 and running until Pearl Harbor Day on December 7, the Call of Duty Endowment will hold a "social media awareness campaign" highlighting the issues facing veterans returning from overseas wars. Fans of the endowment's Facebook and Twitter pages will be asked to post a "call to action or 'service op'" as their status on each day of the campaign; to encourage participation, Activision will give away two copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops to randomly drawn Facebook and Twitter followers each day of the campaign.
"This campaign is a simple way for folks to say 'thank you' to our veterans," said retired Rear Admiral Jim Carey, a member of the Call of Duty Endowment advisory board," while also putting a larger spotlight on a national problem we want more individuals to recognize."